Turn Down for Wat: a Quick Tour of Bangkok

Turn Down for Wat: a Quick Tour of Bangkok

In Bangkok, there’s three things you can’t escape: temples, markets, and aggressive lady boys. Cue the Sesame Street ditty: “one of these things is not like-the-others…” The music stops: now, can you guess the odd one out? I spent a few days in the capital and tried to find out.

In Thai, the term ‘wat’ means temple. And, in Bangkok, they’ve got more wats than a nuclear power plant. But, if you’re worshiping to a schedule, I’d recommend two: Wat Arun and Wat Pho.

Wat Arun is on the west bank. It has its own ferry stop. The tiled white spires are beacons of the city – like a giants’ chess board with pawns and a queen. Wat Pho is across the river. The reclining Buddha looks dashing in gold leaf. With his come-hither smirk, there could be more under that robe than just concrete and rebar…

When you’re all templed out, make for the markets. Hungry? Head to Chinatown. The streets are lined with hawker stalls, and the meals are good and cheap. Fresh squeezed dragon fruit juice and a bag of pad thai: well worth three dollars. But, if it’s rancid crowds and cheap shit you’re into, then Chatuchak is the place. Get there on the MRT headed north. But don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Rip start apparatus

And that leaves the night. Now, save for a few Kiwis at work – I’ve never really met a transvestite. Physically, do they have one of both, or neither of either? I was intrigued – on a purely platonic level, mostly, I swear. To answer such questions, head to Khao San road. Ask for a rip start. It involves a ladyboy, you on all-fours, and your grandmothers pearl necklace. And tell em’ Evan sent you.  

So, yeah, can you guess the odd one out? Agreed. It’s the markets. The other two involve massive erections…