Today was my first full day in BK and it’s still going – it feels soo long on account of everything I’ve done! After a yum breakfast with my new roomie Camille, we headed out to check out the fish spa, a tank full of lil fish that eat all the dead skin off your feet. I know, it sounds gross, but it’s actually like a luxury spa treatment in Canada so I wanted to check it out., It seemed kinda cool but our feet didn’t hurt yet so we decided to get into a Tuk Tuk and see some sights. A Tuk Tuk is like a motorized open air taxi that runs on gas, makes a ton of noise and is also a super fun way to see the city…..if the city isn’t choked by traffic resulting from a protests from the Red Shirts.. aka Commies. Bah.
Pretty much the first hour all we saw was the back of numerous buses and cars spewing out filthy exhaust. It made me miss my carefully planned bag even more as I had a dust mask in there I really needed!
The whole drive was a bit of a bust – they promised to show us a bunch of touristy sights on our way to MBK (the mega mall where I wanted to buy a Thai cellphone) but instead got dragged to three tailors (the kind that will custom make you a suit in like 24 hours) and a high-priced jewelry store before we realized we had been scammed. One temple and like 5 crappy stops so this Tuk Tu driver could collect free gas cards from every place we went. I argued with the driver (Me: “You didn’t show us anything! Take us to MBK right now!” Driver: “One more stop” Me: “NO TAKE US TO MBK RIGHT NOW.” Driver: silence. Starts tuk tuk. Drives to MBK.)
Overall it was not a bad outing considering we paid less than a dollar CAD (for both of us!!) for the whole trip, I guess if he gets free gas and gets paid by the hour he doesn’t give a damn where he takes us!! It ended up being a funny experience, but the Thais have their tourist scams down to an art, its unfortunate to say but I will be very wary of any overly friendly Thais from now on after that experience.
FINALLY at MBK, we stepped into the air-conditioned madness to find the biggest, scariest, weirdest mega mall I have ever seen. 8 floors. Everyone selling the same crap as their neighbour. What?? so weird! there was a floor for each product and after navigating the very confusing MBK food courts ( you had to exchange $$ for food coupons and then give it to the vendors – not an easy thing to figure out since no one speaks great English and we certainly don’t speak Thai!) We enjoyed a very yummy Pad Thai and headed to the fourth floor to buy a phone. This was another confusing experience. EVERY store sold the same thing!! I found a lil Nokia Thai phone that I liked, paid 1600 baht for it (about 55 CAD) and happily headed home, in an air-conditioned taxi 🙂 Yay!
When we got into the hotel, guess what was waiting for me??? MY BAG! yes!! It made the trip all the way from Toronto with nary a scar or tear to show for it, everything was intact and nothing spilled. YES! Although it was very pleasant to wash all my clothes the night before in my underwear with a bar of soap in the bathroom sink, I was so happy to see all of my stuff 😛
Camille and I wandered around our little district near Soi Rambuttri, getting foot massages (3 dollars) and checking out a massage school where we might get certified to do Thai massage later on in our trip! Another round of Pad Thai later ( I know, I know not very adventurous but let me wade in here, people!!) from a street vendor (I get props for that don’t I??) we grabbed some drinks and wi-fi at a local bar and waited fort he night to begin. We met a bunch more people from our trip, and at the meet and greet were introduced to about half of our fellow travellers. It seems like an amazing group, I cant wait to get started.
Leaving BK tomorrow. onto floating huts, jungle treks, elephant rides, and THE BEACH baby!!
Bye Bangkok I’ll be back twice more before my trip is over. I’m glad to leave your smelly crowded-ness behind – but since I am a city girl it’s safe to say I am truly intoxicated by your beauty and crazy vibe. Cant wait to come back and experience more Thai city life.
And Mom, Dad, as soon as I can figure out this damn Thai cellphone I will be giving you a call!!