Bangkok bargains

Trip Start Oct 15, 2013
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24
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Trip End Apr 15, 2014


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Flag of Thailand  , Bangkok,
Monday, December 16, 2013

We have made it to Bangkok, the flight over here was fine, the seats were a bit uncomfortable which is not ideal on a 10 hour flight, but they did have TV's in the seat informs and they had Despicable Me 2, so I was a happy bunny. Thailand is 7 hours ahead, and seeings as we were still pretty much on South America time still, it was a 15 hour difference- hello jet lag!

When we got to Bangkok we stated looking for a way to get to our hostel, an official looking guy noticed and informed us that we should get a taxi through him and it would be 1500 bhatt, which is about £30! Not on your nelly sunshine, we are on a budget, we looked around, and it turns out, if you go down an escalators, you can get in for 400 bhatt, job done- this is seems is the way our Asian trip is going to be, but I love to haggle, I negotiate for a living so it's all fun and games for me. We got to our hostel with no problems, had a little look round and had some safe looking food and hit the hay. We slept well until 2am, when our body clock told it was time to be awake and there was nothing we could do about it- ergh! We phaffed about for a couple of hours, and then our bodies realised they had only gotten 2 hours sleep and decided that they were tired at 10am, so we got a couple of hours sleep- in the middle of the day- great! When we final shook a leg, we had some breakfast and headed to a park nearby, and went to see the sights on the way. I actually quite like Bangkok, I won't be moving here anytime soon, but there is a lot going on, and it's quite fun to see everything that goes on. The streets are quite busy, and everywhere you go there are street food venders, which I would have loved to try, but most of meaty things, and I would be nervous about getting sick- these things really are best left to the locals. When we got to the park, it was a nice contrast to the hustle and bustle of the streets, it was large open green areas with a lake in the middle and flower beds scattered everywhere. People where asleep under trees, which we saw a lot in South America, so I think it's a hot country thing, but I could get on board with it, a love an outdoor snooze, especially when it's hot, and it was hot hot hot! We walked round for a bit, and thought that it would only be polite for us to have a go on the swan boats, which was really fun. It was really easy to pedal (yes I did pedal and didn't just leave it up to Nath) and you would go under bridges and up to water fountains in the middle of the lake. We saw quite a lot of animals too, including a couple of turtles, some birds and this massive lizard/dragon thing, which I now check under my bed for, just in case, because you can imagine the headlines 'Fabulous tourist gets eat by dragon in Asia- sucks to be her!' Anyway,that was fun, then we looked round a shopping centre, and had some food. That night, we went to the night market, which was a 10 minute walk from our hostel on a mission to get some sunglasses and a small handbag (for me, not Nath) and I had my game face on. Luckily most people know basic English, which is more than we know in Thai at the moment, and got two pairs of glasses for 400 bhat (they wanted 450B for one) and a handbag for 600B (they wanted 1800B). Nothing has prices on it here, because when they see you are foreigner they double the price (sweeping statement) but everyone knows the game and if they don't think you are offering a fair price, they will just say no. Anything you want- they sell it, watches, bags, electrical goods, clothes- some things look so close to the real thing you would never know it wasn't real, well, it was 'Thailand real' anyway. Bangkok will be our final stop before coming home, so if you see me with all my new bling and designer hang bags, I haven't gone credit card crazy, just rip off mental.

The next day we did a tour to see the old part of Bangkok, something I didn't know before getting here was that Bangkok used to be like Venice (minus the pasta and incredible ice cream) so we were on a longboat for the tour. We had an English speaking guide, but I couldn't understand a word he was saying because of his thick accent, which I hadn't gotten used to yet. We visited a couple of temples, an orchard farm and a really nice art house. Again, we saw those lizard things, but this time they were living on a river and not on a lake so they were bloody huge! The first we saw, I would say, was bigger than me! Eeep! We stopped off for lunch in the harbour market, which was noodle broth- Nath's least favourite thing to eat apart from celery and then we went to the Grand Palace. As it is a place of worship, we had to dress respectfully, which means shoulders and legs covered and a lot of places didn't allow shoes. We thought we had dressed respectfully, but Nath had to cover his legs as he was in shorts, you can hire cover ups from venders outside (a very nice man came up to me and let me know you can borrow them from the temple for free) but Nath was already in some very jazzy hareem pants he has hired for 30 bhat. We were given a guided tour, but as I couldn't understand him, all I can tell you is that it's something to do with the royals, the emerald Buddha and there is a really long story painted round the outside. The temple was very impressive, it's good, glittery and garish- so it was right up my street! After that, we went to the biggest reclaiming Buddha which is 170 feet (I think) long, which means it's massive! It's gold in colour and they have put it in a small temple, just big enough to house it, so it reminded me on Alice in Wonderland when she are the biscuit to get bigger and was too big for the house.

After that, we went back to our hostel and then to the night market again, then off for an early night as we are flying in the morning to get to Koh Samui for a holiday (the ultimate first world problem 'traveling is hard work! I think I need a holiday, you know! just to get away from it all and have a break')

Thought of the day- something I have really noticed is that ladies try and make their faces more pale, so use makeup a couple of shades lighter than their face so you can see the tide mark, it looks like they fell in flour. This makes me laugh as girls from home try and paint their faces a couple of shades darker and it makes them look like they have been rolled in Watsits (other cheese flavoured wheat puffs available)
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