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Bangkok: Day One

October 5, 2010

I’ve made it to Kathmandu safely, which is a huge incentive to finish up with Bangkok because this place seems crazy. I only have gotten to walk around a tiny bit of the Thamel area where I’m staying, but people seem friendly (and again, speak fantastic English… though that observation might be skewed by the fact that I’ve only been speaking with shopkeepers, in whose best interest it is to speak a foreign language, or as one claimed, six foreign languages.) And before you start making “It sure seems like she’s been blogging a lot… I don’t see how she’s doing any real traveling,” judgements (in a Jim Gaffigan voice, of course) I’ll have you know that I’ve gone back yet another time zone, so my sometimes unfortunate habit of early wake-ups has become an hour more unfortunate.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. As I believe I mentioned before, our journey from Koh Tao to Bangkok consisted of a three-hour boat ride to Chumphon, a two-hour wait in a parking lot (where we had the incredibly unpleasant experience of watching a man beat a dog [who’d bit him] nearly to death with an enormous stick) and finally an 8-hour bus ride, putting us in at 4 am and forcing us to get an extra [half] night at the hostel we’d booked (for which we succeeded in convincing him we should get a reduced rate).

It was a really nice place on Khao San Road (the old photos at the beginning of this post are from the walls of the hostel, and we ended up going to a lot of those places, which was cool), one of the main tourist/shopping/bar streets, and conveniently near where some new friends were staying: two brothers, Raphael an Antoine, from France. So we met up with them at noon, grabbed lunch, and spent the rest of the day/night hanging out with them.

Here this means shopping at a big market, watching a Muay Thai fight (just the very last fight between two kids who looked like they were 14, and for which we had to seriously haggle for some tickets in order to not get charged the “standard” 2000 baht price. We got four for 1800.), then desperately trying to find a karaoke bar. At first we really dug our tuk-tuk driver, Lou (for reasons that probably should have frightened us instead, such as reckless and hazarous behavior on the road) but when he first took us to a bar where no one was singing and there were many glamorous ladies hanging out in the wings, we started to get a little supicious.

Then he dropped us somewhere else and said if we walked 150 meters we’d find Khao San Road. In reality we were nowhere near, but we found a karaoke bar (where we learned far too late that you paid per song… and we sang a lot of songs) and had a good night. At the end of the night all our pockets and purses were empty, but we figured having a big blow out in Bangkok was a justifiable experience.

sawadeeka, ronald!

tuk tuk



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