So remember when I busted my toes just days before a scheduled trip to Bangkok? Well, those banged up toes were a blessing because if I couldn't walk to do the exploring I had planned, I could certainly sit in a boat.
I let my hotel doormen suggest a spot and a twenty minute cab drive later I find myself at Suan Phlu Pier, a tiny little end of the road operation for longboat hires next to the Shangri-La Hotel. It was exactly what I was hoping for and even better, the boats are hired out individually so I had the entire thing to myself! There are public water taxis that are significantly cheaper but what the heck - it was worth the forty bucks to have uninterrupted views for my one day out.
The ride was about an hour and a half and I happily snapped photos of the canal, or khlong, homes and temples as we sped by. I love taking flyby shots because it all happens so fast and you only have a second to capture what you want. To my surprise, however, there was one stop at Wat Khun Chan temple. I freaked out when I saw the giant figure towering over the canal. The captain then laughed at my excitement when he told me we'd be stopping there to [motions with fingers] walk around.
I'm not even going to try to put that place into words because as you can tell from the photos, it's incredibly awesome. I throw the word awesome around like pancakes during Sunday brunch but truly, I was in awe. The detail, the sparkling tiles, the stories of each figure (which I don't know yet but assume are amazing) and the man in the corner dunking his foot into hot water to massage a lady laying on the floor - there was so much to take in. Unfortunately I couldn't stay long and once I was back inside the boat I realized that during my fifteen minutes there I didn't think once about my busted toes, I don't even know if I limped. Something that I had been so aware of for days and cautious to not overdo apparently didn't faze me while in such a special place. Back at the hotel, well...that's a whole other sore story but the cause was totally worth it.