So this is how the conversation goes:
Me: ‘I went to Wat Pho today’
Them: ‘How was it?’
‘It was really nice, I got there as soon as it opened and it was very peaceful for a while – then all the tourists arrived!’
‘Oh really, that sounds good, when did you get there?’
‘Oh no, that’s far too early, I couldn’t get there at 8am, I always get places later.’
I get it – you’re on holiday. You want to relax, sleep in, forget about your troubles. You don’t want to wake up to your alarm clock at 7am, like every other day of your shitty life.
But please don’t expect me to take this smug look off my face. Waking up at 7am on holiday is an adventure, not a hardship. You get to sneak out of the hostel while the air is still fresh. You walk through a city that is getting ready for the day, buy breakfast that local people eat, not the stuff they’ve made for everyone else. You take pictures while the sun is still weak, with beautiful light and shadow, not the harsh light that the midday sun brings.
And, you get these beautiful monuments all to yourself.
… not a soul in sight…
… just me, the Buddha, and some monks…
… and a lot of cats, which led to a lot of cat pictures, which I’m not going to share because it makes me look like a crazy person.
Wat Pho is small enough that you don’t really need a direction, although they give you a map (and also free water!). The water that is for sale is drastically expensive (like 60 baht for a 500ml bottle) so come prepared. The main attractions of Wat Pho at the giant reclining Buddha and the giant Chinese statutes. However, I also really enjoyed the information plaques in the courtyard that explained all of the inscriptions and murals. It costs 100 baht to get in, which is like nothing, and is very well located for Wat Arun and the Grand Palace.
What do you think? Are you an early bird or just stumbling out at midday?