schnuffichen (schnuffichen) wrote,

June 25 - June 28: Bangkok (Thailand)

June 25 (Friday): Phnom Penh --> Bangkok
  • ... (see previous entry)
  • verrry cool hostel!
As you can imagine I was more than psyched to get a glimpse of first world after Cambodia (and knowing what lay ahead of me...). Thailand is actually a very interesting country in terms of social standards in that you can really find everything from utter poverty to glitzy rich people - but other than many countries in South-East Asia it has a fairly broad middle class.
I didn't get to see much that very day because we arrived late-ish.  Having booked a room in advance in one of Bangkok's funkiest and most popular guesthouses (come on, it has a website... that's already very unusual), we stayed away from Bangkok's cheap backpacker area (make no mistake... we went there later during the trip). Sukhumvit, on the other hand, is still tourist-y but for a different clientele. Sadly, this did not only include families and business people but also the notorious sexpats. Maybe it was just that I only saw Thailand for a whole of 7 days but until the very last day, the image of an old fat white guy with a tiny young Thai girl just sickened me to my stomach. I was glad to find many hostels and restaurants that clearly say that they won't serve "mixed-race" couples...
As I said, at night we just took a short walk along Sukhumvit, one of the longest and most popular streets in Bangkok which actually turns into a highway outside of the city.

June 26 (Saturday): Bangkok
  • meet W. (friend from Singapore) for lunch
  • shopping in A/C malls (yay!)
  • meet S. (friend from McGill) and friend for dinner
  • more shopping
I'm not even sure how much I can tell you about this day as it was rather slow and relaxing. As you can see we met up with a couple of friends and went shopping. Guys, there is soooo much shopping in Bangkok, I had no idea. I think this was the point when I fell in love with Bangkok because there's really nothing you can't get. The one thing that felt rather strange was to see several booths in shopping malls selling pirated movies and computer games -- and security and police officers buying there. Of course, officially pirating is illegal... :S
I did make use of the vast opportunity to buy knock-off electronics, though, like an extra iPod charger, a PSP cable and whatnot. :)

Wall of our hostel. See the fleur-de-lys, the maple leaf and the awful Bavarian slang ;)

June 27 (Sunday): Bangkok
  • meet Hito for lunch and go see Aslan
  • shopping
  • rusty 50s hotel restaurant (very eccentric - owner made sure we visit her turtle)
  • watched Germany-England game with Germans
I had sent text messages with hitokaji  for last couple of days, so I was excited to meet up with her! We went to the stables where her Aslan lives, had yummy lunch and visited her beautiful horse. He's soooo gorgeous! :D
And... hmm... my diary says I went shopping but actually don't remember that happening. Oh well. ;) Oh, yes... I think I had ice cream. Salty plum. Yes, it's as yuck as it sounds, thank you very much. ;)
At night Ry and I had dinner at the Atlanta Hotel, a place which looks like it hasn't changed its interior design since colonial times. ;)
This was the night of the World Cup game of England against Germany. There's a TV room in our hostel, so we got a chance to watch it - with 2 Germans and a Canadian, no less... given the result, I'm more than glad that there weren't any English. ;)

(Ahum... very sub-wonderful pic of me and Aslan. Look at the horse. Please.)

June 28 (Monday): Bangkok
  • Anthro Center (helpful but clueless Thais)
  • temples (e.g. Wat Arun)
  • "cheap" Alexander (+ lots of postcards)
  • dinner at Cabbages + Condoms
We got up early that morning, Ry had some business at an Anthropology research center... sadly we had no idea how to get there. Even worse, we didn't know that we had no clue. ;) We met and asked a couple of people (e.g. a bus driver, gas station people, taxi drivers) and all of them fulfilled the cliché you have of many Thai people: They're incredibly nice and want to help... unfortunately they won't tell you if they don't know where to go but instead just send you off somewhere. Luckily, in the end we had planned enough of a buffer and got there in time.
A few temples later we found ourselves at a bar. While Bangkok's touristy places are very inauthentic and a bit trashy, they're definitely good for cheap cocktails. :)
Dinner was at Cabbages & Condoms, a restaurant managed by a non-profit organization promoting safe sex in Thailand. The food was surprisingly good, I had a huge coconut fillet with scampi and cashew nuts in tomato sauce. And I could still kick myself for not taking pictures at this place as they had the coolest statues made of condoms - including superheroes! ;)

The rest of the pics are here.

The next day we left very early for Burma. These 4 days definitely rank very high among the best I had during the whole trip. I loved Bangkok for the food, for how easy it is to get around, for how cheap everything is and yet clean at the same time. I'll definitely go back at some point. <3
Tags: friends, trips
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