Bangkok Travel Blog› entry 2 of 34 › view all entries
Well we ended up spending the next four days in
The first morning we decided to take the boat across the river and wander around a bit before going to the Lao embassy to get a visa. After walking through alleys and eventually making it to the BTS to take the Sky Train out towards the Laotian embassy, we ended up meeting a man who worked at the BTS and struck up a conversation.
That night we had cocktails on the Executive floor (so those of you who know me, this is why I go out of the way to remain a HHonors Diamond - basically they kiss my ass :-D including lots of nice rooms and free cocktails) and met this hilarious kid Tong who, for a Thai guy just finishing college, is way to western but pretty funny. He ended up chatting with us for quite a while and kept plying us with cocktails to continue the conversation.
Wanting to get out into Bangkok rather than sit in the hotel, we headed out and grabbed a cab for a nice riverside dinner at a seafood restaurant including Som Tam (one of my favorite Thai salads of chopped green papaya, dried shrimp, peanuts and a lime based fish sauce ��" yum), Tod Mun which are sort of a fish/shrimp type fritter with a tasty sweet/spicy sauce) and then a whole barbecued fish with the requisite Singha beers).
We strolled home through the warm, busy night past food vendors and night markets and passed out in our short lived luxury at the Hilton.
The next day was the day to go visit the
New! this should launch in a separate window but if it doesn't hit back after viewing the video.
We started walking to the
The Palace was indeed open and it is a very impressive tour on huge, beautiful grounds.
After the Palace we walked to Wat Pho which houses The "Reclining Buddha" - a massive statue with a huge golden head and feet inlaid with mother of pearl. To give you an idea of the scale, the Buddha is about 150 feet long and 50 feet tall! The grounds at Wat Pho are very pretty too so we walked around for quite a while.
Next stop was Wat Arun, the temple of the dawn on the other side of the river.
After a rest, we thought we would try out the relatively new BTS metro which was fast, nice and clean. We made it to our stop and managed to actually find the major street we were looking for without getting killed by traffic, not bad for the first full day in
We proudly strolled down the Soi looking for the Le Lys restaurant run by a Thai woman and her French husband only to discover the sign that they had moved - see the pic below. Friggin figures - the first time we ever easily found our destination and it decided to move :-(
We ended up settling for a small place with reasonably good food where we thought the girls appeared to be ''working" in more ways than one.
Guess we should have taken Ambien once more - we both were wide awake around 4:00am (which for those of you in California is 2:00 pm) and couldn't fall asleep to save our lives so we got up for an early breakfast and headed out to do an MP3 based walking tour we found on the Internet at www.travelfish.org which is a great travel site focusing on Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam.
The tour was of some of
I had listened to just a bit of the stuff at home and heard directions like "walk west from Wat Mahan" so we both bought little compasses at home, but unfortunately, it was so hot the day before that the glue holding them on to their clips melted so we lost them both - back to our bad senses of direction. Once we kindly dismissed the supposed History teacher who informed us that Wat Mahan was "closed until 2:00pm but he knew someplace to take us" we got oriented (ha ha! oriented in the orient - Honey is that derogatory?) and walked to Wat Mahan.
Wat Mahan is a really nice, un-touristed temple and we were the only non-locals there, quite a contrast from Wat Phra Kaew. Outside the temple are a large number of plastic buckets filled with foods and toiletries that are offerings for monks. Inside were a large Buddha and several monks blessing the devout and a cool money tree made from folded up 20 and 40 bills.
The next few stops were through a quaint old neighborhood and past an old wood palace, now a school. There is actually a wealthy man in the area that collects Austin Healeys and other old cars and we saw several vintage mini coopers on the street. Around the corner is an entire street of shops selling monk's accessories, as well as tons of Buddha's of various sizes wrapped in Saran wrap to protect them from the traffic fumes.
Wat Suthat is another large complex with very ornate and beautiful carved doors and the largest bronze Buddha in
The Giant Swing is a tall, red, wooden monument that has roots in
By the time we got to the
Not wanting to give up easily, after a brutal three mile, one hour taxi ride to pick up our Laotian visas, we navigated our way to the supposed new location of the Le Lys restaurant and turned with trepidation onto Soi 7 and there it was!
We walked in and were sort of greeted by a French man, presumably the owner.
So we changed plans and decided to take the seven hour bus to Sukothai today. I am sitting here writing this on my HP iPAQ (which is doing a pretty awesome job of recognizing my handwriting, especially considering how bumpy this road is) listening to Audioslave, Pink Floyd and the Violent Femmes (weird mix I know).
Earlier today, Cindy had a one hour foot massage while I went to an Internet cafe to start the travel blog and check email before heading to the bus terminal. It took a while to figure out that you had to buy food tickets to pay for lunch instead of just paying the vendor. The bus is reasonably comfy and has at least weak AC and we should be there in 90 minutes. We found a nice looking place recommended by the Travelfish site called