February 7th, 2008
Just one pier north from Banglamphu along the river and a short walk in brings you to Wat Intharawihan, another Bangkok temple with a giant Buddha. This one is a 32 meter tall standing Buddha with a Buddha relic from Sri Lanka enshrined in its topknot.
On my previous visit, I'd just popped in for a quick look and kept going, but this time, without a tuk-tuk driver waiting to take me to a gem shop, I was able to take in the temple grounds. After admiring the towering Buddha for a while, I found two Bodhi trees I hadn't noticed before and sat beneath one of them to read for a bit.
When a couple of rain drops thumped against the open pages of my book, I headed into the temple and it wasn't long before the darkened sky came pouring down, with a sound like stone marbles dropping on a hardwood floor. Eventually, I came out and joined the others under the canopy that looked as though it were about to collapse from the amount of water it was holding. Some people pushed up on it with broom sticks, emptying it over the edge.
At home, I'd say a rain as heavy as this wouldn't last long, but in Bangkok it's hard to say when it will stop. After about twenty minutes it did let up though, and everyone quickly went back to what they were doing. The streets looked like canals, full to the curb with water, and I waited a while for them to drain some before finally walking back to Banglamphu.