Buddas, Haggling, and Ping Pong
28.07.2016 - 28.07.2016
Today we tried to wake up early and beat the rush of people heading to the Temples, but didn’t work too well. We had breakfast at the Dang Derm Hotel (which was included in our hotel) and then headed off to the Grand Palace. I have done plenty of research prior to this trip so that I would be as prepared as possible and get the most out of it. I had told Christian and Luke multiple times to make sure their skin was all covered for going to the different temples. This meant a long dress, skirt, or pants must be warn and arms must be covered. I set off with my new long maxi dress and a scarf over my shoulders thinking that would be good. On our way to the temple we were approached by the classic Thai man who tried to tell us that the Grand Palace and temples were closed today and tried to get us to go to a market. Luckily, I had read that many people will try to trick you with this and thus we didn’t fall for it. When we went to go into the Grand Palace of course I was the only one who the guard decided was dressed inappropriately and he told me to go into the shop and buy a shirt…..classic! I ended up having to pay 6 USD….cheap, but friggin expensive in Thailand….which looked “absolutely deplorable”, as Christian kindly noted, over my floor length dress.
Needless to say, the fashion police would have ripped me apart. It was absolutely packed in there, hard to get any pictures without 50 tourists in the background but still beautiful and a great experience. I tried to take a few pictures, but as soon as I looked at them and realized how horrible my outfit looked I decided to call it quits.
Afterwards, we went to grab some Pad Thai for lunch, and that was when I decided that was one of the last times I will eat that….my heart may be in Asia but I don’t think my digestive system ever will be! On our way back to the hotel Christian and Luke decided to spend some time checking out the street markets on Khao San Road. At the first place they stopped, Christian paid exactly what the guy told him something cost not realizing that they upcharge tourists immensely. For the next hour I tried out my haggling skills to help Christian with the shop owners….luckily Shaked and I did lots of practicing in Hong Kong so I was ready. We got the majority of things down ~40% and had fun while doing it. Christian and Luke bought lots of stuff….I refrained because anything I bought would have to go in my backpack and I definitely don’t think my back could handle any more.
After that we decided to have a drink on our hotel rooftop. I opted for the mojito…..definitely never saw a gold mojito before then but nonetheless good.
This put us all close to nap zone, but decided before that I could go for my first massage in Thailand. Luke and I went to Siam Massage nearby our hotel and I got a ½ hour foot massage. I could have fallen asleep during it it was just what I needed….and only for four dollars (my kind of lifestyle)….but I was afraid I would wake up and all of my possessions would be gone lol. Post-massage, Luke and I were ready for a good nap. We all decided we just needed an hour or two and next thing you know it’s 9:30 pm and you know that if you close your eyes for a minute more we would be out for the night. So we rallied, grabbed a quick bite to eat and then headed to a rooftop bar for some drinks and live music. Little did we know that the drinks at this place would be over 3 times the price! Christian and I split a bucket to avoid spending too much money here and Luke unknowingly ordered an 8 dollar beer. The music was great, but after a while we wanted more and were not about to pay for another.
So we headed to the street for drinks. We sat in plastic chairs next to a drink stand and haggled for more buckets and beers…..a classic way to start a night in Bangkok. The streets here at night are full of drunk westerners in front of packed bars and clubs playing the latest music. As you sit, stand, or dance around the Thai people are trying to sell you scorpions, bracelets with vulgar American sayings that I won’t share here and an assortment of drinks. As the night went on I got better and better with haggling and would be the one who did the talking when we got drinks. We did laps of Khao San Road a few times, and every time you walked a Thai man or woman would try to sell you something as you pass. We kept getting approached for Tuk Tuks and something called a “Ping Pong Show”…..we had zero clue what this was but a google search told all and I will leave it at that. We decided this was our one night of letting loose in Bangkok and decided we should do something out of the ordinary and very Bangkok. We later DEEPLY regretted our decision but we chose to go to a ping pong show for 10 dollars each (they wanted 30 at first….) and it included a free Tuk Tuk ride there. The Tuk Tuk alone was terrifying. The driver was crazy and us three idiots in the back just kept yelling SLOW SLOW U GO SLOW WE TIP MORE PLEAAAASE!, but the man was not phased at all. By the end of the ride the drinks we had at the beginning were completely empty and now on our laps. When we got there we were instructed to put away and keep away all cell phones. I think we lasted about five minutes there before we all agreed we were nauseous over it and needed to leave. We had to do some serious haggling to get home because we forgot to make sure we had enough for a Tuk Tuk ride back. The combination of the crazy driving and the absolutely nasty show made us all feel sick and the ride ended with Luke running to go and puke. We left Christian to pay for the Tuk Tuk and afterwards he realized he didn’t have his phone. A few minutes later the driver comes back with it and looks at him and goes “You give big tip for this?????”….any other driver would have taken that phone and it would have been gone forever but he somehow got lucky. At this point it was almost 4am and we all decided it was time to call it a night. It was your typical night in Bangkok….but I’m not yet sure if that’s a good or bad thing.