January 27, 2014

In the beginning there was Bangkok

A little bit crazy

Anyone who know’s me know’s that I love travelling. They also know that for the last 5 years I’ve been talking about my next big trip to Thailand. For 5 years it was pushed off, maybe next year, maybe next… Well this year it finally happened. When my housemate Rebecca said she was also interested in going I jumped on the opportunity to go with a friend and we started to plan. Tickets were bought in December and I had laser eye surgery later than month so I could actually see during snorkelling.

7am the morning of January 26th (a late birthday present to myself) we headed to Dublin Airport to start our adventure. We flew Aer Lingus to Amsterdam where we only had a 1.5 hour layover, then on to China Airlines for an 11 hour flight to Bangkok. Without much sleep we arrived in Bangkok at 7am the next morning. We hopped on the skytrain and headed into the city to find our accommodation for the next 3 nights at Feuang Nakorn Balcony.

Now how to get there… we were met by a TukTuk driver who sent us over to an officer (well he had a badge, legit? who knows?) who said he use to live in Tipperary and reminisced for a while about Ireland. He gave us some advise on how to get to our hotel and areas to avoid because of the protests, he also suggested a tour agent to visit and a few places to go shopping. He was very nice but upon reflection I think he was just trying to get us to head to the tour agent where he most likely received a commission. We headed for the bus stop and waited, and waited, and waited… The first TukTuk driver (who sent us to the officer) passed us again and this time picked us up and off we went. Talk about a crazy drive! we thought we might not even survive one day in Bangkok the way he was driving. After a bit of confusion as to where our hotel actually was, we somehow arrived in one piece.

We checked in, our room was perfect, two twin beds and our own bathroom, very clean and tastefully decorated. First things first, food, we walked around the corner to the local market (boy was it local!) we walked aimlessly through the market wondering exactly what kind of food we were looking at. Out of exhaustion we finally just bought a few random things, most of all which were very tasty and headed back to the hotel. We went to sleep.

Around noon we woke up and headed over to the beautiful Wat Pho were we walked around in awe of all of the sparkling buildings and the huge Reclining Buddha. Wha Pho is also home to the tradition of Thai Massage so we booked a session and had our first massage that would set a president for the rest of our trip.

We then headed over to the river to get a taxi and along with several other tourists tried to figure out exactly how they work. We all crowded onto a dock and waited for boats, they came and went, but never seemedto be in the right direction (we wanted to head south). Finally we caught a ‘Blue Flag’ boat, aka a ‘tourist boat’ which seemed appropriate for us. Little did we know the main difference is they charge 10 times the price of the “other flag” boats. But they do stop at all the major attractions along the river, however the didn’t stop at the stop we wanted to go! So we went one stop further.

We walked back up towards the stop we wanted which was near the entrance of Chinatown. At this point the sun had gone down and were a bit lost. When we finally found the gate of Chinatown we had our since of direction back.  We stopped in to a Chinese restaurant for dinner, I had scallops with asparagus and Rebecca had shrimp with asparagus, we didn’t realise we had pretty much ordered the same thing since most of the menu was in Chinese. Both were tasty. We slowly wondered our way back to our hotel where we had a beer and hit the sack.

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