Bangkok hustle, bustle and Buddha

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Bangkok from way up high!

Bangkok from way up high!

For a European who had never set foot in Southeast Asia before, Bangkok really was an assault on the senses. Amid the swathes of people trying to get to where they wanted to go and the 40 degree heat of the hottest month of the year, the bustling metropolis is chock-full of different sights, sounds and smells, fusing together to make up the Thai capital that is home to about 9 million people.

Buddhas sit in line at Wat Pho - one of Bangkok's oldest temples

Buddhas sit in line at the famous Wat Pho temple

Palm tree leaves move in the what felt like a non-existent breeze in Benjakiti Park

Palm tree leaves move in the what felt like a non-existent breeze in Benjakiti Park

Evening traffic builds up near Asok BTS station

Evening traffic builds up at Asok BTS station

They say to avoid traveling by car between 5 and 7 o’clock in the evening and take the BTS Skytrain to avoid becoming a victim of some serious gridlock. Failing to fully grasp the scale of the traffic scenario one evening, I was forced to abandon a taxi and walk the last leg of my journey in the sweltering heat.

A statue of Phra Phrom, the Thai version of Hindu god Brahma, seen by a roadside

A statue of Phra Phrom, the Thai version of Hindu god Brahma, seen by a roadside. Roadside shrines depicting various gods are a common sight.

A man uses his phone while perching on a scooter as cars zoom by Ekkamai BTS station

A man uses his phone while perching on a scooter as cars zoom by Ekkamai BTS station

More evening traffic at Asok

More evening traffic at Asok

The huge Reclining Buddha at Wat Pho temple

The huge 46 meter long, 15 meter high Reclining Buddha at Wat Pho temple

And from the front

And Buddha from the front

Tourists walk around the Wat Pho temple complex

Tourists walk around the Wat Pho temple complex

Slow-moving traffic near Asok - it's faster to travel by scooter than by car

Slow-moving traffic near Asok – it’s faster to travel by scooter than by car here

A car advert looms high over a road filled with vehicles

A car advert looms high over a traffic jam

A spirit house outside a McDonald's restaurant

A spirit house outside a McDonald’s restaurant

One of the first things I noticed were the spirit houses, entirely commonplace in this part of the world no doubt, that are placed outside homes and restaurants to appease the spirits. People leave food and drinks next to them as offerings.

Rooms filled with Buddha statues at Wat Pho. This temple apparently has the largest collection of Buddha images in the country.

Rooms filled with Buddha statues at Wat Pho. This temple apparently has the largest collection of Buddha images in the country.

A tuk-tuk driver manoeuvres through the first rain in months!

A tuk-tuk driver manoeuvres through the first rain in months!

And more Buddha statues

And more Buddha statues

Some of the skyline, seen from Benjakiti Park

Some of the skyline, seen from Benjakiti Park

A BTS train whizzes past Ekkamai station

A BTS train whizzes past Ekkamai station

A roadside food seller sets up shop as evening traffic comes to a standstill

A roadside food seller sets up shop as evening traffic comes to a standstill

Street vendors spring up seemingly anywhere, littering the pavements as they set up makeshift barbecues along the roadsides, commuters zipping by on scooters, weaving in and out of the traffic.

One of many rooftop bars - peaceful havens in the busy metropolis

One of many rooftop bars – peaceful havens in the busy metropolis

A taxi driver clocks me taking a tuk-tuk!

A taxi driver clocks me taking a tuk-tuk!

Markings on the ground indicate where you should wait to let passengers off the BTS train before climbing aboard

Markings on the ground indicate where you should wait to let passengers off the BTS train before climbing aboard

A man restores Buddha statues at Wat Pho

A man restores Buddha statues at Wat Pho

A fisheye view over Bangkok

A fisheye view over Bangkok

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