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Published: April 4th 2009
We went to the floating market at Damnoen Saduak at 5am. We were going to catch a bus there, but our taxi driver to the bus station was great and offered us a price not much more than going by bus so we accepted. He was great and tried to teach us thai all the way there - Jack did the best I think.
It was an amasing place, a bit like Venice with an Asian slum twist. We loved it and it was well worth going 1 1/2 hours before the tourists arrived. We saw people washing in the rivers (brushing there teeth in the dirty water - yuk!!!) doing their dishes in the river, smelling the flowers on their balconies and going about their normal lives. We saw monitor lizards, giant ants that freaked Jack out, ate yummy fried banana's and banana pancakes that were cooked on a boat next to our own hired boat. We bought and batered for a couple of things and think we feared ok - not so sure we got a great bargain but still we were pleased as it was way cheaper than what you would pay in NZ so very cool.
Once the crowds arrived we got off the canals and watched the crazy tourists and traffic jams from the waters edge - so funny and got the usual famous photos of it all which I really wanted to get.
We went back to Bangkok and slept for four hours - we really needed it.
Late afternoon we decided to cross the street, we were scared shit less - but we decided to stand beside the locals and go when they did (hid behind them too). Yey, we made it to the other side - the traffic doesn't actually stop, they just go around you. But once on the other side we found food, lots of it down tiny alley ways that led to even more narrow alley ways that went on for miles. We got lost within minutes but were having way too much fun to care. Jack found too many bargains and loves how Chinese everything was ( funny that considering we were in the heart of Chinatown). An amazing place with thousands of people, the weirdest food you could imagine, some of the grossest too and we loved it. Thank goodness we crossed the road and
went right instead of left or we would never have found such an fantastic experience.
This morning we flew up to Chiang Mai as I have mentioned in my first blog entry. At the airport we had to catch a bus out to our plane ( Bangkok airport is astronomically huge ). There where very few seats on the bus and most people had to stand. Jack refused a seat because he said he always had to sit down on Mr Hoys bus to school and it was the first time he could stand - he found out as soon as the bus started why it was a good rule to sit down - ha ha - had to laugh at him.
Our hotel here is so peaceful and beautiful, it used to be a Buddist monastery and everything is thought of down to the tiniest detail and the service is impeccable with candles everywhere and a thai classical musician playing beside the pool. I could live here. The pool is having renovations so I was disappointed at first until I discovered they had arranged for us to use the pool at another hotel ( one that we
wanted to stay at but could not afford, $600 NZ per night) plus given us free massage and cocktails at the bar - they were forgiven -what luxury we are living in right now!!!!!
We went up to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep this morning and took quite a lot of photos of all the details on the temples and we all got blessed by the buddist monks for good health and wealth. On the way back down the mountain we went to the zoo. Not the best or prettiest zoo but they had four animal enclosures that were ( I have to say it again ) amazing. First was the hippos that we fed bananas to - very cool animals. One hippo just opened his mouth and waited for people to play goaly with him - Tracy obliged. Next we fed the giraffes, an elephant not in an enclosure, saw the white tigers but did not fed for obvious reasons and the best of all was the Pandas. We spent quite a bit of time there and took a few photos ( I am being sarcastic ) The Pandas are normally asleep and it is rare to see
them awake so were very lucky. We loved the Pandas - I couldn't quite get the picture of Jack cuddly panda at home out of my mind - they were beautiful. Jack wanted to bring one home of course.
Jack is learning to barter - he was trying to buy a bronze buddha statue, the lady asked for 1000bht, Jack said 200bht, she was shocked and came down to 800bht, Jack came back at 150bht. Not quite how it works but nice try. He got it in the end with help for 350bht ( $17 ) a good price.
We have an internet cafe across from our hotel and it only costs $1NZ per hour, better than the $5per 1/2 hour in Bangkok - great value and next door foot massages are $4.50 per hour so guess where I'm going now before bed.
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