Share a Morning with Thai Monks
The Monk Walking Tour with Big was incredible. This tour is absolutely worth the 4:30am wake up because when you get back to your hotel/hostel at 8:30am, you will feel like you've done more than a whole day's worth of sightseeing. Big picked me up at my hotel at 5:00am and we drove to the temple district to the grand temple next to the Grand Palace. Big took me in and we watched the monks finish their morning prayers. From there, we hung out on the temple grounds while the monks ate breakfast. Because the tour is so small (1-2 people max), the Monks were very friendly. Several monks came over and we spoke about my life in America, their lives as monks, and of course, where to get the best Thai food in Bangkok and in the US. From there, Big introduced me to the monk with whom we'd be following for alms. We left the temple grounds and walked through the temple district where the monk we followed accepted alms. Throughout the walk, I was able to see a quieter and more local Bangkok than I had seen in the touristy parts. We walked through an awesome local food market (completely different than the touristy food markets) and spoke for hours about religion, life, monks, and Thailand. After we walked around, we went back to the temple grounds, where we sorted the collected food and then ate ourselves. Big was fluent in English, very friendly, and extremely knowledgable. It was a really terrific and relaxing morning that I think is a MUST for anyone visiting Bangkok. I feel like I saw and experienced more of Bangkok in the 3 hours with Big than I did in the 3 days hitting the "major" touristy spots.