Monday, August 13, 2007

Travelogue: Bangkok, Thailand July 07

Day 1: arrival.
I decided to take the "cheap" way out of the airport. That is, free shuttle from the airport to the public bus terminal, find the right public bus to take me closest to where I need to go, wait for bus, get on and ride the longest bus ride into the heart of Bangkok.

I think that was the longest trip into the city at 1.5 to 2 hours. And I still had to get to my guest house. It dropped me at Independance Monument and rather than looking for another public bus to the area I needed, I dragged my things to the Skytrain where I knew exactly where to go.

An easy Skytrain ride to Saphan Kwai since I still had a pass from the last Bangkok trip, and then out onto the streets to the Big C where I knew I could find a tuk tuk or taxi for a short ride to . It was 30 Baht since I knew it was close.

Aahh. Such relief to be in familiar surroundings. I opted to shower, have dinner, wash some clothes and relax in front of the TV. This turned into a delightful chat session with a couple from Wales. They were at the end of their journey. It was fun to share about Cambodia with them, especially since they haven't been there before.

Day 2: Shopping day!
I was off to Big C for some items to pick up and send off home. The Thai postal system is so delightful. You can pay very low prices for them to pack it up and then go on down to another counter for the international mailint. So efficient, easy and friendly.

After Big C was the biggest outdoor market and bazaar: The Weekend Market, or Chatechak (sp?) Market. I found all sorts of goodies there. Handmade photo postcards, seed bead necklaces and bracelets, 2 bags, handmade soap, hand carved wooden wind chimes, woven palm leaf mini zipper purses and silk boxes. I filled my backpack full. But this wasn't the last stop.

On to the Skytrain for a long ride to the end of the line for some shopping at the superstore: Tesco Lotus. Just a few more items here, such as snacks, and I had myself a lunch in their cafeteria. You pay for a kind of debit card then go order food from a window that has food choices that you like, they swipe the card then you go eat. I got myself a Thai iced tea, but of course that's not what they call it. It's just iced milk tea there. I didn't use the whole amount I put on the card, so I took it back to the window for my refund.

Back on the Skytrain for another long ride back to my station and a walk to the guesthouse. One more stop at Big C for some water. I didn't pick up much street food this time around, though Bangkok has possibly the best street food in the world for variety and quality.

Day 3: A quiet relaxing day.
I had breakfast late, checked internet, and read in my room for awhilea bout Vietnam. I'll be leaving for Vietnam later in the evening.

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