Friday, October 23, 2009

Thailand, More like Tuk-Tuk land. (And cats)

Today we woke up and we became immediately impressed by our hotel when we were reminded that our $50 per night rate includes a full buffet breakfast... I had three different kinds of eggs and Banana Pancakes!!!

Leaving the hotel we set out to explore the local streets but at the very first corner we were approached by a guy who asked us where we were from, upon hearing us say "Australia" he quickly said "Aaagh, SYDNEY!" and hopped around like a Kangaroo, this exact experience happened to us no less than three more times later the same day. The man then gave us a list of all of the places needed to go and then hailed a Tuk-Tuk for us and told the driver not to charge us anymore than 20 Baht (About 66 cents AU).

I was proud of Prue as she threw caution to the wind and rolled with it as we jumped in the Tuk-Tuk on a whirlwind tour of Bangkok. Firstly, everything they say about the crazy traffic is completely true, as we found ourselves regularly travelling on the wrong side of the road and even on the footpath at one point. Secondly everything they say about Tuk-Tuk drivers taking tourists to local sales traps is true. But one thing must be said, the Tuk-Tuk driver gets given fuel for taking tourists to the local sales places, so long as we were able to say "No Thank you" it was absolutely no harm and we got a fantastic tour of some of the local sites, while the driver waited patiently for us.

After a couple of hours of roaring though the streets of Bangkok visiting attractions, temples, tailors, statues, travel agents, more temples, more tailors, more attractions and a jewelery store (at which Prue ALMOST bought a $150 ring) we finally said goodbye to our Tuk-Tuk driver as he dropped us off at the King's Palace, we even gave him an extra 20 Baht as we felt bad after doing the currency conversion.

At the kings palace we found out two things, the first was that (like some Bendigo nightclubs) you can't get in wearing shorts, this led to me being lent a pair of ugly Pants to wear over the top of my shorts, adding to the amount of sweatiness and tripling my ugliness. Secondly the King is fully pimped out. The palace is.. umm... well... Palatial. An absolutely amazing place which can not be described in words (So I wont). After the Palace we hit our first market stalls and passing through stalls full of unrecognisable meats skewered on sticks, we settled down for food that was cooked while we waited and was reasonable recognisably, very yummy and even had a unsecured wireless internet connection nearby.

Getting back to the hotel we had a swim in the pool and have been relaxing with a drink ever since. Probably a long winded post today, but it really was a truly epic day, a wonderful experience that has been possibly the best way to start our epic journey. You can see some of the photos from our day Here.

Chapter 1: Long ass plane ride and a Crazy Taxi...

After 8 hours and three shit movies on our Thai Airways flight we finally made it to Bangkok. The airport is a concrete and steel labyrinth which seemed to stretch on forever but we made out into the Bangkok air without any hiccups, customs didn't even bother scanning our bags, we just got pushed right through the door. And my god was the air a blast to the senses, similar to walking out the aircon doors at Darwin airport but we were hit by a very warm thick air. No poo and flowers smell though...

Got a Taxi to the hotel and quickly realised why everyone remarks about the chaotic traffic in Bangkok as the taxi driver sped us along at full pace (Averaging about 120km/hr) while making left hand turns from the right hand lane. The taxi driver managed to rip us off 200 Baht, but his driving was a bit of an experience and he was a very friendly guy so we didn't mind as we parted ways without actually knowing that whether or not we were in the right place.

But after walking around the next corner we found our sanctuary of the hotel, settled in then we have grabbed a quick drink why we write this, and now off to bed... In THAILAND??!!