You’re probably wondering what there’s to see so early in the morning. Actually, a lot as I found out today. I had a sleepless night and at half past 5 I was craving for a western breakfast. The solution? A quick taxi ride to On Lok Yun on Charoen Krung Road.
The small restaurant is barely noticeable from the street and you would expect everything but an international breakfast. The old coffee house opened more than 70 years ago and it looks like time has stood still ever since. However, there’s an English menu and I wonder how this place became so popular among foreign tourists. At any rate, I’m not the first customer at 6 in the morning (the restaurant opens at 5.30 am). On Lok Yun seems to gather a loyal crowd of older men and women in the early morning hour.
Besides a western breakfast, you should also order Thai bread with butter and sugar. I try everything along with a coffee for a total price of 120 Baht (about 4 USD).
Admittedly, there are far more interesting places for breakfast in the modern districts of Bangkok. However, On Lok Yun has a certain charm and reflects the historic atmosphere of the Old Town. By the time I leave, it’s about 6.30 am and the restaurant is already half full.
I walk along Charoen Krung Road and hear loud music emanating from Rommaninat Park. The green space was a creation to commemorate the 60th birthday of Queen Sirikit. To my astonishment (I’m surely not an early bird!) the park is very animated in the early morning with people doing all sorts of exercise.
As I continue my peregrination, I enter the premises of Wat Suthatthepwararam. The construction of this Buddhist temple began in 1807 under King Phutthayotfa Chulalok or Rama I and was completed in 1847. In the prayer hall stands an 8 meter tall statue of Buddha. It originates from the Wat Maha That temple in Sukhothai. The mural paintings are the largest of their kind in Thailand and depict mystic legends in an exquisite manner.
Unfortunately, the royal temple is currently under renovation. But luckily, I can admire the ordination hall next door. It is considered one of the most beautiful in the country.
Before the fatigue finally sets in, I decide to finish my trip at the Golden Mount. Foreign visitors would have to pay a small entrance fee (50 Baht), but no one has arrived at the reception yet. I walk up the 318 stairs and enjoy the breathtaking panoramic view of Bangkok. It is literally the high point of my early morning trip.