The Heart of Bangkok

Trip Start Feb 09, 2010
Trip End Mar 01, 2010

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Where I stayed
Bill's apartment

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Thursday, February 11, 2010

When we arrived in Bangkok it was later that day (that is was in Tokyo) at midnight.  So actually two days later than when we left LAX. The first thing I noticed was the humidity.  As soon as we walked outside the humidity was so thick you probably could cut it.

It was a 45 minute taxi drive northeast from BKK Suvarnabhumi International Airport.  We were staying with an American friend (Bill) of ours that taught English in Bangkok. The name to tell the cab driver to go to his place is: (all English pronounced not correct Thai spelling) Down Poon (neighborhood), Coon Tep Non (street), Soy sep et (alley and alley number). As soon as the cab driver dropped us off in front of Soy sep et, it was 145 baht, it was 1am and the crowd outside Bill's apartment sitting with a cat and a dog was drinking beer, talking and amazed to see us because we were not Thai.  Next to them on across the street there was a lady making homemade Thai soup
There are 7-11's like there are Starbucks in Seattle. After going up to Bill's place on the 8th floor we took a visit to 7-11 and loaded up on water and snacks.  Maybe we spent 80 baht.  Which is very cheap.  Converted to the US dollar it's about a dollar. We then paid a visit to the lady making Thai soup.  She had make shift tables and chairs on the sidewalk.  I had no idea this was the norm here in Bangkok.  It was delcious!  We got three soups for 130 Baht. 
After we went back up to Bill's place for a nights sleep we realized we were in the heart of Bangkok!!
When we woke up in the morning the weather looked as though we were in LA on a gloomy June morning.  Smog and humidity made the visibility look bad. We got out first glimspe of the neighborhood.  (See picture 1) After Bill headed to work we walked down to the Chao Phraya River (see picture 2) to catch the river taxi to the Kho San Road. Kho San Road is a tourist/packbacker area.
We caught the river taxi which was about a 15 block walk from Bill's place. We took the river taxi from th Bang Po stop, stop #22 and took it to the #13 stop (I forgot the name of that stop).  The river taxi was 13 baht.
We we arrived to find many other westerns there.  We were an outcast at Bill's place.  I don't think they ever see non Thai people in that neighborhood. lol! We had our first Thai meal. We proceeded to see the sights and other tourists around Kho San Road. We went to a temple and got blessed by a monk, shopped and ate fresh pineapple and watermelon. The pineapple and watermelon is sold almost at every corner by a farmer with a mobile fruit stand.
We continued to stay with Bill and see the sights around Bangkok for a week. We visited the Sunday Market called Mo Shit in Thai, shopped more, visited the Palace, partied with Bill's neighbors, get massages, saw the Big Budda and arranged our hotel, transportation, etc for our trip down south later that week.
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