Sleeping in our tiny room actually wasn’t too bad. Somehow it’s colder here, that it was easier to sleep. However, it must be more humid because the shirt I washed didn’t dry over the night and during the day, the sweat flows in rivers.
We got up and chose one of the breakfast tables. With Hedi, we enjoyed our included breakfast and afterwards we felt strenghtened enough to start a day of sightseeing. One American girl from the table next to us had made an exchange year at the Kantonsschule in St. Gallen. How big of a coincidence is that? On the third table was a Swiss family (of course…).
Myri and I walked through small back alleys to get to the Banglumpoo pier. Right away we were shoveled onto a boat with an orange flag. It took off again before we could even get a secure stand. Time is money 🙂
A lady came and collected 15 Bht from us and we got off 3 stops later at pier 9. From there, we already saw the grand palace, which was our goal. There were hundreds of tourists (among them Chinese groups and Thai school classes). But we could walk straight to the ticket office and buy the expensive tickets for 500 Bht. Lonely Planet is not accurate anymore…
The palace was beautiful, colorful and a lot of gold. We looked at all the buildings, tried to figure out the story on the wall paintings, blessed ourselves with water from a flower, talked to Thai school girls who thought that we were very beautiful because our skin is so white (in the 7/11 stores here we found lotion which is supposed to make your skin lighten up) and enjoyed the air-conditioned rooms in the upstairs crafts and textile museum. So, if you ever are in Bangkok visiting the Grand Palace and you’d rather not walk up the stairs because you’re already drained of all energy; do it anyways! The artifacts are interesting and like I said: the temperature is heavenly fresh.
This time, it didn’t take so long to visit Angkor Wat
Once we had looked at everything, we looked for where to go next. That was when we ran into this friendly man who explained us a few things about the city (he said to only use tuktuks with yellow plates because they were from the government) and then he told a driver to take us to several places and in the end to the train station (that’s where we wanted to meet Hedi and Moritz at 1pm). It started off well and he brought us to a nice temple with a sitting Buddha. We could even hit a gong.
But afterwards, he wanted to bring us to tourism offices or shops all the time because he would free gas if he brought us there. The first time we went into the tourism office although we knew that we wouldn’t book a tour (we were even more sure when we met some Austrian people and we realized that they just paid way too much for the trip they booked). So, we went back to the Tuktuk and when he wanted to bring us to another place, we just went to get something to drink, what pissed our driver off and he left with a sour looking face. Up to that point I was so happy because the people were so friendly and if you smile at them you always receive a huge smile in return.
However, after that, for the whole day we only had bad experiences with Tuktuks. Once we were with Moritz and Hedi and had booked the train to go to Chiang Mai the 15th, a tuktuk brought us into such a different direction than we wanted to be, that we just got off somewhere in a traffic jam and walked right into a meat market.
That chicken looked from a park out on the road, right at this:
From there we took a taxi to Khaosan Road because by then we were more than starving and we knew that there would be something to eat at Khaosan. Again, we paid too much for this taxi because he wouldn’t turn on the meter and we agreed to 80 Bht.
Then, we looked at some shops and at the temple near Khaosan Road. There was a special monk ceremony, because the young monks will turn into adult monks or something like that. It was almost 6 pm then and we were so tired and sweaty that we trusted another tuktuk driver who then actually brought us directly to the hostel for 50 Bht (too much again).
A shower really made me feel better and afterwards I had new hope that the evening will be better. We wanted to see Wat Arun by night, from the Armosa bar. The lady at the hostel told us that we could take bus Nr. 53 right from the main road close to the hostel to Wat Po, which is close to Wat Arun. We were lucky because the bus arrived after 2 min and for 6,5 Bht we rode a few stops on a public bus J What an agreeable way to travel!!! No stops at shops, a cool breeze and such a small fare. Plus, only locals and us 🙂
Luckily, the bus stop was right at the place where the Arun residence is and on the 4th floor, we found the Armosa bar. The view on Wat Arun is very beautiful and it made up for all the wasted energy from the day. The cocktails were rather expensive though ($7!!! :)). But Hedi and I had to celebrate because we both passed the first part of our final exams 🙂 !
Then, we took the bus back to our station and had dinner at the same place again as yesterday since it was already 9pm and we didn’t want to have to go look for anything anymore. The food there is good and the funny thing is, that they play cover songs of international pop music but all sung by the same woman with this very soft voice 🙂
Phew, that was an eventful day. I think we’ve earned ourselves a massage for tomorrow.