06.05.2008 - 08.05.2008
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Arrived from Macau, ahead of schedule and met the McPhie's at the airport after a quick and painless stop through customs and immigration. 20 minutes later we were at the Hotel de McPhie, which, while they insisted was meager, was absolutely amazing compared to where we had been staying. A big bed, clean bath WITH hot water, A/C, great company, what more could you want? I dare to say not much.
Since Brooke and I had not eaten much (if anything) solid all day (we had no more HK dollars, and did not want to get out Macau money as you cannot change it into anything), we immediately set out to feed ourselves. One amazing Thai dinner and a discussion on how Thai's eat (fork in left eat with spoon right: Elder McPhie, eat with fork in right use spoon left: Sister McPhie), we were full and happy. A showing of Vantage Point ended the evening nicely.
A meal the following day... Pad Thai from a street vendor for 25 cents...
The next morning we set out to see the sights of Bangkok. With help from some people the McPhie's work with, we were able to conjur a cab into the city, headed for the Grand Palace.
The Grand Palace was marvelous, with beautifully ornate carvings and decorations adorning every inch of wall space.
A shrubbery! On the Grand Palace grounds.
Offerings at the Grand Palace.
After the Grand Palace we walked to KhaoSan street, say it with me AUGH... but we had to book bus tickets to get to Cambodia the next day and felt like this was our best bet. ANYWAY, while here we were shuffled through a miriad of shops and made a Napali man very happy when we decided to buy suits (at 98 USD for a jacket, skirt and shirt, its not to bad!).
With our suits initially purchased, we shared a 50 Baht lunch of Watermelon and papaya salad and set out to explore more of the city. A scamming Tuk Tuk driver took us to 2 sights, the Golden Buddha and the black Buddha (not really a Buddha, but a black statue of a Rama), along with 2 tailor shops, which we didn't buy anything from, since we had already got our suits (and for like 1/4 of what these shops wanted). Needless to say it was slightly annoying, but for 5 Baht (about 15 cents) and the crazy game of Tuk Tuk frogger our driver played across intersections, it was worth it.
After being abandoned at the Rama statue (not a big deal as we had a map, and it was near where we wanted to go next), we walked to the Golden Mount. A big yellow Mountain Fortress in the middle of Bangkok, we climbed around the structure to get to the top and see around Bangkok, which was interesting, but mostly just a big crowded mess of buildings, with the occasional Wat.
Following our golden trek, we set out to see the Victory monument, our attempts were thwarted however, as we were sidetracked by groceries and finding a ATM for cash to purchase bus tickets to Cambodia. We got all but 1 block away, when we had to grab a Tuk Tuk back to Khaosan and buy the tickets and have our first suit fittings. Alas.
With all of the crazy drivers in these countries it is a wonder there are not more accidents. As we were driving back to buy the tickets, a woman on a scooter was cut off behind us and crashed. Luckily she escaped with a still working bike and some pretty nasty road rash. Crazy happenings in this city though...
Our day ended with a slightly chaotic cab ride back to the McPhie's, as neither we, nor our driver, could understand where they lived. Eventually we made our way however, ending a fabulous first day in Bangkok.... tomorrow Cambodia.