BANGKOK - THAILAND
Trip Start Dec 03, 2008
73Trip End Oct 14, 2009
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An hour and a half later we got on a local bus heading in the right direction towards our hotel (we did get off at the right stop). Two minutes after we left the station, the driver told us we were on the wrong bus so he pulled over and we got off - and got on another. After all that and a long walk with our bags we finally made it to the hotel. Susan and Mike put so up at the Courtyard - thank God.
Bangkok is everything I remember it to be (I was here 5 years ago with the Longo's). It seemed sooo much cleaner than before, but I don't know if it actually is or if its that we have now been to multiple world cities and it just seems cleaner than the others. We wondered around that morning looking for breakfast but the only thing that was open was the 100's of food stands along the sidewalks. Fair enough, but we just weren't in the mood for spicy fish at 8am. Hate to say it, but we found a McDonald's. The rest of the day was spent swimming, sleeping, and walking around our neighborhood. That night we checked out the Night Bazaar which was cool. They have a huge stage that people sign up to sing on for the crowd. Like karaoke - some even had back-up dancers. Pretty sweet.
Our time in Bangkok included a lot of shopping - after all, that's what it's known for
While in Bangkok you have to go see some Buddas, so we spent one day doing just that. We took a ferry boat up the river to the Grand Palace. We couldn't figure out how to get inside. The entire thing is gated off and we couldn't find the entrance. Duh. So meanwhile, we could get into to see the Reclining Budda - a Wat (or temple) across the street. We saw everything in that Wat and realized we didn't need to pay 8 times the amount to see the Grand Palace - which is 8 times the size as well. Plus it was super hot and humid. So we were standing outside the Wats deciding where to go and guy and guy was coming up to us and trying to sell us on a tour in his rickshaw (truck thing). We read about these scams in the guidebook. You pay and get in, then they stop the rickshaw and say you have to pay them more money to keep going and then they take you to a shop and won't leave until you buy something. So they kept coming up to us we kept turning around and trying to not talk to them. Didn't want to be rude but they were the scampers. One guy even said "F*** YOU!" Kind of funny because he probably couldn't say anything else in English. We used our feet and saw a lot of things that day - famous monuments and stuff
The highlight of our day out was when I was interviewed by a group of school kids. Every continent we have been on, I have now been interviewed on camera by someone! First in Chile on the beach, then in Oz on the beach and now in Asia in a Wat. Of course it was fun - they just asked me questions about what I thought of Thailand. They spoke very bad English so they had a poster board up with the questions on it - thank God, or I would have sat there just shaking my head and saying "What?"
Also in Bangkok I had to take Brian back to the Emporium. This is where the Longo's lived for the 5 years they were in Bangkok. It is also a huge shopping mall with some good stores. It was fun to see it again and eat there. After going there, we had to walk down Soi Cowboy street. This is the famous red-light district where all the prostitutes hang out. Actually a lot of families go there to see it. The street was just bar after bar of girls sitting outside trying to get Western men inside. They dance for them and get tips and who knows what else...
The day we left we went to Fed Ex to ship a box home. Turns out the box got stuck in Alaska because they couldn't let it in because it had medication in it
We lucked out and got tickets to leave Bangkok 2 minutes before the bus left. We took the 2 hour drive to the city of Pattaya...the original prostitution capital of Thailand. Of course, it was started by American solders in WWII and the home of our meditation retreat. Opposites attract.