Published: February 2nd 2007February 2nd 2007
About 10000 stalls selling everything from Squirels to Silk.
OMG Bangkok is a real culture shock! Imagine all the 'looky looky' people you have ever met on your holidays and times it by 100! This is scam city if you are not careful. It starts as soon as you are out of the customs area in the airport, crammed with people trying to get you to take taxi's, guest houses and tours. We had already booked a hotel so managed to make our way down to the official taxi rank and even then when we got in the taxi driver was trying to fix a fare instead of use his meter (I suppose that is OK if you know how much it should be).
We arrived at the famous Khao San Road where our hotel was, got out the taxi and were immediately approached by several people shouting 'tuk tuk' (these are little carts a bit like a mini milk cart with a moped engine and are used as taxis). We got to the hotel which was really nice thankfully. Khao San Road is the backpacker haven, it is actually really good. Very busy with loads of bars and market stalls selling mainly copy clothing like Billabong and Diesel
The Chef at our favourite street restaurant.
etc (really good ones too) but it has a really laid back atmosphere. There are also loads of street vendors selling Thai food, fruit, cocktails etc it is a really fun place.
In total we have spent a week in Bangkok seeng the sights and arranging our onward travel. Bangkok is very very busy, hot and quite dirty, there is loads of pollution from all the traffic. It is also mega cheap.
On our first day we had a real adventure. We took the bus to the weekend market (8 baht which is about 10p), which has around 10,000 stalls selling everything! Clothing, household goods, food, furniture, animals (tropical fish, dogs, cats, birds and flying squirrels), crockery, cutlery etc. We had lunch in a little place there which was really good, fried chicken, papaya salad and thai sausage with rice. We both bought some clothes as we need the light clothing to cover up so we now look like right little travellers with our kaftans and Thai trousers! Also I got some hippy headbands, mainly to keep my head covered in the sun! It is OK though as we really fit in on Khao San Road now!
Only 45 Baht for a pint bottle
We had dinner in an amazing restaurant which was absolutely palatial, we sat next to the water feature (one of those edgeless pool things) and two meals with beers cost us less than 7 GBP!! We have also found an amazing little street restaurant where they cook the food in front of you (see pics) and a meal for two with beer in there is 100 baht which is less than 1.50 GBP!!! It is really good too. We are trying loads food wise and feel like we are on borrowed time every time we do in case we are ill!!
We have also visited the Grand Palace. We took a boat on the river to get there which gave us another view of Bangkok entirely. At the ferry terminal there were people washing clothes and bathing in the river. I really didn't expect to see that in the capital city, it really makes you appreciate what you have. The Grand Palace is out of this world. It is behind a white walls so you can't really see it from outside. When you get in it is like a little village and all the buildings are completely covered in
Dinner is Served
Pat Thai 25Baht (approx 30p)
gold and mosaic tiles. Of course we saw the famous emerald Buddha which is inside one of the temples. It has a different outfit for the different seasons and it is changed by the King in a special ceremony.
On approach to the palace there are people trying to con you by saying it is closed etc and you are warned about this. It is totally unbelievable how cheeky they are. We were nearly caught out by a guy who had a badge and everything and was stood right next to one of the gates where there were guards in a sentry box. He said it was closed for a ceremony and we nearly believed him until he offered us a cheap tuk tuk and mentioned the shops. The big scam is to get you in a tuk tuk and take you to certain shops where they con you or try to force you to buy stuff. He was so believable though but we escaped!
There are more photos below