introducing Bangkok

Posted from Bangkok, Bangkok, Thailand.

Somehow my first day in Bangkok consisted of riding the subway four times, doubling on a scooter, taking four boats, two taxis and walking about five kilometers. This is probably not a typical tourist’s day, but having a local guide me around the city was indispensable. She goes back to work and I get to navigate the city on my own now.

I’m not sure how we fit so much into one day. Motorbikes, Chatuchak Market, Wat Arun, river boats, canal boats, Soi Texas and to finish the night out, street-drinking at a VW converted van/bar.

While I wrote separate posts for the other things, Steph and I did get up to a few other highlights.

In the morning we rode with Jules to her work and inspected the house the business had relocated to. Jules works for G Adventures – a travel and tour company. The house was in a well-to-do area and had large rooms, foyers, balconies and a guest house out back.

From there Steph and I took a scooter down to the main road so we could catch the BTS up to the market. The scooter drivers with orange vests are for hire. They wear helmets, while their passengers don’t get that luxury. This ride cost us 10 baht each. We were going to each find a scooter for hire, but the guy motioned for us both to get on so we did. Steph said she was barely hanging on.

Scooters are very common here and it’s evident they do not follow the normal laws (haha – that’s a joke) of the road the other vehicles must follow. It’s not unusual to see a family of four on one bike. IMG_0232

 

Our walk from the river to the canal brought us past the Grand Palace and an amulet market. The amulet market is riddled with vendors trying to sell trinkets that are supposed to bring good luck. In some cases the charms have pieces of old monasteries, monk’s hair or even dirt from sacred ground infused into it to provide even more luck. It’s not unusual to see monks or other collectors scrutinizing the pieces for authenticity or I’m guessing some originality. I bought myself a carved metal bracelet for 100 baht. It has a dragon and a bird on it and I love it.

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One issue I’m having is the amount of walking I’m doing. I’m worried for my rheumatoid arthritis and that it may start acting up. My feet are getting stiff, but I don’t think it’s nothing a Thai massage can’t fix!

After the market we passed a narrow alleyway and as I asked Steph what was down there she started heading down it. I didn’t take photos of people’s houses here, though I wish I did, it felt intrusive. These were small small rooms with whole families in them watching tv on flat screen TVs. It was an odd contrast. The alley ran right to the river so it was a serious of boards on supports, but I think that was mostly used to dump waste water, but I’m sure it was necessary for rainwater.IMG_0299

We went to 7-11 to get phone credit. You can do anything at 7-11 here. Stephanie pays her utility bills there.

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But the big end to the evening was definitely drinking at the VW converted van. While all the seats were taken at the van’s edge, we sat at a table on the street and had a few Singhas before heading off to another local spot. The interesting part here was that alcohol makes you need to pee. The first two times I had to go I went to a pay-toilet (you must bring your own TP,) but the girls thought it to be a cleaner spot. By the third time I braved the one down the lane that had no light and wasn’t very clean. I used the torch on my cell phone and hovered like a champ. The night ended with a walk home and a deep deep sleep.

 

 

One Response to introducing Bangkok

  1. “hovered like a champ” 🙂

    sKY:: February 7, 2013 at 7:15 am Reply

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