Day 3. Chatachuk Markets – Bangkok Bell Market Collapses!

Its a slow start to the day, we arise at a more civilised hour. Its hot and sticky again, a real Asian tropical wet season day, a little sun, clouds and that smell that goes with rotting veggies and moist air and the sewer. What did General George Patton say, something like this “a good plan today is better than a perfect plan next week”

We had a good plan for today BUT, it doesn’t start well. We’re ready to rock n roll at 8.30 or therabouts and walk up to Phanfa Bridge ferry station, it looks awefully quiet, no boats, no girls in blue shirts and pink platform sandals, what the ….. is going on? A walk back to the street which is quiet, Dale makes a purchase at a 7-11 store and finds out the ferries have a holiday on Sundays. There’s a lonely bloke out the front of the 7-11 sitting in his tuk tuk smoking a bad looking rolly cigarette (could be a joint?), I ask how much to MBK, he says 150 baht, I say 100 baht, he says ok, so we jump in and off we go. We belt through the traffic and in no time we’re at the MBK Centre, BUT we can’t go in, its locked until opening at 10am, so we trek down the outside of the building and find a side door into Maccas, negotiate the magic screen (we are really good at this now), a wholesome breakfast of pancakes and really good coffee. We revert to Plan B and decide to head out to Chatachuk Market and get the sim cards later. So much for plans, although we don’t go too badly.

We cross the big road via the overpass into Siam Square, heading for Siam Skytrain station and find this guy sidling up to us, the standard old question “where you from?” ,our answer is “Australia mate” , he says he works in a bank and spent some time in Sydney and is on his day off today and asks what are we doing, we say ” going to Chatachuk Markets”, he says they are shut and only open after lunch and we should go to a souvenier shop he can reccomend, I say “oh yea?” and give a nod to Dale, he catches on (I think) that we know he’s a bullshitting tout and he disappears into the crowd. He ain’t no banker, hes a wanker.

Anyway we carry on to Siam Station, get the 140 baht ($5) BTS Skytrain Day Pass, and after a little analysis and hesitating we’re on the Skytrain to Chatuchuk Markets. Its about 12,000 stalls, that sell almost everything, clothes, furniture, kitchen gear, rabbits, snakes, and bells, you name it its probably there. TMM finds a bell stall, true its a shop just selling bells, big ones and small ones, normal ones and strange ones. He finds one he likes and negotiates, price starts at 2500 baht, there is no movement and we leave, there is no purchase. So after he’s procured a few items like the famous old Poo Pants for the home front, we’ve seen the snakes and other stuff and we find the way out via Section 6 Aisle 59 ( its still written on my hand) and he decides to try and find the bell stall, I think to myself “he’s f….g joking?” Well no hes not, so we go back to try and find the stall, we’re about to leave and he finds the stall. Negotiations recommence and after hes beaten them down to 1200 baht he finds himself the owner of a 1kg + bell with an elephant on it. There are inferences that I’ll carry it home for him but thats got as many legs as the idea that I’d carry taser parts back from Thailand for his brother years ago. The air conditioned Skytrain back to Siam is soooo very nice.

At MBK we find our stall and get the Thailand True Move sim cards fitted by the lady who ownes the shop, 799 baht ($33) gets us unlimited calls and data for 1 month, we test the phones with her and all works perfectly, they should also work in Laos, but we’ll see. A little more shopping, a call home via Facetime on our new Thai numbers, then its on the Sky Train on the Silom Line out to Saphin Taksin where there is a ferry station. we catch a ferr down the Chao Praya River, past the barges, Wat Arun, the Royal Palace to a pier not far from where we are staying.

There is a bar at the pier so we pull in for a beer, then find a tuk tuk back to the hotel for 2 hours rest.

Dinner is back at a street behind Khao San Road, less noise more civilised. The night is dripping humidity so we sit under cover in a bit more up market place tonight.

Its been a long day so caio from Pauolo for now.


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