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Bangkok Day 1

As we hit Asia, Asia slaps us right back in the face with an assault on all the senses, especially the nasal ones. It was nose, ears and sweat glands in that order. After the 9 hour flight, we arrived at the hotel at 1am, checked in and crashed. Given the change in timezone we were up at 7am and raring to go.

 

 

 

Breakfast was in the garage below the hotel with only a few cats and dogs wandering around our back street, it was the first opportunity for a culture shock with fried noodles and chicken/prawns from the previous night as the smog gently filtered out the sunlight. They only had one taker (me), so the others resorted to fried eggs to set them up.

our lovely pink tuk tuk

Wat Phra Kaeo - the temple in the palace

as per usual - the runt likes playing in the water

Mr Tony educating us

Luckily we were staying in a place in the old town near to the famous Khao San Road, so without too much delay we hailed a tuk tuk (to Theo and Elena’s delight it was bright pink), haggled as hard as we were able (i.e we only paid well over the odds) and headed to the Grand Palace. There we found a guide (Mr Tony) who spent an hour educating us and teaching the children the difference between a demon and a monkey, whilst espousing the calm, kind and holistic approach of Buddhism. We sat for a while in front of the Emerald (jade) Buddha, careful not to point our feet in the direction of the lord Buddha, before heading out through the palace, fighting off a few hawkers and stumbling upon the Navy Restaurant on stilts over the river for some lunch.

lunch over the river - probably our tastiest lunch in Bangkok - cheap too!

the madness of the long tailed boats

Lunch was delicious with the cacophony of the ferries and long tail boats roaring in and out to the whistles and shouts of the ferry conductors. Thus inspired, we finished our lunch and chartered a long tailed boat for a crazy scare ride down the Chao Phraya river and through the tiny canals of Thon Buri. You see how the locals live and just count your lucky blessings that you are not born as a small Thai child in the water slums of Bangkok – it is pretty grim. But as with everyone else here, they always have a massive toothy smile, a wave, and some nice words to say to the children. They are genuinely kind, and absolutely love the children.

Every so often, we would be woken from our slumbers and shocked back into reality as the long tailed boat went round a corner, tipping so precariously that we looked in vain for some lifejackets – needless to say, the closest thing the boat had to life jackets was a few empty water bottles so we just ignored the waterline a mere inch or two from the bulwarks, and focussed on the slums interspersed with the odd floating market trader and outrageously brightly painted Wat.

the madness that is Khao San

tired after Day 1

In the evening we headed down to Khao San, to join in the revelry of thousands of tattooed backpackers and the odd pickpocket, in amongst the chaos of the market and bars blaring the wares and music at the newbie tourists. To help with the camouflage, Elena had a hair braid and we settled in to a local bar for a few Singha’s to sooth the nerves. Thus soothed we braved dinner before wandering home for a refreshing shower and well earned rest.

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  1. Joe & Verna
    January 15, 2012 at 12:24 am

    Alot for the children to take in,looks pretty busy for us country hicks…..

    • January 16, 2012 at 2:30 am

      Hi Joe,

      Bangkok was pretty hectic, but to be honest it was not too bad after the first couple of days. In some ways it felt a lot safer than parts of Buenos Aires and there is so much to see! Now we are up in the north in Chiang Mai, trying to arrange car hire to get up into the mountains and see some of the quieter parts of Thai life – you would like it up here.

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