Thursday, November 13, 2008

finally getting the hang of bangkok

today's bangkok adventure was a bit more relaxed, or maybe i'm just getting used to the pace. whatever it is, it let me have fun today.

since sarah and i were still not feeling ready for the grand palace, we just decided to walk to lumphini park with ayeen. the park was huge, the largest park in bangkok, and we spent most of our time by the lake, where sarah and i went pedal boating in duck-shaped boats.

we were all shocked to find a lot of komodo dragons around, just roaming freely. in fact, when we tried to express our fear and concern when one komodo dragon was crawling towards us, we didn't get a concerned response from the lady by the boating pavilion. she was all, "meh," having no idea what we were so scared of.

after that, we left lumphini in search for lunch. we crossed rama IV using the subway, and ended up near saladaeng. at the corner was a tiny noodle house, and our curiosity got the better of us. it was packed, and the place was selling just one product: noodle soup with pork and liver. diners just get to choose their type of noodles for variety. a bowlful of noodles was going for THB 40, and drinks were at 10. lunch for THB 50--what a steal!

while marveling at the cheapness of our lunch, we walked up to the saladaeng BTS station and headed to national stadium, the stop for jim thompson house. i didn't really expect anything from it, but i was impressed at how well they were able to maintain the house, and how much information they had on jim thompson and how his house was built.

jim thompson was a soldier in the US army who fell in love with thailand. when he decided to live in thailand after leaving the service, and he revived the country's silk industry.

he disappeared in malaysia in 1967, and to this day, nobody knows what happened to him. fortunately, the thai silk company still flourished, and his house is being taken care of by the james h. w. thompson foundation. the foundation has tours in english and french to guide visitors throughout the house. entrance is at THB 100.

jodi, ayeen's friend, and her mom, caught up with us there, and after having some drinks at the jim thompson bar and restaurant, we headed to MBK, one of the leading malls in bangkok, which was just a few minutes' walk away. sarah and i parted ways with ayeen, jodi, jodi's mom, and spent the rest of the afternoon haggling and shopping.

now, sarah and i are back at take a nap. we had dinner at yum saap, and passed by some stores along rama IV. i'm just waiting for ayeen and jodi to be finished with their shopping so we can hit patpong later. :)

lumphini park
ratchadamri cor. rama IV road
silom area, bangkok
BTS skytrain: saladaeng
MRT subway: silom
admission: free
boating: THB 40 for the first 30 minutes

jim thompson house
6 soi kasemsan 2, rama 1 road, bangkok
admission: THB 100
last tour is at 5pm
BTS skytrain: national stadium

MBK (mahboonkrong)
corner of thanon phra ram I and thanon phayathai
skytrain: national stadium
clothes, accessories, souvenirs, electronics

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