Geting kidnaped at the temple....
Bangkok Travel Blog› entry 37 of 40 › view all entries
Okay guys.... years of travel experience did not keep me from falling into an obvious tourist trap. I planed to go to the Royal Grand Palace and arrived by taxi in the late morning. Here I was met by a guy who asked if I had tickets allready....which I did not. Okay then you have to buy them at the next gate down there.
Greatfull for the help I walked to the next gate and was met by another guy who told me that since today is big budha day the Palace would onely be open to Thai's untill 1pm. ( which sounded realistic because I knew from the hotel front desk staff that today was a holiday). He then sugested that I went to Wat Intharawihan to take a look at the big Budha because that temple was open for everyone and free. Then I could come back at 1pm and look at the temple.
sounded okay so when he offered to find a tuk tuk I fell for it. Well I went onboard and he did take me to the temple, and I had a look around. It was quite interesting and felt quite content about the deal I made. But when I thought that now I had seen what I wanted to see here, the backside of the deal.
The tuk tuk driver stoped infront of a tailor shop and said that the thought I should have a look, I thought...Hmmm..well what the hell...so I went inside had a look, talked to the tailor, but declined to decide to buy anything just now...btw. an argument that was met with "Why? You are not buying the entire shop" (I allmost laughed and had to fight to keep looking serious, this type of reasoning is hillarious to me), so inspite of great entertainment value I walked out and sat in the tuk tuk.
He did not see the reason why and said that since I have "free gasoline" there's no reason not to go around and have a look". I gave up on being reasonable with him, decided to go in, go out and if he did not take me either back to the palace or Democracy Monument then I'd just leave him and make my own way back.
This shop was a jewlery shop, from which I made my way out by promising to return after I had picked up my credit card from the hotel.
So back in the tuk tuk I just said "Palace" sounding very angry....and by God this time he took me there.
But now I didn't really feel for visiting the palace...so instead I started walking around the palace, past the elephants, the departement of defence, and down to Chang Rongsi Bridge, where I flagged down a taxi and asked him to take me to River City. I wanted to have lunch here and found a nice restaurant on the second floor overlooking Chao Phraya.
While at lunch I decided that I wanted to check out which boat rides was available today, and went downstairs. First to have a cup of coffee at the coffeshop downstairs and then I went to the river boat pier to see where those boats was for - but they onley went across the river.
Well next on my search for an interesting boatride I went to River Citys tourist boat booth and looked at the schedule. There was one thing that apealed to me. You could privately charter a long tail boat to take you along the Khlongs (Channels) of Chao Phraya. That could be interesting and after checking the price (800 THB/hour) I decided that this was something I had to do.
So 15 min. later I was onboard my first longtail boat and it was really a fun experience. Theese boats are fast and they slash and shake on the water.
I was very suprised to see this acctually living area along the Khlong where the houses acctually was all down to the water...makeing swiming and sailing the pathway to the neighbours. Also that this looks like an area where rich and poor lives side by side astonished me a lot, because my impression about asia has allways been that rich people does not socialise wth poor people.
The ride was definately one of the most interesting experiences I had in Bangkok.