Thursday, November 13, 2008

bangkok shocks my senses

first day of exploring bangkok, and instead of being excited, we felt really tired.

still, sarah and i plowed on through. while ayeen headed to siam for some shopping, sarah and i got on the BTS in the opposite direction, to get off at saphan taksin.

from saphan taksin, we only had to walk a little to the central pier, where we were to board the ferry to tha thien (n8), where wat arun and wat pho are.

chao phraya river was exactly as i imagined it; the ferry system, was not. with all the stories i've been hearing that the thais are just like us, i thought i wouldn't be surprised by how things are here.

but the ferry system was a pleasant surprise. there are regular trips, and they're reasonably priced, too. our trip from central pier to tha thien, about 8 piers apart, was just THB 19 each. the seats were comfortable enough, and there was even some tourist commentary on board.

to get to wat arun from tha thien, we had to board another ferry to cross the river, which cost THB 7. this i found a little too expensive.

after getting off the ferry, sarah and i began to feel it--that templed out feeling. we hadn't expected that this would happen even before we had gotten to see any temples, but 3 days of siem reap explorations brought us to this. we debated whether we should still go, and we decided to enter wat arun anyway.

i felt it was a mistake, because neither of us were up to exploring at all. we found the temple impressive, especially the broken porcelain that adorned it, but other than that, we weren't really curious nor interested. it was a feeling i never thought i'd experience, and i hated it. i mean, here we were, in another land, and we were refusing to see the sights! it was an outrage.

after crossing back to the other side of tha thien, we got some street food, looked at some souvenirs, and still pushed through with wat pho. this time, we were a little interested, but our level of enthusiasm was so low, i really felt we cheated ourselves on this one. we did have fun dropping the coins in the pots, though. unfortunately, sarah had too little, and i had too many coins! i guess, no luck for us.

we finally raised the white flag after seeing the reclining buddha. no use fooling ourselves and spending money on something that we don't really feel like doing. so we thought we'd just meet ayeen on khao san road.

we got lost along the way, getting distracted by fresh juice and books on sidewalks. finally, we found khao san road, a place packed with side-by-side clothing stalls and other souvenir stores. this was known as bangkok's tourist town, where there are pubs every few meters.

we had lunch at central pub, where i had three flavor fried chicken--spicy but good! afterwards, we answered the call of the shopaholic and got ourselves some goodies. i found a pair of fire poi for just THB 350. a pretty good find, i believe. maybe it'll reignite my interest in firedancing.

finally, we called it quits at around 4pm, took a taxi back to the hotel, which turned out to be a mistake. we got stuck in traffic, and got off on the wrong street, that we had to walk our way back. because of exhaustion, i decided to hail a tuk-tuk to take us to the hotel. the tuk-tuk driver then took us to a clothing shop, because he gets paid to take tourists there. victimized!

after pretending to be interested in the shop's goods, the driver finally took us to the hotel. because of that extra stop, i was able to haggle the tuk-tuk price down.

we decided to rest in the hotel after that, scratching plans of witnessing the loi krathong festival by the river. there's just something about this city that tires the hell out of you. so far, though, i'm still enjoying, and i'm still curious. i'm not quite sure if i'm up to seeing the grand palace and the other must-sees, but whatever i end up doing, i'll let you know. :)


Jesus Eugenio C. Pernas said...

Must be residual tiredness from our long train ride back to Bangkok =)

Tuk Tuk...NooO! Haha! In Bankok, I simply walked and walked. Pawis na rin ako so, tuloy na lang ang pawis =)

Tell me all about the ferry ride when you are back, k.

Take care and enjoy =)

Kat Mascardo said...

i felt the same way about bangkok too. or.. oh i dunno maybe because siem reap was just too damn fascinating. hahaha! pero hindi seryoso, maybe it's because bangkok is so much like manila.. there's really nothing different to see or do aside from the fabulous shopping. really.

i don't know about you but i don't think i'll ever go back to bangkok unless need be.