Stop 2

Trip Start Sep 09, 2012
Trip End Feb 02, 2013

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Flag of Thailand  ,
Friday, September 14, 2012

Another night flight into Bangkok we arrived the morning of the 14th. We managed to get currency & find a taxi however we did think he didn't have a clue as he just started speaking Thai for a bit! We began our journey out the airport but were stuck in gridlock for ages as it was rush hour! We finally got on our way & first impressions of the city was how poor it was everything looked dull,grey & dirty...we kept an open mind! We arrived at the hotel which was nice considering the surrounding area seemed to just have car garages &711 shops around! Once we were settled in we decided to find Koh San Road as we were meant to be close to this. We set off then turned back as the heavens began to open the sky was black & even the locals were closing down their stalls! The storm lasted all night like a monsoon so decided to sight see the next day!
We had our guide books at the ready and headed to the Weekend Chatuchak Markets. These were huge so many stalls with anything u could possibly buy (I resisted buying a Mulberry bag which I think I'll regret later) all combined together every way you turned - you could get lost! After trailling through we had some home made coconut ice cream and decided to head to the Grand Palace.
As our guide book had said to get in a moving taxi rather than a parked one to ensure the meter is on - the first one we found didn't know where the palace was despite it being a popular tourist attraction the second one took us but definitely the long way! When we arrived we were greeted by a man who said we couldn't go into the palace as it was prayer time and to go back at 3pm (we later realised it closed then!) then his tuk tuk friend kindly said he would take us to some other sights then bring us back to the palace all for 40baht. We had been wanting to go on a tuk tuk so just thought we might as well take the opportunity! He took us to a big Buddha which was right next to our hotel then to another temple. There was a man there who seemed like he just wanted a chat who interrogated us for a while then asked me to chat to a student of his on the phone as she was learning English- this was a tad awkward! We then went back to the tuk tuk & the driver told us he would take us for a suit, we didn't really hear what he said so went with it..then it dawned on us! we pulled up at the shop & the drivers words were "just sit down look at brochure no need to buy" we spent 2 mins looking then left- the man wasn't happy we hadn't sat or spent 5 mins! We told him to take us back but he pleaded we go to other places. These were a jewellers, a gift shop, another suit place & a final jewellers- I felt obliged to buy a silver bracelet in the last shop which set me back 15 brilliant, a small fortune in Thailand!
We eventually got back to the palace & it was nearly closing, but despite all these we weren't allowed in anyway because Chris had shorts on! What a day! We couldn't believe it, we later read in the book that this was a common scam in Bangkok & to avoid it...we fell right into the wasn't that bad though & we got a ride on a tuk tuk!!
Later that night it was raining again but we put our ponchos on (spot the tourist) & went to Koh San road! Everyone was running for cover so we stopped at the first bar had a few beers & food! I sampled pad Thai which was nice, managed to use chop sticks too!
The next day we decided to actually go into the Grand Palace. After the tuk tuk situation Chris had studied the map & found that we could walk there. It took about 20mins which was ok but the humidity was high we were melting don't think I have ever sweated so much! We walked around saw the palace & the reclining Buddha at Wat Po - needless to say the man & his tuk tuk friend weren't outside today! On our way back we came across another busy street lined with shops,bars,tattoo parlours, mcDonald's...this was actually Koh San Road!! The road we had found the night before was next to it but not as busy! We again had a few beers to keep out of the monsoon but couldn't get on the buckets as we had to leave for the airport at 3.30am! We watched some guys street dancing and playing metal drums that were bins (not the best description but they were fab) then went back to the hotel for a few hours sleep before our stop Singapore!
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Doreen and Ian on

Tuk tuk fancy falling for that scam, great stories though and great memories!

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