Just the head, just to see how it feels, er tastes…
This is what I said to Jessie when we decided to try some grasshoppers on Khao San Rd when we were in Bangkok. You’ll have to make sure you check out the videos we took while eating them. It was hilarious!! The funny thing is everyone else at the cart who was trying the different bugs for sale had the same expressions. They were pretty nasty, but we felt the need to give them a try. It was kind of what of those “when in Rome” type situations. We’re sure we’ll end up trying some other nasty things along the way, too. Nate is just proud of Jessie for even TRYING a grasshopper, and her face was priceless! He almost peed his pants after shooting the video of her. Jessie’s description of the taste was similar to the way dried seafood smells. Let’s just say, we were definitely glad we had a beer in hand to wash it down right away. How Andrew Zimmer eats that crap every day we have no idea, but he can HAVE it! Yuk! Ok, so onto other experiences…
Khao San Rd was
quite the experience! Street food? Amazing! Big beers (40’s)? About $1.30 if you’re smart enough to get them from the 7 eleven instead of on the street. You couldn’t help but notice all the dirty western men with young Thai girls, so gross! They were bought and paid for, for sure! On this street, they were selling everything from fake ID’s and diplomas (like one from Oxnard for example), to tattoos, putting your hair in dreads, and the list goes on and on. The people watching was some of the best we’ve ever seen, better than Summerfest, State Fair, or even any white trash festival you could ever imagine. You would not believe how many people actually brought their kids and babies here with them! We’re fully confident that if we had a baby on our trip we could blend right in… just kidding!! It was definitely hippy haven all over the place, and we…were…loving it! How can you not?
We spent some time seeing the typical tourist attractions, including some really cool Wats that are all over the city. The biggest and best was Wat Pho, home of the huge reclining Buddha. The Buddha stretches 150 feet long
and stands 50 feet tall. The Mother-of-pearl inlay in the feet and toes was super cool. We also went to the Chatachak weekend market. There were 15,000 stalls selling anything you could ever want to buy, from lizards and puppies to clothes, food, kitchen supplies, and more! It was enough to keep even the biggest shopaholics busy for hours on end! We only stayed for about 3 hours. The temptation to spend was just too much and we have to remember, we’re only a week into our trip. There’s plenty of time for shopping!
One day, we decided to make our way to Jim Thompson’s house. He was an American who promoted Thai silk to western markets and his house was turned into a museum due to his AMAZING collection of artifacts. It was built from salvaged components of traditional Thai houses, and actually much more interesting and educational than we thought it would be. We were pleasantly surprised. Thank GOD because it took us an hour and half to walk there in 90 degree heat, of course passing numerous locals trying to direct us to their tuk-tuks and taxis. We did however give in on the way back
and decided to brave a tuk-tuk back “home”. It was a cool experience, but really, we were just glad to get back alive at one point when our driver decided to drive on the wrong side of the road into some oncoming traffic instead of waiting with everyone else. Whew! If there’s one thing we’ve learned from being in a tuk-tuk, or even in a taxi here, it’s that the lines on the road mean absolutely nothing. I mean, why would they? Who needs to make sure they don’t die on the freeway right? By the way, for those of you who are wondering if we went to the Grand Palace, the answer is “yes, we went, but we didn’t go in cause we were too cheap to pay for it”. It would have cost us the same amount as 2 nights stay and we just didn’t think it was worth it.
Every day hearing the same thing over and over, most of it just bullsh**… “you want Thai massaaaaaaaaaaage?”, “fish massage?”, “ping pong show?”, “where you going? You need tuk-tuk?”, “big guy, you need taxi?”, “hey tattoo, where you go today?”, “massage happy ending?”. You also have to
be careful of all the scams going on here. One of our favorites was when we walked through a shortcut from where we were staying to Khao San, and one of the locals tried to tell is there was a looking fee when we walked in. Ha! Looking fee my ass! You better learn real quick not to trust ANYONE or you WILL get ripped off around every corner. On our way to a market close by, we walked through a stretch of sidewalk where a couple locals were selling kernels of corn to feed the mass of pigeons. They did not like to take no for an answer! One lady shoved a bag onto Nate’s backpack, which he quickly grabbed and threw down on the ground. One the way back, one of the guys even grabbed his arm and tried to force him into taking a bag. Yeeeah, that didn’t go over with him too well. Let’s just say Nate had some choice words for him and he quickly moved onto the next sucker.
There are scams around every turn and everyone is in on them, even the couple walking down the road you didn’t notice, or the
innocent looking Thai lady walking up with a sweet smile on her face. Don’t be fooled! Let’s give you a couple of examples, shall we? Wat Pho- While walking to Wat Pho, we were told it was closed for a variety of reasons. “Today not a good day, come back tomorrow. Try something else.” “Wat Pho closed, monks are sleeping.” When we got about 50 feet from the entrance, one guy told us the entrance was the other way. What everyone wants is to get you to go with them so they can take to a place where you’ll find yourself in a high pressure to buy situation. We’ve all heard the sayings, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is”, or “nothing’s free”. Truer words were never spoken! The tuk-tuk drivers spot us westerners from a mile away, as if we had flashing dollar signs above our heads or a spotlight shining a dollar sign into the sky like the batman symbol. “Free tuk-tuk?” “Tuk-tuk only 20 baht (not even a dollar).” One day when we went for a walk down to the river, debating on possibly taking a ferry or water taxi, we had some
guy tell us, “Ferry no stop here today, too wet outside.” Ummmm, it’s like 90 degrees outside and sunny, too wet? Wanna try that again? He wanted us to go on HIS boat and take us God knows where!
So now we can say we’ve been there and done that (minus the ping pong show, no thanks, not really interested in seeing Thai boy girls pulling things out of there man made hoo-hahs). The city has really been a LOT of fun and we’ve thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Not to mention, Jessie is feeling much better now, yay!! We’re off to Kanchanaburi…
Xoxoxo Nate and Jessie Traveler Tips Getting there
We got in after 10pm so we had to take a taxi but the airport bus is the cheapest option. Staying
If you’re down to party until 5am, Khao San Road is the place to be. Charondee is a nice hostel with free breakfast (toast and coffee) and wifi. If you’re looking for somewhere more chill, Soi Rambuttri has many options. We ended up at New Siam and really liked it there. For about $12 a night we had a clean, quite room, shared bathroom and hot shower.
The only downfall was there wasn’t wifi. Eating
Don’t waste your money in the restaurants unless you’re craving some western food, the street food is so yummy!! Pad thai is the best! Transportation
If you can walk, do it! Tuk-Tuks are a rip off and taxis are expensive compared to the city bus but good luck figuring out which bus goes where! We recommend buying the bus map if you go that route. If you do take a taxi, make SURE it has a working meter.
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