Sunday, July 5, 2009
Thailand Part 1
Day 1: Leave SLC forget your iphone (or think you forget your iphone). Try and make sure everything is ready at the house. Travel for 26 hours to arrive in Bangkok at around 1200am. Take a taxi to Th Khao San for 400 baht ($12) to get a room with A/C and hot water (livin’ it up) for 500 baht ($15). Sleep oh precious sleep. Wake up around 700am and the strip is completely dead. Nothing open, just a few tuk-tuk’s (3 wheel motorcycles) and taxi’s looking to take some blok somewhere he doesn’t want to go. I walk to the only open store, 7-eleven to pick up some drinking water. By the time I return I’m covered is sweat and need a cold shower. Next we get our included breakfast (a sorry excuse for eggs and bacon) and head out on foot in the town With everything we have on our backs. We head towards the Mae Nam Chao Praya (River) and Thammasat University, with little to no understanding of the map, or how to even recognize the street names. The good news is that every Thai that will talk to you is willing to help you find anything, for the right price of course. We head through the university where everyone is in there white shirt and kilt or whit shirt and slacks. We emerge in a Thai market by the river filled with nic-nac’s that are protective spirit representatives for use in numerous locations. In retrospect we should have spend some baht here and got some authentic souvenirs as we didn’t run into this type of market again on our trip. We then emerged into a small group of temples where I saw one of only three of the female nuns in a purple robe with a shaved head. Later we ventured to the old grand palace on Th Na Phra Lan.
From here we took a tuk-tuk to see the different wat’s, or temples of budda. We saw the sitting budda, and the standing budda (30 m) as well as got a general ride through town and ended at a jewelry store which of course we didn’t ask to go to. But, in a nice building with A/C, fresh tea and 5 different people waiting on you it was difficult not to select some nice peaces as gifts for the important people of the family. We then took another cab to the TAT (the tourist authority of Thailand) a somewhat shady business that you shouldn’t give your credit card number to, yet probably the easiest and safest way to travel.
We book a VIP bus to Krabi on the Phi Phi Family. At one time I’m sure this bus was nice, but I’m pretty sure it hasn’t been cleaned since the purchased it 3 or 4 years ago. Not exactly VIP. Not to mention we get on the bus at 600pm and they start playing these raunchy, rejected US movies and max volume... life you would expect on a spring break bus for a bunch of freshman going to datona beach florida. Needless to say 12 hours later we arrived in Krabi at the phi phi family ferry station to phi phi island. So of course we had no choice but to purchase a very expensive ticket from the phi phi family to get us to ko phi phi don island. While standing around, an enthusiastic thai tried to bleed us dry with anything he could sell us from ferry tickets to money exchanges.