The practice of bus riding in Bangkok

Today we got to sleep in until 8, yay 🙂 We had our breakfast at the hostel and then went to make a massage appointment at BUHBUIHUHOI in Samsen Soi 6, right on the opposite side to the Soi to our hostel. A vendor with coconuts came by and I took my chance to buy one. There was at least 2dl of coconut milk inside. It was good but a lot of this taste for one person. Myriam didn’t like it. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a knife with me and so I could only eat the coconut inside from the cut off top.

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We then walked to a bus stop and took bus 49 to drive to the golden mountain. The lady at the Khaosan Baan Thai hostel explained everything to us and so traveling by bus made the whole journey a lot easier. This time the bus was with air-con and therefore cost 11 Bht. Next to the Golden Mountain was a beautiful temple with lots of sitting Buddhas inside. After taking a few pictures, we paid the 20 Bht and climbed the steps to the top of the Wat Saket (I had expected a mountain with a temple on top of it but it actually was just a huge concrete thing with plants, bells, gongs and Buddha statues on it and a stairwell that led to the top in circles.

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On the top, we had a nice 360 degree view over Bangkok. I didn’t even like the skyline; this really is not my city.

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After a while, we climbed back down and had to go back to the bus stop, to get to Wat Po, where we were supposed to meet Hedi and Moritz. So, this is the way we had most luck getting around in the city so far: just ask a random Thai person, the best bet is with students who wear a school uniform, they are always eager to help. Then, you tell them where you want to go and whether there is a bus to it. If there is a bus from this bus stop, lucky you. If the bus stop is far away, ask them to call a taxi for you and to tell the driver that they have to turn on the meter. Usually, I ask several people to make sure it’s really the right information. The first person at Wat Saket told us bus nr. 15 but with that one we would have had to walk quite a bit afterwards. A second and third person told us nr. 47, so that’s what we took. There were so many people on the bus that we had to stand. However, because of that, we didn’t have to pay 🙂

So far, we always found people who told us what stop we had to get off at. Again, we were in a traffic jam and so, we got off a little early and walked the last 300m, so that we wouldn’t arrive even later. Our friends were nowhere to be seen and since we didn’t know whether they were running late too, we made a half an hour break in the shade and refueled with water and a granola bar I brought with me. When there still was no trace of them, we thought that they must have already gone into the temple and so we also paid the 100 Bath (you receive a coupon for a free water bottle) and started walking around the temple. From that point on the most used phrase of the day was WHERE ARE WE? Wat Po was so symmetrical that we never knew where we had been already and probably walked in circles several times.

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Eventually, we did find the hall with the big lying Buddha. Since we were dressed appropriately, we didn’t have to wear a stylish green bath robe. We only had to carry our shoes in a blue shopping bag.

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When we were done visiting the temple we would have like to just stay on the bench in front of it all day, drink our free water and sleep. But we had to find some food and therefore made our way into Chinatown again because it should have been close enough to walk. But somehow, none of the people could tell us where we would find a restaurant and just before we passed out we finally found someone who sold spring rolls (the first thing we recognized. There were food stands before but with such weird things on them that we rather passed and in addition, we were badly in need of air-conditioning). We each bought one and sat down for a moment and then continued right through the electronic section of the Chinese market. What a chaos of cables, cell phones etc. At the end of this road we suddenly walked up to what must be a mall (“Old Siam” was written on it). There was a McDonalds and a Chinese Noodle House. Since we took the strain of the walk to Chinatown upon us in order to eat Chinese food, we chose the Noodle House. Bad decision! All the food tasted the same and it didn’t taste good and nobody spoke anything but Chinese, so they couldn’t read our map or even tell us, what road we were at. But when we were done eating, we just walked in one direction and surprisingly it was the right one on the first try because we reached the river at Memorial Bridge and waited for an orange boat to arrive.

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There were many people on the boat which made getting on and off it even trickier since everyone had to hurry up. But we got off at our pier (13) and survived walking the last 400m of walking to the hostel. We had some time to relax and right when we were about to leave for the massage, Hedi and Moritz finally showed up. They didn’t have their cell phones with them and also ran late at Wat Po because of a demonstration on the streets. They had a good day but also trouble with finding lunch.

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He is happy because it’s nice and cold in the water

On the way to the massage, we dropped our post cards into the “to all other places” box and wished them a good trip. Hopefully they will arrive. They should; because stamps have Swiss prices here!

We were lead into a room with two massage beds in it, divided by a curtain and the first thing the woman told us was to take all our clothes off. So we did and since we didn’t know what to do then, we just stood there naked, not knowing what was going to happen. We then were told to lie down with the face in the breathing hole and we each had a person massaging us for a whole hour. Luckily, they were dressed, as opposed to the women at the Hamam in Istanbul. They started with the legs, which was just a dream, then the back (I didn’t know I was ticklish on my back and I really tried to pull myself together but when I had to start laughing, suddenly my massage lady and then Myri had to laugh as well :)). Some grasps hurt a little but mostly, it was wonderful! I really felt revived and presentable again afterwards.

Since we didn’t want to have dinner at the same place as yesterday (a French deli looking place near Samsen Soi 3 on Samsen road,I forgot its name), the four of us tried another Samsen Soi and settled for a Thai-European restaurant (“Wunderbar”). The food was ok, but all in all the other place was better, above all the service.

We've only managed 4 so far.

We’ve only managed 4 so far.

Now it’s already packing time again…Tomorrow we’re off to Kanchanaburi. Kahosan Baan Thai hostel was a great place to stay in this city!

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2 thoughts on “The practice of bus riding in Bangkok

  1. Euch muss ja bald der Kopf schwirren von so vielen Eindrücken! 🙂 Wir hsben auch wieder einen tollen Tag erlebt. In Nauders haben wir im Hotel Löwen (Gasthof in welchem wir unsere 1. Ferien in Nauders verbracht haben. Dann sind wir über den Reschenpass und nachher dem See entlang gefahren. Dabei hatten wir eine traumhafte Aussicht auf Schneeberge. Jetzt übernachten wir wieder in einer gemütlichen Pension.

  2. Hi seraina
    Gratuliere zu deiner bestandenen prĂĽfung. Super gemacht. Deine beschreibungen im blog erinnern mich stark an unseren trip vor 25 jahren. Viel spass weiterhin. Dady

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