Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Thailand Day 1!

A'ight, Thailand!

So we were supposed to leave on August 28th, crazy early in the morning (I don't remember the exact time now, but 1am-ish), and that flight was cancelled! D: "Mechanical failure" I think is what they said. There was a lot of running around due to that, but we were able to get rescheduled for the next night, and I spent Thursday putzing and cleaning.

Also due to the reschedule, instead of a 10 hour layover in Taiwan, during which we were going to leave the airport and explore, we had only 1.5-2 hours, putting us into Bangkok earlier in the day than we were scheduled to.



First pic in Thailand! At the airport 8D
BKK is a very pretty airport!

First thing we did was mosquito spray! Then we followed signs to the airport rail link, which was pretty straight forward.



They have these little tokens for this particular line.

So we get off on our stop, go down the stairs aaaand don't see any bus stops. Because the next step, to get to our hostel, was to get on a bus.
We're looking around, confused, when two people ask if they can help us. They're really nice, the lady says she doesn't even live there she lives in New York or something and is just visiting. And they tell us the buses here are super confusing, even to locals, and we're better off with a taxi or a tuktuk. They aren't familiar with our hostel, and ask why we chose that area, etc. Then they wave a tuktuk over, and explain in Thai where we're trying to go, and we're thinking "Well, taxi is more expensive but we're confused." and go w/ it. What nice people right? Well we now know that whole setup is a really common scam!
In fact, when we asked how much it would be, the guy held up two fingers and *implied* it'd be 20 baht, which we tried to confirm, but he didn't actually commit in hindsight.

We didn't die, or get sold off, obviously. But we did pay way too much, and he didn't actually know where it was, and tried to get us to pay more. Actually, we probably paid a good rate for US taxis, or still even cheaper than it is here (I haven't taken a taxi in the states in something like 8 years! So I don't really know), but extremely overpriced for there!

So, straight off the plane and conned. Go us.

Apparently it's quite the racket,  and these well meaning strangers who just happen to speak really good English and have plausible explanations are in league with the drivers. I'm going to keep the rest of the log pretty positive, since this is really for my personal records and I want to remember the good things, but just a warning I guess. And I'm sure there *are* well meaning kind strangers out there, willing to help the tourists, but once they mention a tuktuk it's probably best to politely decline. This sort of thing happened to us a LOT, not that we fell for it every time (though uh...), but we were constantly asked if we wanted a ride, or told that places were closed when they really weren't and that we should go elsewhere, etc.


Speaking of money though, it's pretty right?
US is finally starting to get some pretty/colourful money, but it'll probably always be pretty standard and always green.


The best shot I could get of our room, there's a 3rd bed to the left there.


This is the courtyard/inner area, as seen from our door.

After we got settled we asked at reception if they had any suggestions for just wandering, since we only had an afternoon and wanted to keep things low key. She told us we could walk for about 10 min and catch the river bus down to where it connects to subway, and take that to National Stadium, which is a lot of shopping and food. Sounded good to us, so off we set!


There was this temple really close to our hostel, they're sort of tucked in everywhere!


The main drag by us, Sam Sen Rd.


I have no idea what this building was, it was in a small park we cut through to find the pier.


This is in the same park, the river is actually just behind it.


Classic Thai architectural designs.



So we found the river bus, only 15 baht! Nice.


Plus it was just novel and fun to be taking a river bus.


Not like we have that in CA! (or do we and I just don't know about it?)


There were loads of temples along the river.
Also loads of shanty houses that looked incredibly unstable.


It was an interesting contrast, because the city looks quite modern and such.


So then we got off at Central, where the subway station is, and got on the Silom Line to National Stadium!


Special seats for the monks!

So I think I was just really hungry, because I didn't take a picture of the crazy mall we went in. It was NEVER ENDING. We just walked into the first mall/big building at the stop, the lower floors were like... department store type things, the top floor was little booths of clothes, souvenirs, EVERYTHING EVER. And it went on and on, I'm really surprised I don't have a picture...

But anyway!


First meal in Thailand!
Papaya salad.



THAILAND HAS MR. DONUT! <3 nbsp="" p="">You really have no idea how much I missed Mr. Donut.
Sometimes I dream about it.



This little guy was in the stairwell when we got back, cute yeah?

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