Our last full day in Bangkok, so we’ve been busy exploring. First, Wat Arun or Temple of the Dawn. Then a short ferry ride across the river, to visit Wat Pho and the giant reclining Buddha. Later on, a rooftop treat looking out over all of Bangkok!

An early start, off out again on the tourist express boat. Our first stop, probably the most iconic image of Bangkok, given that it appears not only on the currency but also on the logo used by the Thai Tourist Authority. Wat Arun is a compact but impressive temple to visit, with its unique porcelain decoration making for some beautiful pictures. Apparently much of the porcelain decoration, which is a relatively recent addition to the monument, was brought in as ballast in trading vessels from China.

 

From Wat Arun, you can easily pick up a cross-river ferry to Wat Pho, the monastery famous amongst other things for its giant reclining Buddha. But there’s so much more to explore here – magnificent buildings, murals of ancient medical diagrams, colonnades of gilded Buddhas. We must have spent several hours exploring, before heading back across the river to pick up the tourist express boat once more.

An unexpected touch. The housekeeping staff must have picked up on my birthday card in the room. So when we returned that evening, guess what I found in the fridge…

An unexpected little birthday cake from the Ibis Hotel
An unexpected little birthday cake from the Ibis Hotel

A brilliant little detail, but one that means so much to me. It endears me to the Ibis brand, and I’m sure we will be staying with them again as our first preference!

In the evening, as my birthday treat, we headed out a mile or so from our hotel to the Millennium Hilton. Competition is intense amongst the various ‘sky bars’ around Bangkok. But the Hilton is perhaps one of the hidden secrets of the city. Only 31 floors high to the open roof bar and the enclosed 360 lounge above it at 32, so yes there are other bars higher, but the views over the river and the city are absolutely stunning. Drinks are quite affordable too, given the unique location. We stopped for a couple of drinks, taking in the magnificent views of this city we have been fortunate enough to explore, before heading down in the lifts to the Hilton’s Chinese restaurant, ‘Yuan’, for a no-holds-barred birthday blowout!

And so we reach the end of our holiday in Thailand. We’ve had an excellent time, and explored some gorgeous locations. Thailand is a destination we can wholeheartedly recommend!