Bangkok - day 3

Trip Start Jun 16, 2011
Trip End Nov 10, 2011

Loading Map
Map your own trip!
Map Options
Show trip route
Hide lines

Flag of Thailand  ,
Wednesday, July 6, 2011

After an early wake up and a beautiful breakfast on the hotel's 24th floor overlooking the river and a large part of the city, I quickly left, small backpack on my back, determined to walk to Khao San Road, also known as backpackers' paradise area. However, I didn't walk much because... I ran into Tony right after buying some cigarettes in a tiny shop right outside the hotel.

Tony is a 42 year-old tuk-tuk driver (who looks more like he's 50...) and he made my day. He started off by arousing my suspicion. Indeed, my Thailand book clearly stated that a tuk-tuk driver proposing a 20-baht ride was highly suspicious... I told him about my concern and what I liked about the man is that he told me straight away what the deal was : he takes me where I want to go and he also takes me to his "sponsors", i.e. shops which give him coupons for free gasoline when he brings a client. If the client buys, he gets 5 coupons. If the client doesn't buy, he gets one.

Because the guy was straight I said yes. I was really inspired to do so. I had a great day with Tony !

A bit of his story now. He's a widow (does one say widow for a man by the way ?), with a single ten year-old son, called Bang. They sleep in the same bed and Tony didn't remarry since his wife died five years ago because his son is not happy about a new woman in their lives. Tony basically spoke about his son nearly all the time. How the kid goes to school from Mondays to Fridays, to football on Saturdays because he wants to play like Zidane (guys, Zidane is a sesame word !!) and helps his dad clean their apartment and do the laundry on Sundays. Tony is the son of a Chinese man and a Thai woman and was born in Thailand but considers himself Chinese !

So basically, he took me to a tailor shop (sponsor), then to the reclining Buddha (my wish), then to another tailor shop (sponsor), then to the official government tourist agency (my wish on his advice) for plane tickets to Phnom Penh, then to a jewelry shop (sponsor), then to a popular shopping mall (good prices Nadege !) to buy a digital camera for my dad.

And then I was starving. So we went for lunch to a Chinese dim sum fast food which was awesome ! I bought him lunch. He was ecstatic ! (mental note : buy a Chinese tea set, with the Chinese boat and clay tea pot before i go back to Europe) and so was I because I had the best Oolong tea ever, prepared the Chinese way (see mental note :-)).

After that, he dropped me off at Khao San Road, but not after giving me his phone number for when I come back to Bangkok and advice on how and where to leave Khao San road, what to expect, what to be careful about, what tuk-tuk not to take, etc... A dear.

Khao San Road is a LOT of fun. First of all because you see all those dirty looking backpackers hanging out on terraces drinking beer and looking "so cool duuuuude". I laughed thinking I would probably look like them in a couple of weeks. Basically, there is everything you can be looking for here, from medicine to alcohol, from funky t-shirts to thai massage. And, oh yeah, I indulged myself, oh yeah, to a half hour neck and back massage for the horrendous amount of 120 bahts (3 euros). The worst part, I think, is that it's gonna look expensive to me in a couple of weeks, I know that...

After doing a mental checklist of what's available there for future use... I went back to the hotel by boat bus and... Found my dad still in bed (yes, at 5 pm). He reassured me, telling me he had gotten up for breakfast... I pushed him gently and forced him to come to the swimming pool with me, where we stayed until nightfall (6:30). And you know what ? He drank an iced tea ! Oh, those who don't know him won't understand... But I hereby wink at those who do... And who must be as surprised as I was :-)

An uneventful evening, eating risotto at the hotel restaurant which has supposedly been the best Italian restaurant in Bangkok for the last 10 years... And yes, it's good :-)

And if yesterday, my dad and I talked about how words such as "sanction", "elite" and "discrimination" were not properly used and understood nowadays, well, today's main topics were "truth, impressions and opinions" as well as "Islam's various branches" and the Gaza flotilla... Yes, never a dull moment in his company ! :-)

I am a bit worried about tomorrow. We are flying out to Phnom Penh and this is the moment of truth : my dad lived there when he was a kid (from 5 to 11). He hasn't set foot in this country since 62 years... It was Indochina then and his dad was a rich French government employee, with, as you can imagine, a nice colonial house, personnel, cars with chauffeurs, etc... Phnom Penh was beautiful and considered the Paris of the east... I read in my book that the town today is probably the least safe in the area, that it's dirty, dusty, noisy and that some architectural horrors exist... His former high school is now the genocide museum... And his former house probably no longer exists. I repeat : I am a bit worried.

But tomorrow is another day ! :-)

Love, love, love.


PS : Needless to say that Tony was definitely the highlight of the day ! :-)
Slideshow Report as Spam
  • Your comment has been posted. Click here or reload this page to see it below.

  • Please enter a comment.
  • Please provide your name.
  • Please avoid using symbols in your name.
  • This name is a bit long. Please shorten it, or avoid special characters.
  • Please enter your email address to receive notification
  • Please enter a valid email address


Philippe on

2012 : A Chinese Tuk-tuk in Paris ?

Ludo on


PS : "widower" for men!

Claire on

A nice day indeed :)
Any picture of Tony ?
In the end, you did not buy anything ? IS there a web site for the hotel where you are staying ? Just pure curiosiy :)

Cotcot on

Ma toute belle, so iced tea, indeed !!!!!!!!

Hier j'ai lu une phrase qui m'a fait penser à toi :
"on ne sait pas où va le vent, mais on doit laisser la fenêtre ouverte".

Nadege on

Hehehe, alors je dissipe tout malentendu : je n'ai donc AUCUNE vue sur Tony :-)
Quant aux photos, dès que possible j'en mets ! Il faut pour cela que je trouve un port SD quelque part pour les uploader... ASAP je vous dis.
Pour l'hôtel c'est simple : taper Shangri La Bangkok sur Google :-)
Et enfin merci ma CotCot pour cette belle citation ! Bisous de Phnom Penh !

supet-toutounet on

Je viens d'aller jeter un oeil au Shangri La a Bangkok... OK...
Effectivement... un vrai trip routard, genre retour aux sources et aux vraies valeurs non matérielles :)
B... de m..., c'est quand même super bon le luxe !!!!!!
Et a Phnom Penh tu loges ou ? Un simple 5 étoiles ou un 5 étoiles luxe ?
Si tu passes par Bali, j'ai quelques adresses dans le même genre a te donner. Des bouges, des trous a rat immondes qui coutent les yeux de la tête... Atroce...

nadegeb72 on

Hahaha ! Yes indeed ! Fais chier le luxe ! Mais bon, j'en profite c'est papa qui régale pour le moment :-)... Quand il sera parti j'aurai tout le temps de me retrouver dans les bouges en question (avec juste le souhait de me faire un hôtel correct par semaine histoire de décrasser le mammouth...)

supet-toutounet on

Enjoy the Luxe :))))

Use this image in your site

Copy and paste this html: