Tuk Tuk, Lucky Buddha, Wat Benjamabophit, Silom

Trip Start Jan 21, 2012
Trip End Feb 04, 2012

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Monday, January 23, 2012

I was tired so asked a tuk tuk driver how much to goto the Vimanmek Palace. My ticket from the Grand Palace lets me into the other palaces as well. I expected him to quote me a ridiculous price as we were in the main tourist area but he said 20B (.65 cents).

Because today was chinese new year he said he gets free gas but first I have to goto a thai export showroom. I said I didnt want to buy anything so he said to just wait 10 minutes then come out. He also said he would take me to see the Lucky Buddha.

So we drove by another giant gold stupa, there is a temple or stupa on every other block it seems. At the lucky buddha he said I could take my time. Unlike other temples there were no photo restrictions. The room was filled with monks sitting and doing their rituals.

Outside a Belgian guy stopped me and we chatted for a bit. He suggested a few other places for me to visit. Back at the tuk tuk we then went to the thai export factory which I had no interest in. Inside was mainly womens jewellery, necklaces, earings, rings, watches, pearls. I had no interest in any of this and prices were over $100 and up.

The salesman decided to follow me and chat with me, ask if I was looking for anything in particular. I'd adopted the strategy of telling people I was from pakistan so that they think I'm not worth the bother and have no money.

A few minutes later he told me to 'have a nice day' which I guess was a polite way of telling me to leave since I wasnt interested in buying anything! So I had fulfilled my obligation of going and was told to leave by the store!

Now the tuk tuk driver said he was going to take me to another outlet when I said I just wanted to goto the second palace now. This was another showroom where you see the craftsmen making the items in the front leading you to a large showroom in the rear.

I decided to look for my ticket for the palace. I tried looking in the tuk tuk but realized I couldnt find it. This was my free entry ticket otherwise I would have to pay 400B ($13) again. I searched all my pockets and everywhere but it was gone. It must have dropped in all the walking to the barge museum earlier.

I'd now used up my 10 minutes frantically searching so went back to the tuk tuk driver. Finally we went to the Vimanmek Palace and he drove off seemingly upset with me. Turns out the palace is also closed monday so it was a wasted trip even if I did have the ticket so it didnt matter now that I lost it. I wasnt going to come back here as it was too far out the way and the tuk tuk guy could have told me this was closed today.

This was the presidential area and there was a large building that I thought was the parliament but is the throne room. Also a large statue of one of the kings mounted on a horse. Another side of the road was the local zoo.

A short distance was another temple the belgian guy had told me about Wat Benjamabophit. Entry was 20B (.60 cents) but I had come in thru a side gate and nobody was checking for tickets. I then asked a tuk tuk driver outside how much to get me back to my hostel. He said 300B ($10) which is ridiculous for bangkok when I just paid 20B to get me here.

He said he would take me for a massage or a factory outlet but I said no, and he refused also. So I decided to walk further and try another guy. Later I saw one and he wanted 150B ($5) this time. I said no and offered 50B ($1.75) to which he agreed. Back at the hostel I just had a shower and rested before the evening.

In the evening I did a walk thru Silom which is supposed to be the nightlife area. First I passed by a Tamil Mosque. As we hit the retail area there were upscale indian tailors making custom mens suits. Across the road was a hindu mandir and many craft stores along the street.

I really didnt see a night life area so this seemed a dissapointment from all the guide books. In one side street towards the end was the gay area. There were lots of skinny boys in shorts and tank vests waiting outside in groups. Another street had lady massage parlours.

Back on the main road was a chinese temple and food vendors. I bought a pineapple again for 15B (.50 cents). This evening events were taking place in chinatown for new years which is why this temple might have been crowded but I was too tired to go there. Back at the hostel I could hear fireworks going off but I was done for the day.

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crowdywendy on

Your visit to Bangkok was entertaining - but sounds like it was a bit frustrating and very exhausting. I hope the pinneaple guy had clean hands.

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