Hello Thailand! First stop Bangkok


10 degrees Shanghai to 32 degrees Bangkok what a difference in temperature it was this afternoon, when getting out of the plane.
German as I am I was totally prepared though. This morning I put on a dress and well-fed tights over a long sleeve and boots. As it was only 6 degrees when I left Shanghai for the airport I also wrapped myself up with a jumper and a soft shell jacket. Some spare flip flops got stored in my daypack and here we go! Shortly before landing I took off the jumper, long sleeve and tights and swapped the boots for flip flops. I then was (at least by how I was dressed) totally ready for the next station of my adventure- the hot and humid climate in South East Asia.

Border control was super quick and after only 20 minutes I made my way to the Airport Link, a train that connects the BKK airport with the city. To be on the safe side I decided to make a quick detour to 7Eleven to get a sim card. I already checked the web and read the provider TrueMove is selling Sim-Cards with 30 days unlimited data for 199 Baht (5 EUR). It took me a while though to get the right card as the person on the counter initially only offered me the much more expensive and only 7 days valid tourist SIM-Card. After I told her I am looking for a month card including data for 199 Baht, she checked with her colleague and gave me the right one. She even helped me setting it up.

I then made my way down to the trains. I hate being ripped off and that is basically what all the taxi drivers in Bangkok do. I heard of people, who paid 500 Baht to get into town- going by public transport did not even cost me 60 Baht.

I staying at the Da Talak hostel, which is not anywhere near to Khao San Road (the backpacker area in Bangkok), however, it is conveniently situated only 5 mins walk from the MRT station Queen Sirikit National Convention Center. It feels more like a family up here rather than a hostel with lots of backpackers, who just want to get drunk and party all night. On top they offer free coconut ice cream all day and very yummy jam cookies. I’m staying in a 6-bed-dorm, but it seems like it is not fully booked. For tonight it is only a French girl, two Brits and me staying here. The British girls arrived only ten minutes after I did and we soon started chatting. They had just come from India and told me, that they are really looking forward not to eat curry all day every day. Haha

Because it was the first time in Bangkok for all of us and we kind of had the same plans we decided to explore the city together the next day. We started after breakfast and made our way to Khao San Road. We were nearly there when we got stopped by some local guy asking us where we are heading to. We told him Khao San Road and he advised us not to buy anything there, because prices are much higher than anywhere else. I mean not that we were already aware of this, but we thought it is really nice of him to warn us. He then said he works for the tourist information around the corner and is just on his lunch break right now. He asked us what else we are planning to do and we told him we are thinking of visiting the Grand Palace later on. He showed us the best way to get there on the map we got from the hostel. He then mentioned it is Day of the Buddha today and we should go in the evening as the Grand Palace stays open till midnight on this special occasion. As most of the tourist don’t know about it it will be less crowded. He then pointed on a few other things to do in Bangkok until the evening. He said we should get a tuktuk for the route and negotiate the price to 100 Baht (2,70 EUR between the three of us) as everything above for a day trip would be too much. He also advised only to take official tuktuks with the registration number and the picture of the driver displayed on the front. Whilst he was saying this a tuktuk driver passed by asking if we need a ride and the guy we just met told him the route and negotiated the price exactly to 100 Baht. By then we were not aware that we are in the middle of a scam.

the two British girls and me in the tuk tuk

our tuk tuk driver

The driver took us to a few temples and after roughly 3 hours he asked us, if it would be fine for us to do a slight detour to go to some Tourist Information. He said we only need to be in there for 15 minutes and in exchange he would get a voucher for free petrol from them. He warned us not to book anything, because they would well overcharge us. I needed a map anyway and the girls wanted to double-check, if the route they had in mind makes sense, so we agreed on doing this and he dropped us at the Tourist Information. We went in there I got my map, the girls checked the route and when the super friendly lady serving us found out we are not buying any of her overpriced tours we got kicked out. We then checked for our driver, but could not find him anywhere. Another tuktuk driver approached us, if we need a tuktuk and we told him we already have one and if he would know where the guy is gone. He then told us our driver went to the petrol station. Hearing this we decided to wait for him. Maybe he thought he can make it in the 15 minutes we agreed on being in the Tourist Information and it just did not work out. After another 15 minutes of waiting we kind of got confused. The driver had already taken us to a lot of temples for half the day and we haven’t paid him yet, so why would he disappear? It would make sense, if we would have paid him already, but like this? Maybe he gets that much more out of the free petrol than we would have to pay him? We decided to wait for 15 more minutes before making our way to the Grand Palace on our own. He didn’t show up, so we had a quick look on Google Maps for directions and made our way to the palace.


yummy coconut ice cream

Lily and me showing off the coconut ice cream we just got


It was nearly four and of course the Grand Palace was closed already. When we told the security guy about the Day of the Buddha he just shook his head saying there was no 'Day of the Buddha' and the palace did already close an hour ago. Now we got even more confused. It seems like we were part of a scam, however, we didn’t pay anything and even got half a day of a tuktuk ride for free. The only thing we missed was the Grand Palace, which we weren’t even sure, if we want to see it anyway. Reconsidering everything the guy who approached us and warned us about the prices on Khao San Road must have been friends with the tuktuk driver. It was basically planned that he stops by at some point. The Tourist Information he dropped us to get the free petrol probably was the Tourist Information where that guy was working. They probably thought they could sell us one of the overpriced tours. But why the hell did the tuktuk driver warn us then not to buy? The whole thing is just too weird.

Anyway, we didn’t pay anything for half a day of sightseeing, so why bother. We then made our way back to Khao San Road as initially planned. We had a stroll along the stalls and sat down at some restaurant for dinner.


0 Comments :

Post a Comment

Please comment! Any comment is appreciated. Either English or German both are fine ;-)

 

travel gallery

visitors

Web Page Hit Counter

Twitter Updates

Latest Tips For BloggersBlogger Tricks

Meet the Author

Blogger Tips and TricksLatest Tips For BloggersBlogger Tricks