Thailand Travelogue: Chinatown Flower Market, Reclining Buddha, the Grand Palace and Coconut Ice Cream at the Oriental Residence

Earlier this year the Tourism Authority of Thailand invited me to come visit the country and create our first ever Asian guide for GayCities. The phenomenal travel connoisseur Carlos Melia took me, YouTuber Davey Wavey and colleagues from Pink Triangle Press, Passport magazine and dot429 around Bangkok, Chiang Mai and the Golden Triangle region showing us the shiniest gems Thailand has to offer. The following travelogue retraces highlights from my second day there.

Flower Market in Chinatown

The next morning we woke up early and drove to Chinatown to take a quick stroll through the flower market.

The street stands overtook several street blocks.

Then we walked into an indoor/outdoor market building with fresh vegetables, meats and fish. Locals in Bangkok gather all their cooking ingredients for the day at these markets.

Wat Pho - Temple of the Reclining Buddha

[vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/46670935 w=600&h=337]

The first temple we visited was Wat Pho, more commonly known as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha. The colossal Buddha figure housed inside is the largest of its kind in Thailand and measures 300 feet.

The Grand Palace

Then we drove to the Grand Palace, the most popular temple in Bangkok and one of the city's famous tourist attraction.

Visitors must not wear shorts or tank tops when visiting these temples, as it is considered a sign of disrespect by the locals. Luckily there are vendors right outside the gates selling garments, like PJ-like trousers and shawls, that you can use to cover up in case you come baring more skin than it is allowed.

Several buildings in the Grand Palace house Buddha statues like the one above. The most famous is the Emerald Buddha, but no photography is allowed.

Decorative mural tells the founding story of Thailand.

[vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/46700520 w=600&h=338]

Oriental Residence Bangkok

After our temple worship, we headed to the new Oriental Residence Bangkok where we had lunch at the French-inspired Cafe Claire. The new Residence was getting ready for a soft launch when we visited but has since opened to the public.

Our travel guide extraordinaire Carlos with Bill from dot429, a social network for LGBT professionals.

Getting fitness tips from Davey Wavey himself.

Whatever, I'm getting coconut ice cream for dessert.

The rooms at the Oriental Residence overlook the embassy gardens.