MJ and I were not done yet with our vacation as we were heading to Bangkok through a very long bus ride which had started from Phuket town. Imagine, it was a 14- hour bus ride.
When we arrived in Bangkok, we did not actually know where it was specifically. All we know is that, it was in a bus station beside a mall. All we knew, was that we need to commute going to Khaosan. Well asked around and then we were directed to this group of motor bike drivers. We asked the driver how much was the fare before we went there and he pointed it was 35Bahts which was written on their board. Then we rode the motorbike and we went with our helmets on. The driver then stopped at this expressway and he negotiated that he was going to collect for 250 Bahts each. We were so surprised at what he did but then we replied that it's just close, actually we did not know if was really close, and before MJ and I discuss things, her driver swiftly started the engine and left us and the motorbike which I was in followed suit. It was actually just a 7 - 10 minute ride so it was relatively near. When the motorbike dropped us at Khaosan, he was insisting that we give 250 Bahts which was really too much. Not unless we did not know that they were playing at us because we were tourists but the point is we knew and besides we did not agree on their proposal. He said that he would want to call the police and I said yes call the police and let's settle it with them. But the other guy would want us back to his motorbike and bring us back to the terminal which we did not agree. There was this guy who looked different and he was like eating on something and said that we can agree to pay 2oo Bahts. Even if we knew they were just milking us, we agreed to prevent any further argument. I nearly uttered swear words in front of the drivers. Anyway, we were very tired and we did not have any reservation. We walked around and there the drizzle came. We first checked the nearest hotel on our site but it was a bit expensive. We walked around and looked for another one and so we found Star Dome hotel . It was not as nice or grand as Baumanburi, the one we had in Phuket but it was just well within our tight budget. We got the place for 400Bahts per night. Since we were very tired already and pissed off, we decided to forget that bad incident and slept our way for tomorrow's activity....
The ventilation was not that great. It was already 10 AM when we woke up. We need to get going for the schedule walk-tour around Khaosan's neighboring temples and castles. After the bathing time, we went down for our brunch. After branch we headed to our first temple, Wat Chansongkram. After that we went to park where one could take a glimpse of the Rama VII Bridge. We continued to walk to Wat Sangwei, Amataro and Phraya. We also bought bottles of water just to replace the loss of water due to excessive sweating as we were under the extreme heat of Bangkok streets. We were actually going to the old palaces of the Thai Royals. At about 20 minutes of walking, we saw the king's statue riding a horse. Then on the other end was the Royal Throne Hall. The building did not resemble anything Thai as it was more of a Renaissance architecture. After taking some pictures of the place we proceeded to the Rama V Rd. where all the other palaces of the Thai monarch were erected. We took pictures and then we went to the ticketing office but prior to that, there were some we-were-lost moments. The entrance was only 100Bahts and it was a value for money. In fact, the tour inside the royal palace was a bit of knowing Thai history. It was fun but sometimes, I don't understand the words coming from the guide as their English accent was different. But we tried to just appreciate the collections adorning the palace with all the finest fit for royalty - just feasting our eyes for all its worth. I somewhat imagined being one of the royalty, like how it was to be really one of them. Anyway, after the tour, we had a chance to take pictures.
After the palace tour, we got so tired so we decided to have a tuk-tuk ride going to Khaosan for 100 Bahts. We arrived hungry so we decided to eat - we did not have our lunch so that was it. We went back to our hotel after that super late lunch. MJ decided to go down to use the internet and I decided to stay in the room. But the room was really hot and the aircondition together with the not-so-mighty ceiling fan could not make the room conducive for a good nap, I decided to go down and look for MJ, but I could not find her. I then decided to just walk around and found myself in a grocery store. I bought some soaps and two boxes of Thai Gaba rice - I just thought of trying it out as it advertised itself as a healthy substitute of some sort of the regular rice. I went back to Star Dome hotel and found MJ using the internet with her eyes glued on facebook. I also used the net since I did not want to wait and do nothing. After 10 minutes of checking my mails, and now MJ was waiting for me, we decided to back upstairs and prepare for a night out.
We went to my Thai officemate's spa. I had a foot massage while MJ had a full body massage. It was relaxing in fact. After that, we went to a bar and had a bottle of San Miguel beer light then finished it off with a cocktail which has vodka on it. After that simple drink, we decided to call it a night and we headed back to our hotel . So we won't be charged much by the taxi driver, we just got inside the taxi without talking a word and when the driver would push the meter then asked us, we just say Khaosan and then stop from talking or anything until we arrived to our destination.
The next day was a Saturday and we planned to visit the Grand Palace and the surrounding temples. We actually took our breakfast at McDonalds. MJ had a chicken meal and I had a vegetable salad and pie. After that simple meal, we walked and looked for the Grand Palace. Since it was a holiday, the Palace was close. So we just took some photos outside. We visited few temples and took some pictures. Then we decided to go back to our place. By the way, we also tried some street food ala Thai style and it tasted good. After some few go-and-see, we went back to our hotel. We then went around Khaosan, and see some things to buy. I bough two shirts and one painting. MJ bought some shirts as well. After that, we went back to our hotel again and did some bits of packing for the Sunday, which my flight was scheduled at 12:35 in the afternoon. Knowing the Bangkok traffic, we had to be prepared. After that simple packing and stuff, we went out to booze. We tried Chang beer and it was a bit strong as a downer. After finishing a plate of fried Thai noodles, and two glasses of beer, we decided to call it a night.
Sunday came and we woke up around 7AM. We decided to just have our breakfast at the airport. For the last time we took some photo and bid goodbye-and-see-next-time hug. MJ's flight was schedule late in the evening so she called her friend in Bangkok and she had a tour while I was on the boarding area.
My Thailand get-away was really nice except for that one incident but, I'm definitely coming back in the near future to go see Krabi and next time to shop around Bangkok, Thailand.