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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Bangkok - part II

Bangkok - part II

I hate traveling by bus... I hardly ever sleep. This time the bus had only 20 people inside so I had two seats for me but it's still too uncomfortable.

Well we arrived in Bangkok at 6.30 am and had the whole day ahead before catching the bus to Koh Phagnan at 6 p.m...

We decided to start the cultural visit of Bangkok during this stop over.
As we start walking, a rickshaw driver offers to drive us around for 5 bt each. Of course there was a scheme there. So he would take us to some travel agencies we would pretend to be interested in buying some trips and for that he would receive a pre paid fuel voucher from the agency. Before we said no more agencies he took us to the huge Standing Buddha, marble temple, the golden mount (from where one gets a great view over the city) until he dropped us at the royal palace, three agencies later!

The ticket to the palace includes a visit to the fantastic Wat Phra Kaeo, a complex of temples that is just next to the palace. As any westerners walking around in 35 degrees temperature i was wearing shorts, which are not according to the dressing etiquette, so I had to borrow some funny pants from the reception. Different cultures, we just have to respect (they have a well organized free service for people like me). The palace is not possible to visit and the museum's palace is not that interesting - the only thing I found interesting in the museum was learning that they change the golden dress of the emerald Buddha according to the time of the year, in case the statue gets cold with the weather changes...

When we left the palace the rickshaw of course, wasn't there. Why would he wait 2h for 10 bt if could just pick up more tourists and take them to more agencies...

It was then time to get back to the agency where we had left our bags, grab some food for the trip and wait for the bus that would take us to the party island. On the way to the agency we got our first experience of a thunderstorm in Thailand. When it rains, well it really pours down!

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