Dress code? What dress code?
Trip Start Sep 08, 2011
85Trip End Jan 08, 2012
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Where I stayed
Roof View Place Bangkok
Read my review - 4/5 stars
Read my review - 4/5 stars
This morning was a bright sunny day with not a cloud in sight. So, armed with my 2 litres of water, my iPod blaring a Prodigy mix and with my sunglasses on, I strode purposefully to the pier to catch the river express. Never stride purposefully anywhere in Bangkok – I was a sweaty mess by the time I arrived.
After a week here, I feel like an old hand. I'm suspicious of everyone and everything. Therefore, when I was buying my ticket for the boat and the woman there was trying to sell me the tourist ticket instead, I was having none of it
Observation 1: the Thais are into their religion big time, but they absolutely love their monarchy. How do I know? When you go to a temple all that is required to show respect is to take off your shoes before entering the temple. Entering the Grand Palace is another matter entirely. It came as rather a rude shock to me to find out that unless you were covered from shoulder to ankle, there was no way you were getting into the palace. Guess who was wearing shorts?
“Not to worry,” said the kind woman at the information desk, “we have long pants you can borrow.” Seriously? I mean, Seeeeriously? Buddha may be a big guy, but there’s nobody else my size here
That’s right, I didn’t see the Grand Palace. Oh, well. There was still Wat Arun. Naturally, there was no such dress code there, but it’s just another temple – an unusual one, granted, but just a temple nevertheless. It has an unusual design and is to Bangkok what the Sagrada Familia is to Barcelona, but it’s probably best seen from afar. I have to admit, there wasn’t much new there – more Buddhas.
So, I’d done as much sightseeing as I was going to do, it was time to head back to Khao San and a late lunch. There was a small hiccup; on arriving at the pier to get the boat back up the river I found that the river was now closed to traffic. I couldn’t work out why, but every tourist had the same dumb look on their face as me, which roughly translated as, “How the hell do I get back now?” I didn’t want to get a taxi or place my life in the hands of a mad tuk-tuk driver, but I couldn’t see any way out of it. So, for the first time in days, I paid attention to the tuk-tuk drivers (I’d gotten really good at ignoring them)
Observation 2: bus drivers are mad. They don’t pull up to the kerb at the bus stop, they stop in the middle of the road. They stop for no more than 5 seconds so all passengers have to make like Usain Bolt and sprint out and jump on/off before it shoots off again. Survival of the fittest – the slow are left behind.
I did manage to get on a bus...eventually – my sprint starts gradually improved with each bus that went by.
Tomorrow evening, it's off to Melbourne I go!
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