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Bangkok!

THAILAND | Friday, 18 December 2009 | Views [889] | Comments [1]

Me & Phil got a chance to catch up with each other in Bangkok! It’s really truly waaaay better to travel with him than on my own. I did enjoy my lone travel experiences, but having someone to hang out with and enjoy the sights with makes a great place and experiences even better. I have someone to talk with, eat dinner with, take pics, research places to stay, etc. etc. etc. I’m stoked and grateful he’s here.

We stayed in a really nice hotel called the IMM Fusion, in the Sukhumvit area. It’s supposed to be the trendy nice bar/ restaurant area that’s not as touristy as Khao San road, but it’s a ways out there. Which was fine cuz we got 1 day unlimited Sky Train passes and milked them to see most of the city in a day. Which is do-able. We checked out a plant market, hit up a park in the city, which was a nice oasis. Well kept, and not many people trying to sell us stuff. Which seems to be the general theme of Asia. They even had exercise equipment. As is sit up machines, free weights, stair steppers and arm exercisers! We got to check out a really cool mall with all kinds of amazing window displays. It puts Macy’s Xmas display in NYC to shame.

We hit up a temple that was locals only and enjoyed it compared to the main ones which have tourists swarming, taking pictures of everything and talking loud. And it was just as nice. I think I was shocked by one girl’s comment (before I left Honolulu) that temples get boring. You see a few, and you’ve seen them all… but after like 10 temples, I have to agree. We met a local on the street of Bangkok, who stopped us and wanted to point out on a map where ALL the Buddha’s in Bangkok are… It took him 5 minutes, and we had to yank our map out of his hands and kind of run away b/c he just kept going on and on…. The crap thing about the big temples, such as the Emerald Buddha temple are that they charge money to enter. Like $12 US each - to see a temple. Seemed like a rip-off, so we didn’t go in. After lurking around the vicinity for 3 hours for the time it was open. But locals are free, lol!

I ate a fried maggot. Phil ate one too. Only he dropped his on the street but I give him props forever for this, because he picked it up and ate it anyway. A fried maggot from the ground of Bangkok! We did this at the King’s 82nd birthday celebration. A big affair that messed up Bangkok traffic for a week. Yellow sashes, pictures, street food, public department displays, live music, beauty queens and fireworks. Covering a huge area of the city. We ate some good street food besides the maggots. BBQ on sticks, banana pancakes (rotee made to order, hot and yummy!), spring rolls and Pad Thai. Street food in Thailand is amazing. Better taste and value than most restaurants.

Bangkok was cool for a few days, but we decided to move to a hotel in the khao San road backpacker’s district. Seems like a rite of passage for travellers to Thailand, but we both hated it. It’s crowded, expensive and the worst thing is that everyone is trying to sell you something from every crevice. Hill tribe people from Chiang Mai come to Bangkok to sell jewelry, and these wooden croaking frog things. The sound they make is almost like the song you hear in the movie, Jaws, when you know the shark is approaching…. Croak- croak-… buy- buy!

We did find a good value at the Four Sons Inn, 1 street over from Khao San road. 450 Baht for a room with a/c, cable, lock box in our room, clean, private bathroom, and nice staff. Definitely recommend!

The Tuk Tuk drivers make me so mad. I know each and every cab and tuk tuk is a crook. They try to negotiate a high fare in advance, b/c if you run the meter, its very cheap. They ask you the same thing- “Where are you from? Where are you going????” Relentless. And no matter how great of a deal it seems, they always are ripping you off somehow. A common scheme: They offer to give you a tour of anywhere you want to go in Bangkok, for a whole day, they wait for you to see the sight, then they drive you to the next one. And the next. For like 20 Baht, or less than $1 US. For hours and hours to have your personal driver. BUT, they always include a few stops at travel agencies, for you to arrange your tours, and places and trips within Thailand. The travel agents charge at least 2-3 times (or more!) than what you would pay if you bought the train tickets, or tours directly. And the tuk tuk that seems like a good deal gets a cut. They get paid from the travel agency whether you buy anything or not. I called the travel agent out on trying to overcharge us for train tickets. I researched it online the day before and knew a sleeper car to Chiang Mai should be about 700 Baht. He wanted 1300 baht per ticket. When I told him he was a rip off, he got SO mad at me. He told me to prove it was cheaper, b/c his deals were the BEST! So I pulled it up online via the Thai Railways website. And made him call the office. The office confirmed what I said, and his nice big smile went away and he yelled at me, and disappeared in the back of the store. Lol. Yes, rule numero uno, never trust a Tuk Tuk (aka Crook Crook) or a cab driver. Anywhere in the world seems to be the theme!

Tags: bangkok, cab, hotel, khao san road, market, scheme, street food, temple, tuk tuk

Comments

1

Did you go to JJ Market?? (I think it's called Chatuchak) It's at the end of the sky train line and NUTS! Animals, food, furniture, etc...you have to check it out! If you go to Phuket, beware...the Tuk-Tuk drivers there are even worse!! And you should milk the cheap massages...it's cheaper than CHINA! (and better!). Aaaah I wish I was there with you!!

  Rar Dec 21, 2009 1:49 AM

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