Wednesday, September 1
After a super-tasty pancake and fruit breakfast at May Kaidee's followed by a sweltering but restful nap upstairs, I set out on another photo mission, this time to the Western section of Banglamphu. The first compound I came across, Wat Rajnadda, was closed, with several temples under various stages of renovation. When I tried to walk in the front entrance, some construction guy told me it was closed, so I just moseyed on around to the side and snuck in to snap a few photos. One of the temples had been stripped bare and was waiting to accept a new coat of gold and tiles, while another was wrapped up in scaffolding, all ready to get buffed.
Next, I spied a huge golden stupa not too far away, but it was rather difficult to find amid a maze of canals and bridges. Situated atop a big hill, it's called the Golden Mount at Wat Saket, accessible by a long, curved stairway with tiny steps that are annoying to walk up, unless you're a pygmy. On display were cheesy fake boulders adorned with what appeared to be Buddhist lawn ornaments. A pink flamingo and an elf wouldn't look out of place there. Halfway up was a collection of bells and a huge six-foot diameter gong on which I fired up a recording session. Too bad the gate leading to the top was closed. I peaked in and the curved stairway going up looked pretty enticing. Maybe I'll try to return here earlier in the day.