Monday, November 18, 2013

Temple of Dawn & Cold in Seoul

We did so much in our first full day in Bangkok that we were a bit burnt out on the third and final day. We had already done so much exploring and seen so much, but we had saved a couple of things for the final day: we began by walking down to one of the many piers along the river and caught a boat across to the Wang Kang pier where a market was bustling. It was a fun one to explore, as it was a bit different (a bit more clothing and odds and ends and a bit less pig entrails). We did that until we grew weary and then caught a couple more boats south down the river. Each crossing of the river by boat is brief and cheap (3 Baht) and quite pleasant.

We arrived at our final destination: Wat Arun, which means 'Temple of Dawn'. It is one of the oldest Wats in Bangkok and is very interesting as it is decorated with perfect symmetry of design largely out of broken pottery. It also has steep stairs that one can climb about half way up the outside. It isn't too far, but the stairs were quite steep and seemed like a bad idea, given my sprained ankle from my fall at Angkor Wat. It was a beautiful structure though.

After that the afternoon sun was merciless and we hailed a tuk tuk back to the area around our hotel before killing a few hours languishing on restaurant patios, enjoying cold and fruity drinks, snacks and cigars, just killing time until it was time to go to the airport.

When we left (narrowly missing the lantern festival) the moon rose large and full over the city. 

After a 5 hour flight we arrived in Seoul, having had no sleep and realizing that it is winter here and the temperature was about 2 degrees celcius. We were still dressed for the tropical weather of Bangkok. I hadn't really factored this into my plans. We had a 12 hour layover in Seoul and when i have done this previously, it had been summer and perfect for walking. I had foolishly planned a wonderful walking route around Seoul to occupy us during our layover, but we arrived not only finding it wintery but windy. Canadian though we may be, we are just not that hearty.

We gave it a go though, taking the train to Seoul station and walking to Namdaemun market, where we had some breakfast bibimbap and tried to warm ourselves by browsing through the market shops, but we had to admit defeat. It was just freezing. We headed back to the airport, stopping ay Seoul station for coffee and looking around in a supermarket and various shops selling cute and confusing items.

No photos from Seoul this time. We were too icy and tired to even think of it.

Fortunately the airport in Seoul is extraordinary and we have had no trouble keeping ourselves entertained and catching up on much needed rest. We will be boarding our flight to Vancouver presently. The trip has been a great one. I hate to return home, but we are both badly in need of clean clothes and baths, so home it is.

Thanks for following.

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