" No bus or Train for you! All full today!

Trip Start Jan 25, 2011
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Trip End Feb 21, 2011


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Where I stayed

Flag of Thailand  ,
Friday, January 28, 2011

I had an extra day in Bangkok because believe it or not, I am not the only one here that wants to travel down south and visit some of the gorgeous islands of Thailand. Trains...Full! Bus...Full! I had purchased my back up plan plane ticket to Phuket just in case this very thing happened. So maybe winging it isn't always the best plan in high season. We all may be going different places, but we all have to have a way to get there, and there are only limited ways in making the journey
.So tomorrow morning I will fly to Phuket and take a 5-10 hour bus ride...( ha,,,I'm hoping for the 5 hour, but for all of you that have traveled in foreign countries the time quoted for bus rides is usually largely misquoted..! Then overnight at the town of Ranong, on the border of Burma, and then take a morning ferry to my first Island of my trip, Little Ko Chang. Border towns are interesting experiences to say the least,,,so I'm sure there will be more on that later!
So on my extra day here to avoid shopping for more Hippie clothes that I just cant live without, I took the river ferry down to China town to check it out. Its a place here in Bangkok that I hadn't made it to yet. I forgot my guide book back in my room, so I was winging it again today and just followed the crowd as we headed off the boat...who I am kidding, there was only 4 of us, so I had to walk fast! And for all of you that know me, that isn't an easy task for me ! I am one of those stop and smell the roses kind of people as I guide thru  life, so you have to let me know to step it up a notch if we are in a hurry .

Chinatown is Huge here! Of course it is, its in the middle of a populated Asian country. They're was a lot of stalls selling lots of cheap crap, but I wanted to see the good stuff,,,the interesting and ever fascinating food that is on display. I saw a lot of food...huge bags of fried skin, ( yuck! think it was pig skin?)  lots of dried fish, and fresh fish too, as I waded thru lots of fish guts in the back stalls of the wet market. I usually never take home the flip flops that come with me...if those shoes could tell a story of some of the gross things that they step into! Don't even get me started on some of the toilet situations they've been in ! Lol,,okay I'll stop :)
I only ate some fried coconut puff things,,that reminded me of some incredible coconut patties that my friend Johanna and I had in Pai. I'm still laughing thinking back on how hard Johanna tried to get that recipe from that lady on the street,,,she was not giving it up :)
So as my second day of Bangkok comes to a close there a few things that I can never forget about this fascinating city...

-The beds are ridiculously hard..the first few nights you are so tired it doesn't matter, after that its  all about the Thai massage,,,they actually rub your butt in part of it, I think that's to apologize in a way for the hard sleeping arrangements.
-There's a lot of French people that travel here. And they smoke...ALOT. and they re pretty much allowed to do it everywhere...don't get me wrong, I love the French, and Paris too, but I wish they weren't so found of their cigarettes.
-traveling alone does not come in handy when trying to put suntan lotion on your back, in areas you just can reach...I discovered again today on my ferry ride when my back had some spots that got a little too much sun.
-bring lots of patience...Thai people are really the sweetest...and if you come across one that seems a little grumpy, take in mind how many idiot tourists they have to deal with on a daily basis that are trying to bargain down less than a dollar on something that is so ridiculously cheap enough in price to begin with. And they work soooo many long hours, for basically nothing! I was purchasing a shirt last night and my sales girl seemed very uninterested, I asked her how her day was and she said " I'm so Angry.." I knew that couldn't of been what she really meant to say ( a lot only speak very limited English) and she put her head into her hands and closed her eyes. Oh, I said your tired! " Yes, she said, Ive been working for 24 hours...." Poor thing.
So I didn't even think of trying to bargain down that shirt.

And for the whole tipping thing...a lot of you may not agree that tipping is a good idea , its not necessary or expected in most Foreign countries. Well my thoughts are if you have a little to give, then give,like  when it comes to a service given like a massage. They do not have tip cups out here at the coffee shops like back home. These people make so little, the average salary is 150-200 baht a day ( yes that is $5-$6 a day) so giving a little  extra when they've done something nice for you is really what makes the world go round, and sharing is what life is about.Never forget how fortunate most of us are. Don't worry it wont throw off the balance of the world :)
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Comments

trolleydolly22@aol.com on

I am craving those coconut patties.....im jealous, looks like you are in your element. Cant wait for the next entry:)

Sarah on

Dried skin and fish heads? Yuck! And I think your flip flops should be thrown away now! Ew! Don't buy too many "hippie clothes", your backpack is already too full! Your pictures are great as always. You definitely have a talent for photography and descriptions. And working 24 hours straight...makes me feel like I shouldn't use the words, "I'm tired," as often as I do. Miss you and love you!

howdiggity
howdiggity on

I am getting even more amped for my trip as I read about your time there. This might be cheating, but I take notes on where to stay, how to travel, and where to go when I read your entries. So thank you! You do have me worried about getting down to Phuket. I'm trying to decide if I should buy a flight now or wait til I get there. I will take a train on the way back up since my time, overall, will be limited. Can't wait for your next blog.

Howard

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