The rest of the day was ambiguous, to say the least. Lip had lost his rain cover and damaged the buckle of his backpack, thanks to some inept baggage handling. Now, I mananged to pass immigration without much difficulty, nor did I get singled out for baggage check like in Singapore.

We decided the cab was the best way into the city, and we were heading to the backpacker's district at Th. Khao San. Now I had been to Bangkok what 6 or 7 years before, for a few days, so I did remember a bit about the city... but of course, what was familiar was the traffic, the "in your face" flyovers and uncompleted highways. In short, the concrete mayhem that was familiar thanks to me playing Burnout 3 on my XBOX just a few days back.

I wish we had a crazy shit ass taxi driver, but he was insane enough. We marvelled at the numerous modifications the taxis around us had, and we had a rather smooth trip (no jams) all the way to Banglamphu.

Aaah yes and we knew it was Songkhram... wet T-shirt time... the traditional new year celebrated by the Thais with the dousing of masses of people in water. It was hazardous, considering we were with our backpacks and didn't want to get ourselves too wet. But it was all good for us... hoping for some pretty young things to get their T-shirts wet. We looked around for some decent accomodation and got a room for 280 baht a night. In retrospect, as we would progress along with our journey, perhaps our first room was the crappiest of em all... It was clean though, and run by friendly people... called "Mom's guesthouse".

Okay... time to hit the tourist trail. Now, off to the Emerald Palace, "the Vatican City of Thai Buddhism". I had seen it before, but of course not all 4 of us had, and we decided it was worth another look. I guess we should have tried to pass off as Thais but then again I was bringing my camera about and so we had to pay the 250 baht admission fee... and it was wonderful wow... It's basically a series of really nice temples and lots and lots of gold so it shines in the sun... and a few museums showcasing the glory of Thai royalty. It was also bloody fucking hot.

There's something else to do in Bangkok. Shop!. Now once again I arrived in Bangkok on a weekday and would thus be unable to visit the famed Chattuchak market... but Alex, who was a Bangkok expert (hell, he has a Thai mom) could bring us to places to shop. We decided to take the public bus system, which at 4 baht per person! was unbelievably cheap. It was like taking 170 when I was 7 years old or something... with the old TMO buses... witht he conductor who would give you your ticket... and its amazing how they remember who's payed and who hasn't.

We went on to Siam Discovery Centre and MBK... now MBK is a miracle... when I was last in Bangkok, it definitely was rather more run down but I guess all the money brought in gave it a remarkable facelift and it looked really different. And there were like millions of shops selling handphones and I wondered how any of them could make money. Frankly, the shopping was bland and uninspired and I didn't feel like buying anything.

One great thing about Thailand is the food... we had roadside noodles and ate a huge variety of food at the food court...


Chanlek said...

Hey jesse!
Just want to say been reading your blog and honestly? its very you i can almost imagine you reading the words u write. Great blog, loved reading it. Hope you guys have lots of fun in Indochina!

Jeff said...

I certainly hope you'll be chronicling your full adventures and escapades somewhere here for all to see. At least I'm interested.