Our second stop in our epic Asian Adventure was to Bangkok, which was the jumping off point to our extended bus and train travel. In Bangkok we discovered our favourite hotel in the whole world, and drank our weight in smoothies. Here are our early observations, written by Drew on 6 January 2011.
We are officially in Bangkok! We just spent the last day and a half walking around Bangkok, checking out our neighbourhood as well as “must see” tourist sites, like the National Museum and Wat Pho. We did try to go the National Palace as well, but Julie was denied admission because of her upper-arm revealing tank top. What a hussy! Here are my early observations:
1) HOLY SHIT! On a scale of 1-10, this place is an 11. It’s pure craziness.
2) Khao San Road sounds like Australia. This is the famous backpackers street in Bangkok, full of hostels, bars, tattoo parlors and restaurants, including one that advertised it had the best pad thai AND pizza. Win, Win! Our trip happens to coincide with Australia’s summer break, and so there are lots of Australian teens getting their hair braided and eating pizza on this street. If you visit Bangkok, you will know you are approaching Khao San Road when signs are suddenly in English only and everyone looks like Crocodile Dundee.
3) Taxi drivers are clueless. We gave our first taxi driver a map to our hotel and written directions in Thai and he STILL didn’t know where to go. We asked another driver to take us to the National Museum, which took us showing where it was on the map and pictures of it from our guidebook. He still looked unsure, but drove into traffic anyway and refused to start the meter.
4) If you are on fire, you are screwed. There was a major fire on the other side of the river yesterday and we heard sirens screaming toward the fire – when we saw the ‘firetruck’ we just started laughing. It was this beat-up pick-up with guys standing in the back, struggling to put on some kind of fire suit as the truck tore through traffic and the guys had to keep gripping the back of the cab so they wouldn’t fall out. And that’s the fire department.
5) 7-11 is King! I have never seen so many 7-11’s in my life. Literally, the major marker on the map to the hotel where we’re staying was a 7-11. They are everywhere. I suddenly have an urge for a Slurpee.