Thailand-Travelogue :Marc & Nora ROUND THE WORLD 2005/2006 - Join us!
ARRIVAL IN BANGKOK
Anyway we arrived safely in Bangkok and then had to endure the chaos of the rush hour traffic for 2 hours taking the airport shuttle bus to Khao San rd...traffic here is crazy! Arrived on Khao san in the pouring rain but quickly found a bed for the night in a 280BHT/night (approx. £4) guest house (Name: Budget Guesthouse, Khao San Rd)...its a little exhuberent I know but Nora insists on such luxuries from time to time
After our first sweaty night in a fan "cooled" room we headed off on a trip to the floating market at 'Damnoen Saduak' which is a couple of hours bus ride (60BHT or £0.90) outside of Bangkok. Altough relatively unknown compared to the floating market in Bangkok it was worth the trip!! They do try and sell you some real shite but go just to see the food on offer if nothing else! Canal boats filled to the brim with the most colourful, exotic, mostly unidentifiable, fruit you can imagine. Other boats, they are actually more like large conoes/kayaks than boats, have got guys cooking enormous vats of soup bubbling away, grilling meat on bbqs and women frying chilli so strong that your eyes almost bleed and you can't take a breath! Go there...experience it...you'll love...well maybe not the evil chilli!
Quick Tip: If you are ever in Bangkok and want to travel to the floatig market you can take the Number 78 bus from Bangkok Southern Bus Station, 10 mins in 'Tuk Tuk' or 'Taxi Meter' from Khao San Rd. On arrival at the bus drop off point at 'Damnoen Saduak' you will see blue arches advertising "Floating Market" crossing the street for about a km. Do not be tempted by the guys trying to sell you boat tours for 500BHT each but simply walk for about 400 metres along the steret, underneath the arches, and you will arrive at the market. If you want to take a little boat tour from there you can do so for about 100BHT and if not you can easily just walk along the pavement (sidewalk) alongside the canals.
Dave & Louise arrived today, small place this Bangkok, so we met up for a beer and a bite to eat. We made plans to visit the bridge over the river Kwai the next day and said goodnight. Oh yeah but not before sampling the Thai version of an english 'kebab after a few beers' which was actually deep fried insects such as cockroach, grasshoppers, worms and other such delights! Even Dave ate some and he's a veggie! Nora got in on the act after she was convinced by a random Hungarian...
If any of you know Khao San rd then you will know how much of a nightmare it is to get a bloody tuk tuk or taxi that just doesn't want to rip you off. Well we found a guy who on initial price negotiations seemed to be an ok guy....ooooh how wrong we were. "40BHT" to the bus station we said. "No pom pom" he replied (No problem)! 20 mins later we are passing through a motorway toll booth on the way to Pattaya. STOOOOOOOOOP!!!! OK so we don't speak Thai but I don't believe that in any language the words "Bus Station" could be interpreted as "A town which is about 3 hrs and a 1500BHt (£20) taxi ride away". We gave the guy the bad news that we weren't happy with his choice of destination today and he wasn't too pleased. In fact all of a sudden he could speak very good English..."F**k You...F**k off"...welcome to Bangkok! Now, to change direction in the Bangkok traffic system takes forever so by the time he had turned around and got us back into a relatively central spot in town we had wasted 1hr30mins. It was supposed to be 10mins to the bus station. Feeling a little deflated after that disaster we decided not to try again that day and instead agreed on taking in few of the Bangkok sights.
After a couple of short but very pleasant ferry rides along and across the River "Chao Phya" we visited "Wat Arun" (Temple of Dawn) which sits on the west bank of the river. Really beautiful temple dating from the 16th century. The guide book mentioned that to climb the steps leading all the way up to the highest level of the temple was a real killer and in fact they almost were as when we got there they were no longer accessible to the public as some American Tourist had fallen backwards all the way down some time earlier this year...ouch!
We then headed on through the hectic streets of Bangkok to the "Thai National Museum of History". For about 60p entrance fee there was quite a lot to see and the sanctuary of the aircondioned building was very welcome!
|Start of journey:||Sep 12, 2005|
|End of journey:||Jul 31, 2006|
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