The land of a thousand liars
10.08.2010 - 13.08.2010
Our journey from Ko Tao to Bangkok was a very long one. We didn't arrive in Bangkok untill 8pm. We took a combined ferry+bus ticket which cost us 1000Bhat each. The bus was ok by asian standards.
We arrived at the end of Khao San Road and walked towards Soi Rambuttri where a friend had recommended Happy House Guest House. Nice rooms with AC and hot showers. we were just glad to dump our stuff, and we headed out to explore.
We had some beers, sampled some hawker stalls then went home to sleep like babies.
Next day was temple-tastic. We encountered our first bunch of liars though. Locals full of tales that its a buddhist holiday and the temples are only open for one day. To add to our problems, there was the Thai Fashion scam where tuk tuk drivers were trying to get us to go buy armani suits so they could get a free coupon which was worth 200Bhat (about 4quid...) which made every tuk tuk expensive by normal standards. We see the lucky buddha...but not up close cause a local talked to us for so long that the monks then closed the temple for prayers :/
Then we seen the standing buddha which was massive. 35m tall!
We then went to the Golden Mount and this time we walked when some honest soul told us it was only down the road...a refreshing change! From here we enjoyed a view of Bangkok - it's not the best skyline but still!
Next we went to Siam Square and enjoyed the cool air conditioned malls. We went to an all-you-can-eat noodle buffet for 60bhat which turns out was far too spicy for our western tongues.
We then hopped on the sky train and metro to get to Hua Lumphong Train station with the hope of exploring China Town but then decided we couldn't be bothered after what had been a long day already, so got in a tuk-tuk back to our guest house.
We spent the evening sampling beer on Khao San and Rambuttri and snacking from hawker stalls.
Day two in Bangkok resulted in a trip to the royal palace which coincided with the Queens Birthday. If we thought the day before was bad for liars, we were in for a treat :/
Tuk-tuk dropped us off at a park where all the locals were flocking to wait for the celebrations later that evening. There were stalls offering free food, drink, haircuts and I imagine much more if only we knew what the signs said! We walked towards the Palace where we were told by several official looking guys that we couldn't go to the palace until 2pm because it was on Thai people. This infact turned out to be utter nonsense, tourists have to go in the tourist gate because foreigners pays, thai people get free entry to the palace. Free sarongs and trousers are provided for those in shorts. Entrance fee also includes the temple of the Emerald Buddah which was a group of colourful temples, and lots of other buddahs. Once we escaped the palace we went to see the reclining buddha - and my favourite buddha of the trip. 45m long, this chilled out golden buddha was impressive.
We hoped on the river boat towards guest house which was an experience in itselfs. Too many locals shouting at us to get out of the way, and confused tourists not knowing what was going on...stick to the tourist boat I think.
Next day was a disastor - I was struck down with a stomach bug. We went to do some shopping on Khao San in the morning and spent most of the afternoon indoors. Tried to go out for a drink around 4pm, but I couldnt bear it so back to bed for me Cal spent a lonely evening on Khao San eating dinner for one.
There were good and bad points about Bangkok. We loved the eating and drinking on Khao San but we lost patience with locals trying to rip us off, and point us in the wrong direction. We spent the right amount of time, any longer and we would have went mad. The temples are wonderful, but beware of those telling you its thai only or that it's closed for the day - it never is!