Thailand
Khaosan

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25 travelers at this place:

  • Day68

    Day 68: The Craziest Coincidence

    August 22, 2016 in Thailand

    Took quite a while to get going after an exhausting day yesterday. We woke up late, lazed around and took our time over the buffet breakfast, and didn't end up leaving the hotel proper until after 10am. The plan was to visit Bangkok's Grand Palace and Wat Pho temple nearby - two of the main attractions in Bangkok and certainly the most touristy. Advice usually suggests getting there early to beat the crowds and the heat, but unfortunately leaving late meant we were going to beat neither!

    Since the palace and temple are in the oldest part of the city, neither the Skytrain or the subway go very close - you have to get the Skytrain to a certain stop and then a ferry up the river. So we hopped on the train, changed at Siam junction, and hopped off at the right stop. At the ferry wharf it was typical Thailand - there's a huge sign advertising "Grand Palace boat this way --> 40 baht", and they have workers with signs pulling you in etc. Except they were selling a private, "express" boat. If you ignored them and walked around their ticket booth, you could queue up for the public boat which is more frequent and only costs 15 baht.

    I was a bit annoyed because the "express" boat just left while we were working out why the "cost" was 40 baht when Shandos had read it was only 15. But a public boat turned up just after so it was okay. And then, as we were about to walk down the gangplank onto the boat, I heard someone yelling my name! Turned around, and there in the queue for the next boat were ET and Josh, colleagues of mine from GALKAL! Of all the places in all the world, we couldn't believe it!

    Unfortunately the crowd surged and we had to get on the boat, so I couldn't do much more than wave and mime gestures of surprise as the boat departed. We had a good seat with a nice view, and it was quite pleasant bouncing up the river. After about 10 minutes of cruising and stopping briefly at two other docks, the crew started yelling at each other - clearly something wasn't right. We pulled up at the next dock and sat there, engine running, before the skipper eventually turned off the engine and the conductors ushered everyone off.

    No explanation, we just had to wait on the dock for a replacement boat to take us the last couple of stops up to the palace. As we were waiting, the subsequent (full) boat arrived, and ET and Josh hopped off without realising we were there! This time we managed to yell and wave them down and have a 5-minute chat before our boat arrived. They were in town for 24 hours breaking up the journey to the UK, and were heading for Chinatown and later Wat Pho plus the palace. Since their flight out of Bangkok wasn't until 3am we agreed to meet up later in the day for drinks and dinner.

    Minds still reeling from the coincidence, we boarded our boat up the river which was crowded but thankfully arrived with no problems. Walked over to the palace and avoided the scammers who kept insisting that my shorts weren't long enough for the palace (they weren't lying, you have to wear long pants, but they were going to sell me some when I knew you could rent long pants for free inside).

    Annoyingly, the pants I rented inside the palace didn't have any pockets! So I gave my wallet to Shandos, but now had to juggle my phone, the GoPro, and my shorts since I didn't have a bag to put them in! And it was 37 degrees in the shade, so no chance I was going to wear both!

    We set off exploring the palace, and honestly it's just magnificent. The buildings are exquisite, covered in reflective coloured glass and golden trim so that they sparkle in the sunlight. We walked around taking in the sights, though it wasn't a particularly comfortable environment - packed with Chinese tour groups, and excruciatingly hot (it's all concrete and stone pavers so the heat reflects back up too). Checked out the temple of the Emerald Buddha, where there's a famous Buddha statue carved from jade ("emerald" in this case just means the colour, not the stone), and I got ticked off by a security man for filming as I walked in - I didn't see the sign, honestly!

    We wandered around for another hour before Shandos asked where my shorts were, and I suddenly realised I wasn't carrying them!! Thinking back, the last time I had them was when I'd taken off my shoes for the Emerald Buddha temple, so I scurried back and there they were, still sitting in the shoe rack! I'd lose my head if it weren't screwed on.

    By around 2:30pm we'd exhausted as much of the Grand Palace as we cared to see (there were several things we missed but the heat and crowds made it too intense to keep going), so we headed out and grabbed a late lunch at Subway. Definite rip-off, the prices are about the same as Australia!! And almost every single seat in the place was occupied by Chinese tourists who'd all bought a small soft drink and then sat there using their phones. I don't get it.

    Walked the 10 or so minutes to Wat Pho temple after shooing away a horde of tuk-tuk drivers. This temple is famous for the "Reclining Buddha" statue which is an enormous statue of Buddha lying on his side entering Nirvana. It's 15 metres high and nearly 50 metres long - huge! The main hall here was also very busy, but as we wandered around the rest of the complex marvelling at the other temples and Buddha statues, the crowds thinned out and in places we had it to ourselves almost. And there were a few trees for shade which was nice.

    Exhausted and not far off heatstroke, we headed for the dock and jumped on another ferry. Thankfully no breakdowns this time! Just as we got off and were walking to the station, my phone buzzed and ET was asking about making a plan for the evening. Since they were staying near where we already were, we figured it was easier to stay in the area than leave and come back - so we did!

    Down the river to their hotel where we met them in the lobby. Wandered around the area looking for a pub but the "night market" their concierge pointed us too was about the most touristy thing we'd seen since arriving in Bangkok. It really felt like we were in Darling Harbour or King Street Wharf, and with prices to match! We had a couple of pints at a bar and then managed to find a pad Thai cart about halfway back to their hotel. Slightly small portion, but at 40 baht it's hard to complain!

    Back to their hotel where we relaxed in the lobby a little longer, but they wanted to shower and the area was closing at 10pm. So by 9:30pm we said our good-byes and hopped into a cab back to our hotel, minds still reeling from the coincidence! I had no idea they were in town; of all the things we could have done we chose the same thing; we were arriving much later than we wanted to; even just catching the earlier boat means we would've missed them. Crazy - and completely unplanned, unlike meeting up with Yong a couple of weeks earlier. Great to see them both, and to see familiar faces.
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  • Day89

    Back to Bangkok

    April 9, 2017 in Thailand

    Back to Bangkok, back to instant sweat. We flew out early in the morning and arrived at the Wild Orchid with a few hours to spare until we took a night train to Chiang Mai. We hung out in the lobby for a while, ate some food, did reviews of our last group leaders, walked around, and I repacked my bag so I could leave some things behind for the next 10 days.

    We met up with the new group, a shocking 26 people plus leaders, and went off to the train station. We had pretty well an entire car to ourselves and played cards and got to know each other on the trip to Chiang Mai. This group looks like it will be a lot of fun!
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  • Day1

    Bangkok

    March 10, 2017 in Thailand

    Ich habe es sicher nach Asien geschafft!! ☺ Die Fahrt vom Hostel zum Hostel hat sich zwar etwas abenteuerlich gestaltet, da mein Taxifahrer kein Englisch konnte und ich keine Ahnung hatte, ob er überhaupt verstanden hat, was ich gesagt habe 🙈In Bangkok selbst hab ich gar nicht mehr viel gemacht, sondern bin nur ein bisschen planlos herumgebummelt. Ich hatte letzten Sommer dort ja schon vieles gesehen ☺ Auf meiner Tour habe ich schöne Tempel, einen süßen Park und im Hinterhof versteckte Märkte entdeckt. Also ein voller Erfolg! Außerdem muss ich mich erstmal wieder an die Preise gewöhnen. Nach dem teuren Neuseeland zahle ich hier 5€ für eine Pediküre, 1€ für ein Gericht von einem Straßenesswagen und durchschnittlich 5€-10€ für eine Nacht im Hostel.Read more

  • Day43

    Last nights in Bangkok

    January 12, 2017 in Thailand

    The Bangkok was fun! We did some shopping and sightseeing, Klemen and Rok had to leave on 13th so we had to enjoy last few nights on Khaosan road and Rambuttri with such nice live music. On same place I met Matjaž and Mateja we had some more of those mojitos. What a night, also a 3yo girl also convinced me to eat a scorpion! Yes, I did it!

    After two nights is Bangkok on Khao San road I had to leave to Ayutthaya, the old Thailand capital (until war with Burma). It should be fun and educational, can't wait to hang out with backpackers again. I will have to be extra careful though, only 3.000 THB left in my pocket and a treasure I've found in my backpack - 70€! :) So after morning's dip in hotel's rooftop swimming pool I was on my way.
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  • Day2

    Khao San. Bangkok Tag 1

    August 3, 2016 in Thailand

    Endlich angekommen. Nun geht es essen und erstmal schlafen. Morgen fängt der Blog dann richtig an. Mal sehen was Bangkok so zu bieten hat. Skorpione gab es schonmal als Vorspeise :)

  • Day2

    Bangkok market

    December 27, 2015 in Thailand

    Le vol sur Turmenistan aura été meilleur que prevu : pas même l'effigie du president omniprésent dans l'avion nous aura empêché de dormir. Une fois les clés de la chambre d'hotel recupérée nous nous prenons un tuk-tuk vers un grand marché couvert chatuchak park. Tout se cotoie du massage traditionnel dans des fauteuils au milieu des brics à bracs de sacs et de T-shirt. Des bars et stands ambulants de nourriture viennent ajouter au spectacle. Ce n'est pas particulier à la thailande mais c'est le plus grand que je n'ai jamais vu ! Retour vers Kaosan Rd, en passant part les champs elysées locauxRead more

  • Day3

    Grand palais et klong

    December 28, 2015 in Thailand

    N'ayant que peu de temps sur Bangkok nous décidons d'assurer le menu maxi best of avec les lieux les plus touristiques. Je confirme c'est touristique. Petite subtilité il faut se couvrir les jambes et les bras dans les palais : hors il fait 35 C. Donc queue pour se couvrir, queue pour les billets queue pour rentrer... Et un petit gout de disneyland quand on y ait. La partie religieuse a pour point d'exergue un boudha de jade exposé dans une salle immense. Le palais comporte plusieurs trones en or. La foule de touriste et le manque de ferveur populaire n'apporte pas la profondeur à ces lieux par rapport à la Birmanie... Malgré la spendeur des lieux. Ensuite petite balade sur les canaux (klong) typique et agréable.Read more

  • Day25

    Golden Buddha Sukhothai Traimit

    October 23, 2016 in Thailand

    First stop in Bangkok was the golden Buddha temple which is located by Chinatown. The roads are very busy but fortunately as it's Sunday the roads are a little better. We were supposed to visit the grand palace but due to the kings death it was changed.

    The Buddha itself is 18 carat gold and was hidden during the wars of the previous centuries as it was covered in plaster. It weighs approx 5.5 tonnes and is over 700 years old. A truly grand temple and surrounding area.Read more

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Khaosan

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