Monday, February 20, 2012

Bangkok Is Big

We spent three nights in Bangkok at a nice, affordable hotel called the Bhiman Inn. Arriving at 5:00 a.m. after an overnight bus ride, we just wanted to get to our hotel and check in. Fortunately, they let us check in early.

Powering through our sleepiness, we decided to walk around and explore the area. Our free, crummy map left out many streets, but both of us were too cheap to buy a proper map. I guess when you can buy ten meals for the price of one map, it doesn't seem worthwhile. We will be in Bangkok again in about three weeks, and when we return I might cave and purchase a real map, simply because of how difficult it was for us to find things. And most locals aren't very helpful with directions. I think the city is just too big.

Quite a coincidence, I had just listened to "Happy House" on the bus.
Many of the local cabs are bright pink.
Street food out of a tuk-tuk.
I told her to go for it, but she said she wanted real dreads.
Ever wanted a fake F.B.I. I.D. or a TEFL certificate (Teaching English as a Foreign Language)? Bangkok can hook you up.
Cool shoes ... psych!
A river runs through Bangkok.

I ordered a coke and got a glass bottle from 1996.
So easy.

We walked to a palace but didn't go inside.
Delicious juices--that's aloe on the right.
Unfortunately, I didn't get a photo of the cool owner of this chopper.
And on to the famous Chatuchak Market, or sometimes spelled Jatujak, and for short: JJ Market. This was funny to me, since I'm originally from Athens, Georgia, where we have our own J&J Flea Market.

The JJ Market was enormous. I want to say it went for miles and miles, but that might be an exaggeration. I don't think we ever hit an endpoint though. You can buy anything from pets to Converse to vintage dresses to fake chickens. The following photos demonstrate some of the variety.

Tough decisions at the dog clothing store.

You can find creepy mannequins all over the world. Monica thinks I should devote a blog post to them at the end of the trip.

On our way to the Skytrain station.

I thought this was funny.
One night we ended up at the mall so we treated ourselves to a movie: "The Lady in Black." Do yourselves a favor and skip this one. It was fun to be in the theater nonetheless. We witnessed first-hand the video of the national anthem that comes on before every movie in Thailand. Everyone stands up to honor it. I took a video, but have no photos. I only have a photo of a still from the new Adam Sandler movie. Looks good!

Bowling seems to be huge in this part of the world. Check out this bowling alley on the fifth floor of a mall.

Who could resist the food court? We had some time to kill, so we bought snacks for the movie.

Banana milk ad.
Monica buying green tea pudding, I think.
Lounging before the movie.
The next day we took the water taxi down the river to a very steep temple. Water taxis are a smart way to get around Bangkok because they avoid the traffic of the city streets and cost about $0.50.

"Reserved for monks" area.
No fashionistas in the temple!
Wat Arun.

It was incredibly steep.

Monica looks like a giant!

Then we walked to the State Tower building, and made our way to the Skybar at the top. We didn't order anything, but just stared open-mouthed at the cityscape.

This jazz band seemed to float above the world. Their clothes were gently blowing in the wind.
Then we found the hippest Thai guy tuk-tuk driver you could ever imagine. He was pretty cute, but unfortunately the language barrier was insurmountable.

Muay Thai shorts. I think the vendor knows we're not going to buy them...
All the Rasta clothes you could ever dream of.
Cool cats selling vintage clothing on the street. Thrasher is globally cool.
At the post office. Thankfully, we were not trying to send any Buddha images.
After watching "The Hangover Part II" I really thought Bangkok was going to be chaos. I was surprised (and a little disappointed) to find out how normal it is. I loved the tuk-tuks, the Jatujak Market and the incredible street food. I didn't like all of the hassling from tuk-tuk drivers and street vendors, but I've gotten used to it now after all of our travels. I just smile and firmly say "No, thanks."