Return to the City of Angels
Our morning started off with a great breakfast buffet at the Thai house. As Luqman mentioned, this place is beautiful! I think it is my favorite place we stayed at during the entire tour. Anyways, half of our group headed to the local market as well as to a Chinese Buddhist temple with Arjan before our return back to Bangkok. However after going to the local market with my Thai cooking class, I decided to relax and enjoy some quiet time at the Thai house. While Luqman and the others went to the market and the temple, I stayed behind and caught up on some blogging and pleasure (yes I know right!) reading. Oh and let me just interject some stuff I learned about the temple from my group members: apparently it is a temple that is being built by Chinese expatriates and descendents that wanted to build a temple that reflected their heritage. Thus this 5 year project was designed by Chinese architects. The temple is almost completed and the Royal Family of Thailand is expected to be at the opening. Okay now back to me…I started to read when I became very hot and went to the mirror to put my hair up. I noticed my hair had gotten a bit unkept and then got the brilliant idea to ask one of my group members, Claire, a funky and brilliant Scottish gal who just happens to be a world class hair stylist, to cut my hair. She graciously agreed and gave me a free trim as well as some fringes (that's the Scottish way to say bangs). She also gave Nick a hair cut and it's a good thing she did because Luqman said that Nick's haircut was the difference of Harry Potter from the fourth movie to the third.
Shortly after my hair makeover, the others arrived back from the local markets and we packed up our bag and headed to the docks to go back to Bangkok by a long speedboat. While we were on the speed boat back to Bangkok, we passed some of the world renown floating markets and houses. I was taken back that people were using canals and boats rather than cars and bicycles to transport themselves around this section of Bangkok. We finally arrived back in Bangkok and were greeted by the familiar sights of Tuk Tuks and massive amount of shops. Btw did you all know that Bangkok is the city that has the world's longest official name? It's official name is Krungthep mahanakhon amonratanakosin mahintara ayuthaya mahadilok popnopparat ratchathani burirom udomratchaniwet mahasathan amonpiman avatansathit sakkathattiya witsanukamprasit, this roughly translates into 'Great City of Angels, Repository of Divine Gems, Great Land Unconquerable, Grand and Prominent Realm, Royal and Delightful Capital City Full of Nine Noble Gems, Highest Royal Dwelling and Grand Palace, Divine Shelter ad Living Place of Reincarnated Spirits… Whew! Sheesh! Man! Insertanothersaying here! Luckily, it has been shorted to just "City of Angels" for everyday use. So now I can really say that Los Angeles, CA is not the only City of Angels. We checked into the hotel and made plans to meet later for dinner at the Hard Rock Café in Siam Square.
My fellow group members Georgie and Andy told us about the amazing weekend markets so Luqman and I as well as some other group members decided to share a cab and head there. The Chatuchak Weekend Market is HUGE! They have everything imaginable here for sale. There are goods that include handmade scarfs, wood carvings, antique books, jewelry, kitchen supplies and traditional Thai clothing. In addition, there are also many boutiques that are full of Thai designers and brand names. I really do have to emphasize the size and massiveness of this market. It is so big and Luqman and I in a 5 hour time span did not even cover a quarter of the market.
After utilizing our bartering and bargaining skills to by some goods, we hopped the cab back and returned back to the hotel. We showered and relaxed a bit before hopping another cab to Hard Rock Café. As much as I miss some food back home, I really did not particularly enjoy our meal at Hard Rock. In particular, I really didn't enjoy the 45 minute hassle and fiasco we had trying to straighten out our group's bill. The only highlight of the whole ordeal was the cover band that was performing. The singers were amazing and sounded like the actual artists of the songs that they were performing. Oh yeah and I guess I enjoyed hanging out with everyone one last time… just kidding…lol..
We decided to try and take part in some of Bangkok's nightlife and asked our cab driver to take us to a place where we could have a good time. Clearly this was a mistake because unbeknownst to us, he took us the infamous Thai ping-pong shows. I should have known that something was up when I walked into the club and the bouncer gave me a strange look and then started laughing. But because I have a heart of gold that trusts easily and gives people the benefit of the doubt, I opened the door and was half horrified, and admittedly half greatly amused, to see the beginnings of a ping pong show. I quickly closed the door and being the moral and upstanding person I am, I suggested we go to a temple and meditate with the monks for the rest of the night. The group didn't think it was the best idea and instead we decided to just go back to the hotel and play chess and some board games as well sing Kumbaya and other camp songs. For those of you who are shaking your heads and doubting me, I just want to once again remind you that I am of pure heart and would never engage in any controversial behavior and more importantly, my mom reads this and I fear her almost as I fear God… okay well I'm gonna end this blog on that note and go back to as Luqman says, "obsessively reading by guide book," so I can find out what else this City of Angels has to offer.