Thursday, April 6, 2006

Bangkok: A bit of sightseeing

River bus from stop #2 to stop #13 (11 THB). From where we head for Khao San road, the world's most famous traveller's hangout. And it's as busy as ever, besides having expanded quite a lot to neighbouring streets over the last 10 years.

After lunch we walk towards the Royal Palace, but just before getting there we get intercepted by a friendly young Thai man, who says we won't be allowed in in shorts and suggests some other interesting places to see. He even arranges for a trustworthy and at 40 THB very reasonably priced yellow-blue government tuktuk to do the tour. Smells fishy? Maybe, but we go for it anyway. First stop: a big sitting buddha in a very nicely decorated temple. A monk is teaching some students. Another one is meditating.

Second stop: a tailor. To please the driver because he gets a gasoline voucher for every tourist he brings in. Third stop: a TAT office. If we stay more than 5' he gets another gasoline voucher. We aren't too interested, but give in. The tourist office is 100% a travel booking office with no information whatsoever. The agent knows we don't want to be there. We're loosing our time. He's loosing his. We last 1'. The driver is disappointed. Fourth stop: a very tall standing buddha. When we get back to the street, our tuktuk is gone... He's not getting any commissions with us as we're not buying anything. So he's probably off to find some better clients. We don't really mind. It's only a short walk anyway to Khao San road and the river bus pier.

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