Bangkok (Day 4-6)

Tuesday, 15/08/2006, Bangkok

We got up early that day, and I think I set a new record by getting from sleeping to ready for departure in about 15 minutes, including shower (yes, I did turn off my alarm clock and went back to sleep :().

We left Delhi, Steffie and Verena stayed in India, I verntured on to Thailand, to Bangkok. A bad surprise awaited me at the airport: I was not allowed to tak my bag on boeard as hand luggage. So I had to repack my bag into my backpack, and only had a book, my Sudoku magazine, and my ticket.

The breakfast on board was quite good, chicken, omlette and fried potatoes (Bratkartoffeln), as well as fruits and yoghurt and a croissant with butter and jam. Unfortunately the supply with drinks was not as good, only one small bottle of water and a cup of tea for the whole flight.

Immigration in Bangkok was no problem, except that I had to go through terminal 1 instead of terminal 2, where I was waiting. Then I caught the Airport shuttle for a mere 100 Bath (~2 EUR) and went to find a hotel. After some tries, I stumbeled upon a hostel just off Sukhumvit Road, one of the main roads in Bangkok, only a few minutes away from the Skytrain station. And best of all, the hostel has a promotion going on where I pay the same price as members of the World Yout Hosteling Organization.

My room is an eight-bed dormitory , but I only share it with Dave, a US american living in China. This is a bad thing, because the air conditioning is only turned on when at least three people are staying in the room. So, without windows and air conditioning, and ventilation only in the bathroom, the air is pretty bad, warm, and humid :(. It is even more comfortable outside.

That night, I went to a Thai restaurant which looked very fine, and also had the prices to accompany this look. I paid about 1100 Bath (~25 EUR) for the meal, but I found it not as good as the restaurant promised. Afterwards, I had a foot massage, which was very good, and then I went to sleep in my dormitory.

Wednesday, 16/08/2006, Bangkok

The air is definitively not good in the room, and I had a hard time to get up. I felt that I should have drunk more water yesterday!

I started the day by applying for my visa to Vietnam. Actually, by going to the Vietnamese embassy and finding out that they were on lunch break. So I visited Lumphini park, had a little boat tour on the lake, and went back to the embassy.

Bangkok as a very good public transport system. There are two lines of the Sky Train, running on elevated tracks some 20 m above the ground. And there is the metro, running mostly underground. The only disadvabtage is that the old city is not connected to this system. But more about that later.

The visa was no problem. I just had to leave my passport, the application form and one photo and pay 2500 Bath (~50 EUR, the exchange rate got more favourably today :)). I was told that the visa would be finished the next day.

Then I went to visit the Royal Bark Museum, located on the other side of Chao Phraya River. I took the metro first, and then switched to the river boat, a water taxi service running up and down the river, and very fast. There is also a tourist version of it, but I chose the express boat and could still make some nice pictures.

I landed near the western railway station of Bangkok, and navigated my way to the bridge over the river sidearm which lay in my way. I was led by signs through a labyrinth of small (~2 m wide) paths through a definitively non-tourist area. Finally I arrived at the museum, only to discover that it was closed already and the shuttle boats (the official way of reaching it) were not running anymore.

So I navigated my way back to the river, crossed with a ferry, took a bus to the Golden Mountain, and took a canal boat (a water taxi running on Bangkok’s many canals) to the next Skytrain station, and went back to the hotel.

That night, I took a little stroll through Bangkok’s amusement quarter Nana Plaza. Many elder western men with young Thai girls… and every taxi driver is willing to take you somewhere („Lady, Massage“, „20 Bath only, drive there and return“). Most even have little flyer with some nice pictures of said ladies :). I finished the day by getting a much needed massage at yesterday’s massage parlor, far away from Nana Plaza.

Thursday, 17/08/2006, Bangkok

The heat, humidity, and the constant changes from warm outside to air-conditioned inside quite takes it toll. I have a small headache this morning, and my stomach told me already yesterday that I really, really should have drunk more wayer on tuesday.

Anyways, nothing a good breakfast cannot solve, so I took the same at the restaurant next to the hostel. Oh yea, breakfast is included in the room price! It was a good continental breakfast, with tea, toast, two kinds of jam – and very „continental“ boiled rice with pork :).

This day was going to be the sightseeing day, so I took the canal boat back to the old city and visited

  • the City Parapet Phrakan Fortress (nice small, but not allowed inside),
  • the Democracy monument,
  • the Giant Swing (currently without swing :(),
  • the Wat Phra Kaew (temple) with the Emerald Buddha,
  • the Grand Palace and
  • the Wat Po, a Buddhist Temple and massage school.

I also wanted to visit Chinatown, which my roommate described as rather Thaied and westened, but I had to go and fetch my visa fro the embassy. Due to taking the wrong Skytrain, I arrived five minutes after closing time, but fortunately it was still open. So I have now my visa for Vietnam.

I spent the rest of the afternoon booking my flight from Hanoi to Bangkok (I have already booked the one from Bangkok via Singapore back to Bangalore) and to update my blog, so that you can now read my adventures here. I think I will finish tonight by visiting the „Dubliner’s“ Irish pub, which I found yesterday, and go to bed early, so that I am fit for tomorrows day-trip to Ayutthaya.

One Response to “Bangkok (Day 4-6)”

  1. Thomas sagt:

    You visited the Giant Swing without swing? So what did you visit? An empty place with a sign saying „If it were here, this would be cool“?

    I hope you’re taking lots of pictures, I want to see that giant swing without swing. 😉

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