Today was amazing!! Well, perhaps not initially…
We decided to jump on a tuk tuk to take us to Wat Arun asking for the ferry opposite - the driver dropped us at a ferry alright but not the right one, actually at the other end of the river and its only tour operated extortionate prices at 1600 bhat each and the lady we spoke with was extremely rude.
So, we left, as we walked out our driver turned up, obviously on commission and he kept trying to talk us into the trip. Jacq explained we didn't want it and wanted to make our own way and that he's taken us to the wrong one. We asked for a metro near to the ferry he told us the metro doesn't take us there - he sounded quite pushy at times. After much debate, he took us to Hua Lumphong station. We bought two tickets to Koh Tao at 2200 bhat for both (£45) and made our way to the metro. We discovered that the train took us there with great ease, the driver was definitely trying to pull a fast one.
We then boarded our ferry (40 bhat each) the views were gorgeous. We stopped at terminal 8 opposite Wat Arun which was covered in scaffolding and walked out meeting a lovely Thai local who gave us tips on the best way to see the area. We paid 100 bhat (£2) for a tuk tuk to take us all around the district and wait for us - bargain!! We saw the reclining Buddha and temple which was stunning and as we walked around we found monks praying in a church in the courtyard so we sat with them - it felt so surreal. Their prayers are like songs, like a lyrical chant, we then went to the smiling Buddha temple which represents long life and happiness, we met a lovely local here also who told us about the symbols of the Buddha's and the national stone which is sapphire. We were sad to learn he lost his wife in the tsunami and had two sons to look after, he is now remarried though with a new baby on the way. But does put some of his misfortune down to the fact he didn't buy his wife who died a sapphire and has since invested in one for his current wife.
We then finished up back at Hua Lumphong station and found a noodle bar opposite, the waiter was the campest and funniest guy we've ever met. His name was Bob (not convinced it was his real name but we went with it) and as we ordered Matt did all he could to keep a straight face as Bob sang "yeeeaasss" to ever comment we made. The noodles were delicious, not like Chinese noodles at all, really thick and tasty.
We returned home and had an early night in the hotel.