Home > Thailand > Bangkok – Days 2 & 3

Bangkok – Days 2 & 3

Over the next few days we tried to see as much of Bangkok as we could, limited only by our reserves of energy in the sapping heat and our slightly flagging interest in Wat’s. On some kind of pretence that it would be healthy, my first stop, a self-indulgent Thai massage on the pier next to Wat Pho, the famous massage school.

 

 

All considered I think I got away lightly; my masseuse must have been about 5 feet tall, slim and weighing in at little more than a few ounces, this meant that as she stretched, bent, cracked and walked over me, she was probably at the limits of what pain she could inflict. The chap next to me had a significantly heftier, older and more sadistically brutal masseuse – some of  the noises coming out of him were more like from an abattoir. The pleasure/pain combination lasted a good day or two as I could feel the various muscles that had been pummelled into submission, but after 3 to 4 days I forgot the pain and would almost like to go through it again!

Whilst I was being battered, Jo and the kids went to the local museum, which by all accounts was brilliantly interactive, before we all headed to the river to take the barge to the sky train and then on to the downtown area . This area is pretty intense and brutal, parts of it are like from a slightly nightmarish 1950’s black and white film, traffic  at all levels going in all directions, the din of the cars, tuk tuks, bikes and bicycles making the whole place seriously claustrophobic  with no respite – that was  until, with out warning, all the traffic stopped.

madness all around - until the King arrives

We too were stopped behind a cordon on one of the pedestrian overpasses and were able to see another highway completely devoid of cars – it turns out the route was being cleared for the king. Before long, the King passed, traffic was released and normal proceedings resumed. Thanks to the king for 5 minutes of peace.

The shopping centres were pretty bland, glass and chrome affairs, so without too much distraction we headed via Jim Thomson’s House back home for a rest and dinner courtesy of Ronald M – naughty.

 

Next morning, another day another Wat, to cries of “What Wat” from the kids – they kindly agreed to be patient in exchange for ice cream! Tthis time our local one, Wat Ratchanaddaram, apparently the last one of it’s type left in the world. Being part Wat and part museum, it ended up being one of the best temples we visited.

our local Wat

The MacDonalds are everywhere

tasty little fried quails eggs for breakfast

Soon after we were back in a taxi heading off to a little used train station called Thon Buri to buy reserve tickets for the train to Kanchanaburi, after being dropped off, we were told that we could only buy tickets for that day – grrrrr. To make it worse, there were no taxi’s anywhere to be seen and the walk back ended up being through the most grim dog/cockroach infested market I have ever seen, in the roasting heat of the day, before finally stumbling upon the hospital. (the most dog/cockroach infested place I have seen second only to the market we had been through). Finally we wound our way back towards the river to find a ferry to the old town, had a comforting lunch in our now favourite Navy Club, and then took our traditional tuk tuk back home.

The madness of the river

favourite bar on Khao San

smile!

The one thing I would say, for all the squalor, dirt and obvious lack of hygiene, the place feels strangely safe -not as edgy as Buenos Aires. At no point either in the day or night did we feel unsafe walking around, even in the smaller back streets.

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