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Khaosan Road, a bustling backpackers' community, is located in norhwest Bangkok. Though it is the official name of the central road, Khaosan Rd refers to a neighborhood comprised of a couple of streets. It is comprised of shops and street vendors peddling clothes, artifacts, trinkets, fake IDs, fake diplomas, piercings, tattoos, just to name a few. There are numerous hotels offering the backpackers deals as low as $8/night for a bed, akin to what a hostel would offer. Of course, with all these backpackers present, how could one miss the opportunity to provide them other key essentials, like bars and restaurants.....with a strong emphasis on bars. For anyone who's ever lived outside a military installation, you already know what comes next., that's right, tattoo parlos; more on this later. So why choose this destination for our first day in Thailand? To afford Michele the opportunity to gauge and price out various goods and services before we head out to the other locales on our itinerary as Thailand's many offerings can be very tempting to the novice shopper. No need to lug gifts and souvenirs to every port on our trip.
Next we headed to one of the local temples and Michele got to witness an intricate part of the Thai culture, presenting offerings to the Buddha. This particular Buddha topped at about 3 stories in height. We've saved the visit to the Grand Palace for tomorrow, so more on this cultural experience in that posting.
Our quest for the day was further enhance our gastronomic experience, meet up with the shopkeeper who treated Jean-Pierre so well during his previous visit last year, and to sit and query a few of the 'ink' shops; more on that much later in our trip. It didn't take long for us to get hungry. We found a restaurant/bar (that order switches around 4pm) that had the most delicious Tom Yum soup; Jean-Pierre will stop asking for no mushrooms, because even when confirmed with a head-nod, he must be asking for something different.
The rest of the day was spent on perusing shops and soaking in the myriad of visitors from places as far as the United States. By the way, Michele claims she can call out French people in a crowd as she exclaimed that this young man must be French given the shape of his mouth. I say keep an eye out for the capris.
We needed to rush back to our hotel for Michele's 6pm massage therapy appointment; call it market research. As a massage therapist herself, she needed to learn first-hand what a Thai massage felt like. Her appointment was for 2 hours as the therapist stated that 1 hour wasn't long enough....ain't that the truth (yes, I used ain't). I didn't partake, but in Michele's own texting words....OMG !!!! She said it hurt during the process, but that her body never felt as good as it did once they were done; she raved about it all night. She wears the woman's elbow was made of granite; by the way, she appeared to be a mature 50 year old, but harnessing the strength of a power lifter. Michele actually feared for her well being as the woman streched and jerked her body into various positions. I'm guessing this is not her last one, especially when this 2 hour session only cost her $30; for Michele's current clients, no, she will not be renegotiating her current fee structure.
The day ended back in Khaosan Road for dinner consisting of whole grilled red snapper for Jean-Pierre and shrimp and vegetables in a basil sauce.