- Some Observations On Thailand and Bangkok in Particular;
- Its HOT this time of the year, we knew it was going to be hot but it has caught us by surprise how f….g hot and humid it is.
- Bangkok isn’t that busy, in places like Siam its busy but not as usual, the old town area is pretty quiet.
- Lot of people travelling, families with children, but not many Aussie accents, plenty of English, German, Scandinavian accents though
- Its pleasant on the river cruising past the barges and long tail boats.
- Its easy to orient yourself BUT it takes a few days to get the hang of travel via the klongs (ferry), the road via tuk tuks (negotiate a price before you hop in & no shopping centres jewellery places etc), the BTS Skytrain 140 baht for a day pass (cheap airconditioned travel), the river – local ferry or tourist ferry at 150 baht hop on hop off is good value)
- The klong ferries are a hoot, well worth the anxiety that you have no idea where you are going nor where you’ve arrived at.
Now today was going to be an easy day. But first thing is that its Genelle’s (aka The Navigator) birthday – so after breakfast at our favourite Maccas and a walk via the local markets on our way to the Phra Atchit Ferry Station to get on a hop on hop off ferry, I call her from the ferry on the Chao Praya River.
Another observation, TMM (remember him) seems like he’s transformed into a shopper for girls stuff, he’s forever checking out jewellery, poo pants, dresses, hand bags, shoulda brought The Navigator. Any way enough of that, he’s got the pricing sorted, seems to know what he wants and has the patience and smarts to say that he’ll wait until we get back to Phuket to do his shopping but I know he’s purchased various items that he’s been under instructions to buy. Lets see how much girl stuff he can stuff into that stonking great bell he bought, maybe he’s buying stuff to protect the bell?
We do a full lap on the ferry, all the way up to Saphin Taksin Skytrain Station or Sathorn Pier I think it is and back then proceed back again but stopping at the Icon Siam shopping centre. This place is as upmarket as you get, the shops are Bulgari, Versace etc and expensive food. Unfortunately lunch was Korean (in Thailand ????) we ordered too much and it cost us $20 each, highway robbery in Bangkok, the dearest food I’ll be buying in the 4 weeks I’m away by a long shot, still TMM actually ate Asian food, thats a win.
Its been very pleasant sitting on the boat, with a breeze in your face. We head back to Wat Arun, an old temple on the western side of the river, Dale is on the phone to Cliff and Jenny while I’ve been accosted by an over judicious gate keeper wanting the 100 baht entrance fee, I said I wasnt going in and just was looking at it from the outside, he said you can’t, you have to leave. I’m not sure what planet hes from but I can’t unsee it just because I’m being told to leave, there are f..wits in every country. But Dale finishes his phone call and decides to pay the money and go in, as a matter of principal I don’t go and sit 2 metres from where I was accosted by the gatekeeper and look at Wat Arun as much as I like (I have been there before years ago, didnt need to see it again anyway).
The ferry drops us back at Phra Athit pier and we walk through the Bang Lamphu area towards Khao San Road and in particular Rambuttri Alley where there are a lot of nice restaurants and no doof doof music you get in Khao San Road. A few beers at a quiet bar with crappy service from gum chewing, mini skirt wearing waitresses, Dale goes shopping for girls stuff and I get a massage, my back has been killing me. Walking and standing on concrete has knotted the right side, the masseuse pops and grinds the knotted area and it now seems ok.
Tomorrow we are leaving at 9am going to Damnoen Floating Market out of Bangkok and the markets where the trains come right through the middle of the market. Looking forward to that. Tomorrow night at 6 we meet the Intrepid Tour Leader and whoever else is in the group we’re travelling with.
Cheers for the day, ciao Pauolo.