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April 1st 2005
Published: April 1st 2005
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Golden Palace
We got into Bangkok late last evening. I took a stroll around the hotel and saw some of the things Bangkok/Thailand seems to be known for - transvestite prostitutes, street vendors selling deepfried cockroaches/ants/various bugs, more prostitutes/escort girls and the western men using these female services. We headed out this morning and checked out the National Museum and learnt a bit about Thai history having known nothing beforehand. From there we headed down the road to see the Golden Palace and the Emerald Buddha. Later on by chance, a thai man introduced himself and told us about a government factory outlet gem store which specialized in rubies and sapphires. India is supposed to be pretty good as well but you might end up getting glass if you don't know your gems!
I think we're going to hit a few more of the markets before we go back to Hong Kong.

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1st April 2005

Emergency! Please Read
Laura: Stay away from any kind-looking Thai men who introduce themselves to you and tell you about a gem factory. Did you not hear about how Gil got majorly scammed when he was there and caused some serious misery for his life and my parents for several weeks. I'm afraid when you read this that it might already be too late but I hope not. Also, stay away from people who introduce themselves to you out of nowhere, befriend you, and offer to take you to another cool looking temple "just down the road". Just politely decline. They might con you for just $20 but it still doesn't feel very good. They might even look like clean cut college students. Simple travel agent operations in street level units of busy places are fine though. Many families contract themselves out to tour operators. They WILL come and pick you up in a mini-van and take you for a whole day tour. Other than that, it sounds like you're staying in or near Banglampu if you said the Golden Palace is down the road. Stick with the street vendors that sell BBQ drumsticks and fresh fruit. The bugs ain't worth the protein. Albert - Albert Ngai

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