In the morning our group visited the Thai Intellectual
Property and International Trade Court.We were given a presentation on the court
which was probably only interesting if you are a law student or get arrested for selling fake Louis Vuitton purses on the streets of Bangkok so I will spare
you all the details. Then we took a tour of the building.Once we were finished at the IP/IT court, our
tour took us to the Baiyoke Sky Hotel for lunch.
The Baiyoke Sky Hotel is located in the tallest building in Bangkok
and they have a buffet style lunch in their restaurant on the 82nd
floor which offers amazing views of the city.
The Baiyoke Sky Tower is the tallest building in Thailand
The lunch was pretty good too as the buffet stretched around all four
interior walls of the restaurant and served a variety of food with traditional
Thai dishes mixed in with Japanese, Chinese, Italian, and American options as
well.The buffet also had an assortment
of fruits which was probably the highlight for me as I got to Rambudan and
Dragon Fruit.Rambudan is a very funky
looking fruit that I think is a type of lychee.It has a pink skin with these long green hair like things sticking out
of it.To eat it you peel the skin away
from the white fruit in the middle and eat around the pit.It tastes somewhat like a plum.The dragon fruit has a bright pink/purple
skin and a white meat with lots of black seeds.It is served sliced and you simply eat it kind of like a melon.
This was the view from our table. Good thing I'm not scared of heights
Its tastes like a mix of kiwi, star fruit,
After lunch, we visited the Thai Arbitration Institute for
another presentation that would be interesting if you were a law student, and
then visited the Thai legal museum which had a bunch of items from Thailand’s
legal history, including a stone tablet that was translated by a King and laid a
foundation for some of modern Thailand legal system, a antique court bench,
some of the royal seals used by past kings to stamp Thai laws, and some other
When we were done, we all went home to change before meeting
up at the Hard Rock Café for an American 4th of July
celebration.Miles, John and I enjoyed our
hamburgers, beer, and nostalgic rock n’ roll atmosphere then headed home to call it a
night before our first day of work.Since John and I live one stop away from each other on the metro, we
traveled back together and on the way to the station stopped in at O’Reilly’s
Irish Pub for a quick beer because we had seen in our guidebooks.
From up here you can really tell how big a city Bangkok is.
Buoyed by the success of yesterday’s river boat commute, John and I decided to try a modified version today in order to arrive for the excursion to the Thai courts at .We figured that since we were so far north already, it might be easier and quicker to take the subway to the end of the line in the north, hop a cab to the river, and then ride down the river to Thammasat, instead of going all the way south and coming back up.
Things started smoothly enough, I met John at my subway station and we traveled to the Bang Sue station a couple stops further up the line.6:50am ( remaining) Then we got out and caught a cab and attempted to communicate that we wanted to go to the Chao Phraya River Boats.7:00am (1:30 remaining) The driver seemed to understand and off we went feeling pretty good since we had about an hour and a half to make it to Thammasat.
After riding for a while however it became clear we were not going the Bang Po river express stop as we had planned.Some map checking revealed we were heading south-south-west instead of due west to the river.7:10am ( remaining)
Since we needed to go south eventually anyway and had more than an hour to get there, John and I weren’t too concerned.We figured out where we were on our map and again asked the driver to take us to the river, figuring that since we were now further south, it would be a shorter boat ride once we found a river express stop.This time the driver turned west so we figured we were back on track, but traffic was getting pretty heavy and it became rather slow going.7:20am ( remaining) It also turned that the driver got the impression we wanted to cross the river and was about to cross a very large bridge when we managed to stop him.
Rambutan - photo courtesy of www.knowphuket.com
(1 hour remaining)Since we were now pretty near the river (after all, we almost crossed a bridge), we decided to get out there and just walk along the river until we hit a river ferry stop.Little did we know it was not as simple to walk along the river as we had expected.
Instead of being able to simply walk along the shore until we hit a river boat stop, we found ourselves in a maze the alleyways, streets, and paths of a residential Bangkok neighborhood.After taking several twists and turns, we finally managed to make it to a dock on the river. (45 minutes remaining)Unfortunately, it was just a community dock and not a river ferry stop.
Dragon Fruit - photo courtesy of www.knowphuket.com
We could however see the bridge that we knew was just north of Thammasat, and so backtracked into the neighborhood in order to continue further south.It was pretty entertaining to see the looks on the faces of the locals as these two 6’4”, Caucasian, guys, dressed in shirts and ties and wearing sunglasses wandered through their neighborhood clearly somewhat lost.After hitting a dead end for the sixth time or so, we decided that we were never going to find our way to the river ferry dock in this neigborhood, so we decided to make our way back out to the main road and walk to one of the main streets that according to our map had a river ferry dock at the end of it. (30 minutes remaining) Several more dead ends later we successfully came back out on the main street. (20 minutes remaining)
We were now on a main street, north of ThammasatUniversity and running out of time to arrive on time.
Since traffic had picked up, we weren’t sure how successful a taxi would be and thought it might make us a little more late than if the next main street had a ferry stop which was only a couple docks from the Thammasat pier.We walked a block or two before deciding that we should just take our chances with the taxi, so we hailed one and got in and told the driver to take us to ThammasatUniversity.8:15am (15 minutes remaining)This driver was younger and we were pretty positive he understood us, so now our only concern was how far did we have left to go and how late would we be.We toyed with the idea of calling Miles to tell him we would be late, when we passed Phra Sumen Fort, which I new was on my map.A quick look at the guide book told us we weren’t very far away anymore.
(7 minutes remaining).Additionally, traffic on this road was much lighter and we were making good time.A few more turns and sure enough we saw the sign for the entrance to Thammasat University, as another stroke of good luck, this entrance was directly next to the Law Faculty so we didn’t even have to walk to the meeting spot. John and I paid the cab and strolled up to the meeting spot at exactly (0 minutes remaining).
It was a longer journey than we had planned, but in the end we arrived on time, saw some Thai neighborhoods that we would never have seen otherwise and spent about 70 baht apiece ($2).I would say it was quite successful.We saw several schools with the students dressed in their uniforms and walking in lines in the school yards on the way to classes, several churches couple churches and a couple shrines, not to mention all of the people just going about their daily lives along the river.
Nice boat, but it's not a river express ferry.
I just wish we weren’t so pressed for time so that I could have taken more pictures.