Last Night & Day 1 - A taxi ride from the airport, 2 temples, 4 meals (including drinks), Thai Massage, and various tuk-tuk rides around the city = $60. And I haven't really been penny pinching yet.
Today we woke up at the crack of dawn since our inner alarm clocks are WAY off and had coffee & breakfast a small place down the street. First up was a walk through the Grand Palace Temple where we were told along our walk by about 7 different locals that it was "closed and you should go to 'this other palace'". Fortunately, from doing our research, we knew this to be a scam attempt and eventually found our way inside. Grand Palace is just that...GRAND. From 1782-1946, the palace was the King's home. Built at the same time and on the same property was the Wat Phra Kaeo (Wat means Temple) which holds the sacred Emerald Buddha carved from a single piece of Jade. Next up was Bangkok's oldest and largest temple, Wat Pho. A less grandeur, but far more historical and authentic. Wat Pho is also home to the most respected Thai Massage school...so of course, we indulged. If you aren't familiar, Thai massages are fully clothed massages that incorporate stretching and more of a trigger point technique.
Next, we went searching for the River Taxi to take us to Chinatown. Not sure how we missed it but we ended up walking all the way there (only about 1.5 miles, but it had to be 1000 degrees and 159% humidity). The hustle and bustle of Chinatown was a sight to see; every electronic known to man from the 70s to current day, textiles for days, and CNC machining equipment (which made me laugh since you'd never be able to buy that type of equipment in a storefront in states, much less a street vendor)! The crowds were maddening however and my search for street stand dim sung ended rapidly when I got irritated with crowds...it was like a Snickers commercial where I turned into Betty White because I was hungry and cranky. So we took a tuk-tuk back to our hotel, jumped in the pool, then chowed on a feast of Thai food & beer.
Justin treated me to a Muy Thai fight tonight. I was exhausted and really have no interest, but when in Rhome... Besides, he sold me on it when he reminded me that he couldn't NOT see a Muy Thai fight in Thailand being that he owns an MMA gym. Oh-yeah! ha! We only stayed for a few fights (there were10 total) since we were completely exhausted.
We had planned to take an overnight train to Chaing Mai in Northern Thailand; however, the tracks are under construction and the land trip would have involved a partial overnight train, a 3 hour wait at a train station, the a 3.5 hour bus. So we are settling on $100 plane ticket and head out tomorrow.