So, I guess this is my first real post with pictures and all to accompany it.
We spent 3 days and 3 nights in Bangkok and really enjoyed the culture shock. The heat, the smell and the massive volume of people, cars, stalls, tuk tuks and buildings, welcomed us. Bangkok, being a mega city is vast, but thanks to the detailed pull-out map in our lonely planet book, we were able to navigate quite well. We didn’t have much of a plan of what we wanted to do while we were there but this being my second visit there, I had a few things I wanted to show Jasmin. In general though, we just wanted to get lost in the city and explore it that way.
Although it was fun, it wasn’t always easy and we had our fair share of hairy moments. Mostly to do with people trying to scam us. The major scam we encountered was the ‘temple tour, 10 baht tuk tuk ride’. What normally happens is a tuk tuk (similar to the Indian rickshaw) driver takes you on a tour of about 5 temples for 10 Baht (.25c) and then takes you to a store which you have to enter and he receives a commission. This normally goes smooth for most people and I even did this the last time I was in Bangkok and didn’t have a problem. This time though the tuk tuk driver we got didn’t give a shit that we wanted to see the temples. He was very nice when he picked us up and assured us we would see all we wanted. He brought us to one temple that was within walking distance of where we were picked up, and waited for us until we were done. We got back on the tuk tuk and expected to go to the next temple but instead he took us on a 45 minute journey deep into the city where he dropped us off at a suit shop and told us to go in. We went in and had a sales guy come up to me and pestered the whole time to try on suits. He told me he would tailor make one perfect suit for me and that I could leave it at his shop, free of charge, if it didn’t fit in my backpack. All the suits were real Armani by the way and only cost 1000 Baht(€22)… Having declined his suit offer we rejoined our tuk tuk man. Smiling as we got into the tuk tuk, his mood changed as we took off. He told us that he didn’t get his commission because I didn’t try on any suits and informed us that we were heading to another suit shop to try again. No fucking chance, I told him nicely. I was not about to try on a bloody suit in this heat. Okay okay, no suit, he said. Next stop was a gem store. In his store we had a short look around and used the toilet, staying 15 minute to make sure he got his filthy commission. Back on the tuk tuk I told him “No more crap, bring us to a temple.” We took a very short drive to the next temple where he again said he would wait for us. Of course when we went to find him after we were done, he had fecked off.
That was the one bad experience we had. All the other tuk tuks we used were fine and they are a great form of transport. You have to haggle though for the price. They will give you a figure and you be able to at least halve it, if not cut it down by up to 2/3. This goes for everything in Bangkok. You can haggle for food, clothes, transport, souvenirs and services. Its fun and you get really good at it if you hang around Bangkok long enough.
We really enjoyed the ups and downs of Bangkok. We ate lots of Pad Thai, drank plenty of Chang and seen some colourful characters but 3 days was enough for us and we were happy to leave and see more of Thailand.