You may be wondering what there’s to see in Bangkok so early in the morning. Actually, a lot as I found out today. I had a sleepless night and at half past 5 am I was craving for a Western-style breakfast. The solution? A quick taxi ride to On Lok Yun on Charoen Krung Road in the historic district of Bangkok.
The old coffee house is barely noticeable from the street and you would expect everything but an American breakfast. On Lok Yun opened more than 80 years ago and seems to have withstood the change of time. However, there’s an English menu and I wonder how this place became so popular among foreign visitors. At any rate, I was not the first customer at 6 in the morning. On Lok Yun opens every day at 5.30 am and seems to gather a small group of loyal folks from the very first hour.
Besides a Western-style breakfast, you should order On Lok Yun’s sweet Thai bread. I tried everything along with a coffee for a total price of 120 Baht.
While there are many breakfast places in Bangkok with greater choice on the menu, it may be after all the simplicity that attracts so many visitors to On Lok Yun. The restaurant has a certain charm and reflects the slow-life atmosphere in the Old City.
After On Lok Yun, I walked along Charoen Krung Road and heard loud music from Rommaninat Park. Built in 1992 on the former site of a prison, the park commemorated the 60th birthday of Queen Sirikit. I am surely not an early bird. To my astonishment the park was very lively with people doing all sorts of exercise.
As I continued my peregrination, I entered the premises of Wat Suthat, a first-class royal temple. The construction of this Buddhist temple began in 1807 during the reign of King Rama I and took 40 years to complete. The Buddha statue in the Royal Vihara with the name Phra Sri Sakyamuni is one of the largest Buddha images cast in bronze in Thailand. It is 8 meters tall and originates from Wat Mahathat in Sukhothai.
Unfortunately, at the time of my visit the Royal Vihara was under renovation. But luckily, I could admire the ubosot or ordination hall next door. It is considered one of the most beautiful in the country and houses another important Buddha image, Phra Buddha Trilokachet.
Before the fatigue finally set in, I decided to finish my trip at Wat Saket or the Golden Mount. It is an artificial hill and features a large golden stupa on the top containing a relic of the Buddha. I walked up the 318 stairs and enjoyed the panoramic view of Bangkok as the sun was rising on the horizon. It was literally the climax of my early morning trip.