SATURDAY 28th SEPTEMBER PT. 2
Last time we checked in was at KL airport at 8.30 when we were waiting for our flight to Bangkok. It is now 11pm and gee wiz, a lot has happened in that time gap.....
Flight to Thailand - midway through the flight we realised it was 2 hrs rather than one hour due to going back in time by one hour. We both dozed. Matt read some Jo Nesbo, Van scoped out some plans for Bangkok.
Arrival in Bangkok - got a taxi to the accommodation for approx 220 B + 50 airport surcharge.
Arrival at accom - find out (unsurprisingly) that we can't check in until 2pm. We deposit our bags and then head on our way toward grand palace.
En route to grand palace - Matt needs to put on some sunscreen. We stop for this task (after Van has seen some dubious nudity on the side of the canal). While putting on sunscreen we talk to local man and girl, he says girl is learning English and directs us to the canal tour (floating market), he advises we go to a certain station to avoid a 3000 B fee but instead pay a 1200 B fee. He also taught us how to say 'how much' in Thai.... 'Tao lai'. The jury is still out as to whether we were duped with this whole boat ride thing (Matt considers it a win and Van believes we were conned by the greatest con artist ever). Despite vowing to probably avoid tuk tuks we caught the first one to the long boats. Boat ride was great and was an awesome way to see how the Thai in Bangkok actually live (refer to photography by M. Knarston). We also saw some massive river monster, a turtle and thousands of fish that shouldn't really be alive due to the water temperature. Whilst on the boat ride Matt bought a beer for both of us and did not negotiate the price at all, so instead of paying a market price of about $1.50, we paid $4 each, not a huge loss, but we will remember to barter going forward!
Next stop was the Grand Palace and some temples. It was initially free to walk in but then was going to be 500 B so we flagged and just walked around the grounds like lovebirds. As we came out another friendly Thai lad noticed that we were battling to figure out where we were and hooked us up with another tuk tuk ride and two more temples that were off the beaten track. One was a massive standing Buddha (the Big Budda) and the other was a temple. Both were free entry and the tuk tuk was, what we felt, a fair price at 70B for the whole round trip.
We checked in at our accom to find a simple but nice room. It was super hot when we got in so the aircon was cranked up straight away. Followed by having a siesta for a couple of hours as we were absolutely exhausted from the flying.
Following our nap, we trundled down to the well known Khao San road. We got some Pad Thai and sat down to eat this with a large singha beer, whilst hawkers kept approaching us asking if we wanted bracelets, model noisy frogs, and scorpions. Note - don't sit right at the street front next time but a couple of rows back. Matt had a scorpion which he rated 2/10 on the general food scale but 9/10 on the scorpion flavour scale. Next we had a look at the rest of the stalls on the street and then went and got a 1/2 hour massage. On the way into the massage place we saw the fish foot bath things (where they nibble on your feet and theoretically eat the dead skin..... Ew!). On the way out Matt said 'we HAVE to do this' so after 5 minutes of sticking out feet in and out with Matt announcing loudly 'this is SO weird', we finally managed to put them in there. Don't think we will ever do it again, but got to try these things once!
Back to the hostel to freshen up and then we caught a taxi to the Lebua sky bar.
Very ritzy place indeed. This is the bar/restaurant that featured on the Hangover 2 movie. We had cocktails and Matt puffed away at one of his recently duty free acquired Cuban cigars.
No taxis would turn the meter on for us going back, we were quoted as high as 300 B for what we knew was a 75 B distance. Eventually we found a guy who would take us for 200 and settled on that given we were some distance from home and it is the equivalent of $8. Had a little bit of drama when Van thought we weren't dropped off in the right place because we were around an extra corner from the desired location. We got there in the end. Back at Khao San rd, we had a few kebabs (unwittingly ate super spicy jalapeño!) then headed back to the accom for the night.