- At The Moment of My Mind -

Taking leaps of faith only to fall in step with Him.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Knock, Knock, Sawadee Kha Bangkok!

It’s my first time to Bangkok, and truth be told, I expected the worst. Hey, as they say, if you expect the worst, then you will never be disappointed.

True, true, when I came to the First House Hotel, the staff were pleasant enough, and the room was alright. It was way better compared to the nightmare I had of a room back when Shikin and I stayed in KL. (Ugh, the horror of budget hotels in KL.) Although the closet was small and the bathroom tub is stained from age but the whole place was clean and cozy. There was no smell (esp from the toilet) and the beds were hard but still within the limits of comfort. Every morning there is breakfast (although it gets a little tired after seeing the same breakfast menu for the 3rd morning, blek.)

I loved Bangkok.

People keep telling me stories of either horror or happiness.

“I love the food!”
“The pick pockets there are terrible!”
“Riding tut tut is a blast!”
“Careful of what you eat, dun want to get food poisoning on your 1st day.”
“It’s a shopping haven!”
“Don’t get cheated!”

In truth the Thai people are generally friendly and very polite when it comes to handling others. Our tour guide kept saying 'excuse me' before he pointed out some interesting fact of the places we visit. They are proud for who they are and loves to joke about and laugh, generally have a good time.

My hotel is located near the Platinum Mall and the Indonesian Embassy. It’s far from any rowdy bars or sleazy clubs so at around 10pm it’s relatively quiet.

Good timing for us was that we were visiting when it was their King’s birthday. For all their political hum drum, the Thais were pretty united and respectful when it comes to the royal family. On the evening of HM’s birthday, small groups of people burned yellow candles and incense, offered flowers and candies in the streets, around temples and shopping areas where his portrait was displayed, all in prayer and respect for His Majesty. It was awesome.

First day, we arrived at the airport at 6 in the morning. So it was reasonable we crashed the afternoon, slept all the way till evening. Woke up hungry and ready to hunt around the area.

The streets and alleys were crowded with hawkers, food stalls, knick knack stalls, selling everything you can imagine. Although I was careful what I ate. I don’t want to end up eating kitten meat or something equally appalling and gross.

Food court is a good choice cuz they have the menu in both thai and english. You can buy a food court card (kinds like electronic card), order whatever you want, then hand over the card for them to swipe. I like this system cuz not only it’s faster but it’s also hygenic in a sense that those who prepare the food dun handle icky germ infested cash.

Ah, what I would do for some sticky rice and mango right about now...

Because it was the king’s birthday, all the tours were cut down 50%. So we went on two tours, one around the city visiting the palace, the sleeping Buddha and the golden Buddha, a thai massage (@#%^&$*#! Thai massage bloody hurts!), and finally ending with Calypso Cabaret show. Then the other one to the floating market, an elephant show, a crocodile show and wrapped up with a cultural show.

We saw some interesting stuff really. I mean it’s Bangkok for crying out loud. There were ang mohs with their arms around their ‘friends’ who would prolly give them happy endings after a full body thai massage. Lets see... there are thai guys who are hotter than most women.

Some are so natural looking that I can’t really tell them apart. There was one who worked at the food court. I asked how much was the duck rice and the pretty petite thing answered in his deep manly voice, “Three hundrad and fity baht.” It really shocked me for a second there.

Shopping was of course great but I hate to see those Buddha heads or hands or what ever parts of his displayed for purchase. They looked like antiques, which makes me wonder how many of them are legit. I hate to think they were robbed from temples or scared historial sites. Which is why I didn’t get any eventhough I love antiques.
If you can imagine this one. Or this spectacular one.
Being sold like this at the floating market! Unforgivable! If you knew they were taken from temples or historical sites, would you buy them?

Or many I have been watching too many indian jones movies. -_-" (But it's true! Historical sites are robbed regularly to be smuggled out and sold!)
In the Temple of the Golden Buddha, weighing at five and a half tons of solid gold. Made around the 1400s-1550s. The brochure wrote that the statue originally was covered with a thick layer of concrete to protect it from thieves. It was lost for a while (it's secret protected too well I guess) and was re-discovered in 1950's when they were doing some renovation work for a building belonging to the East India Company. Today it sits cozy in a small temple and gazes serenely at all that visits for 20 baht per entry.

One thing is for sure, got to bring my own camera next time I go Bangkok! XD