Busy week but what did I do?
Jan 21, 2013
Apr 05, 2013
Where I stayed
ballys studio suites
What I did
more of Bangkok than I expected on Bus 511 and Bus 79, Chinese New Year celebrations
I also had a dentist appt as a tooth was giving me trouble, and I had a check up, cleaning and a small filling (no freezing) fo 2000 baht (approx $66) so I figure I can come over every year for dental treatment. Very efficient all this took 45 minutes, speak English, look at the bios online and most have super graduate degrees from both Thailand and either US or England, hold administrative Chairs etc. and look 22 years old of course.
Anyway I met up wtih Kim and friends a couple of times this week, which was great. Went to see Les Mis for 100 baht on Wed. as that the 100 baht day, $3 for a 3 hour movie. I thought it was well done. Lots of Chinese New Year preparation going on in Bangkok, as they get a lot of Chinese tourists (more and more now) and a sizable number of there popn has Chinese roots. Especially when I was on the bus, I saw many of the malls with big signs in front saying Happy New YEar and at Terminal 21 mall, I watched a performance of Chinese dancers. I find it funny that the background big posters say Happy Chinese New Year, with the dates etc. all in English. Yet the MCs were Thai, spoke in Thai, and the dancers were obviously Chinese...... lots of signs and posters have bits of English in them like, One Time Only, Sale , Rent etc.
anway I decided to go to Singapore instead of Hua Hin as it seemed easier to book and get to airport for 2.25 hour flight than to figure out how to get to Hua Hin. So on Sat. took Tiger Air to Singapore and here I am, but more on that in a later post.
Oh yeah, Canada in the news every so often 1) the demise of the penny was on BBC new and in the Bangkok Post! 2) Mark Carney's presentation to the Bank of England was featured on BBC, 3) Richard III's Canadian relative, Mr. Ibsen, who provided DNA sample to prove the body of IIIs which was dug up in an England carpark, was actually his, 4) Justin Bieber's name/face seen every so often and here in Singapore I heard on radio that they are shocked he is not nominated for a Grammy this year. 5) Celine Dion's name as I think she is performing at an opening ceremony and I cannot remember where or when. 6) on BBC weather, 'Winnipeg is -25" was given as the epitome of cold weather in North American the other day! Anyway I am actually surprised at the amount of Canadian news or reference I hear, more than any other trip I have taken for whatever reason. So I better wrap this up, so much time between posts as I know I will spend so much time compos(ting)!
Well, I thought about going to Hua Hin to the beach for a couple of days as a break from Bangkok before I head to see my cousin Barry and his wife Lek in Chiang Mai on Feb. 18 to 20. Anyway my friend Kim suggested i take a bus to Hua Hin from Sai Tai Mai (Southern Bus Station). I looked at taking the train as well, but it has a bad rep due to delays enroute. So as I had 'time' I thought I would take the city bus to Sai Tai Mai, as no BTS or Chao Praya ferry is close to it. I had a bus map but you can imagine how they try to condense all the bus routes, plus the Khlong (river boat), ferry, BTS, Metro and railway stations (you get the picture). So everything tiny print but upon verifying on internet, Bus 511 looked like the one to take. So I found a stop along Sukhumvit, the major street from my hotel, and I asked the conductor who gives you a ticket upon the distance you go, if it goes to Sai Tai Mai. She didn't speak much English but from her hand gestures, i thought it seemed like a mixed answer. I was confused because the bus clearly said 511, but I couldn't figure out what it said in the stops, as they are listed in Thai on the outside the bus, naturally. So I showed her my bus map, she went to get her glasses out of her purse (see it was tiny print!) and again, she nodded her head and shook it at the same time, which i thought 'now what does that mean?" but finally it seemed ok I was on the bus, and I understood I would have to change somewhere and she would let me know. Well after at least an hour and a half of traffic, traffic jams, etc. stopping and starting, she motioned I needed to get off. and take '511' to Sai Tai Mai. Well as I was on bus 511 already I was VERY confused! But I asked her if I wanted to go back what bus would I take, she said what I thought to be 39 across the street, but she had the mouth mask on that people there do if they have a cold OR if they cannot stand the gas fumes, pollution etc. I got off, looked around, at nothing but market stalls, car dealerships, a big outdoor market which I went through with whole bbqd fish for 25 baht (80 cents) and racks of T shirts with American slogans and which I recognize as Goodwill type from North American which are shipped for resale. Anyway I thought there is no way I am waiting for Bus 511 for several reasons. A couple are, I didn't know when it would come, how far the station was, and how to do the reverse trip back downtown.... and how long the trip would be if this, as early afternoon, would be quite different from 'rush hour' which I was now entering. > So instead of trying to continue, I went across the street and waited for bus 39. Well lots of buses came, none close to bus 39 . Lots of buses stopping were bus 511 but I remember she said take 39 so I didn't get on those. But finally I got so fed up with waiting, I got on the next 511 and it was the same driver and conductor, and this time she had her mask off and I hardly recognized her but she recognized me! And she said "I told you bus 79!" I said I thought you said 39 and anyway none were coming so I gave up. She said no 79, 79! So I got off, thinking what are the chances I would get on the same bus going the other way, but obviously they did a loop somewhere. so finally a gentleman asked me where I wanted to go, and I have been told always say 'MBK' Mahboonkoon shopping mall and which is a major transit point downtown and close to Siam BTS. So I told him, and he asked the others waiting and one lady said she thought it was 66 as she was going there too. So it was decided I would get on the same bus she did. So I did, and I got to MBK after a FULL TWO HOURS! and this is what people do. So I saw a lot of the city that one doesn't see on the BTS as people taking it have money and either work shop or go to school downtown plus tons of tourists. It is way more packed than I remember and I found out they have added more stations along the way but not necessarily any more train cars.
My Review Of The Place I Stayed