Our last day in Bagkok.

Wow, looks like we missed a couple months of any kind of update.  Its time to wrap up our wonderful Honeymoon with the last stop: Bangkok!  We had arranged to stay at a place that was away from the tourist area.  It really came down to having he right price.  The emails Jane exchanged with the place were well written, and friendly, so it sealed the deal.

The taxi ride there was long, and we were beat, it got in really late at night.  We had flown out of Koh Samui several hours earlier, and I really should have gotten a picture of the airport.  There were not many walls to it, and people were seated everywhere.  It was actually a really nice little airport, compared to some of the places we had been, except for the mosquitos.  I figured let them have a little piece of me and didn’t fight too much, as I figured this would be the last I had to see many of them.

A stone man at one of the sites.

The guy at the hotel behind the front desk, smelled of booze, and was dressed in a velvet suit worthy of any club scene.  Jane immediately became worried, and once we made it into our room she asked.. “Have we made a terrible mistake?”.  I said we should give it a chance, the room was clean, and we had to see things in the light of day to make the call, I was too tired to think of any other alternative action we could take.  Hopefully we would wake up in the morning.

When we woke up the next morning, all our belongings were there, and we decided to head out into the city.  Behind the front desk, a nicely dressed Thai girl was sitting doing paperwork.  She didn’t speak much English, but really gave it a good try.  In the daylight, we took a good look at the place, and saw everything was pretty new.  Our opinions began changing for the better.

The water taxi.

With directions from the receptionist, we were routed to the river, where a water taxi traversed the city.  Watching these boats cruise up and own the river every 15 minutes was pretty impressive.  Using this mode of transportation was extremely novel for us, and was really cheap and quite efficient in getting us to where we wanted to go.  It was loud and crowded, we had to stand and hold onto some straps to not fall over.  The brown water was often splashed in as we travelled down the canals, and had to be held back from splashing in by a ‘curtain-like’ guard on the side of the boat.  I got splashed with some spray, and did not enjoy the scent. 

A wall of Buddhas.

We got off the boat, and navigated our way in the direction of many of all the tourist sites.  Upon getting off the dock, we were picked out by a local tourist scammer.  We had read about them, and the typical scams they pulled and his was straight out of the book.  The Golden Mount was closed for Monk day, we should go visit Lucky Golden Buddah.  When Jane recognized the BS coming out of this guys mouth, she immediately stopped in mid sentence and walked by him.  I have never seen her do that before, it was quite entertaining.  The guy just stood there, unable to believe how she just completely disengaged herself from the situation.

A Mini Angkor Watt on the Presidential Grounds.

Most of this time, we had heralded Tuk Tuks and negotiated prices, we were dropped off by one Tuk Tuk because he didn’t know where we wanted to go, and couldnt read the Thai on the map.  I can’t blame him for not necessarily knowing, as the street names seemed to change with no rhyme or reason, and it was near impossible for us to find anything based on street name.

Enjoying the view from on top of the Golden Mount.

  On the way to the Golden Mount from the Kings Palace I was trying to negotiate with a Tuk Tuk driver.  We said, how much to Golden Mount?  He replied “And then where?”  I responded that we didn’t want to go anywhere else, and we would worry about that later.  He kept pushing ideas to us, and we didn’t want anywhere else.  He pulled out a list, and I raised my voice a little, and said No Where Else.  He was a little surprised, but then raised his voice back at me and said  “Oooooooh, fiiiine.” and with his eyes showing anger, he put up 3 of his fingers and said, “300 baht!”  This really didn’t alot to a large sum of money, and frankly if we were in the States I might have taken it to get across town.  However, I realized when I had said it before his response that I was going to offend him, and just threw up my arms into the air and walked away.  I could have easily asked one of the other Tuk Tuk drivers near him to give us a ride an Im sure they would have given me a competitive price with some negotiating, but I was done with it.  We grabbed a Taxi, with air conditioning and got there for 60 Baht.

An ornate temple.

We walked and took taxies through the city, seeing many of the sites.  The Golden Mount, the Giant Swing(wow, thats stupid, it literally was a giant swing, but the swing must have been in repair as it was missing and the posts where the only thing there), and the King’s Palace.  The Golden Mount was probably my favorite, as it was a pretty unique experience.  There was a path that went around the large hill, to a temple on top.  There were many different rituals available to people, they could ring a series of bells, or ‘paper’ a buddah.  We climbed up some stairs and were able to get ontop of the temple and see the city surrounding it from a bird’s eye.  Quite a nice view.

Some structures that they fill with ashes of deceased monks.

In the kitchen learning some thai dishes!

 Upon returning via waterway to our hotel, we ate at the place next to it which was owned by the hotel and we got a discount.  We met the owner’s wife and started to chat with her about the hotel.  It ended up that the guy who let us in was one of her son’s and he made a special trip to let us in, very nice of him.  We also asked for suggestions on a place to get some cooking lessons.  She volunteered the kitchen of the very place we were eatting, she asked us what dishes we wanted to learn, and told us that we could sit with the Chef and he would teach us.  We couldn’t believe it, as we figured we wouldn’t have time to actually find a place to take a lesson, and this would work out perfectly.

Getting some translated cooking instructions.

Later that night we came back to the restaurant for a late dinner, and watched the Chef cook, while the owner’s wife translated for us.  I fastidiously took notes, and tried my best to observe how to do things.  We learned Green Curry, Phad Thai and Phad See Ewe.  So far, all of my attempts at cooking these haven’t quite turned out as good, but I will keep practicing.

The finished meal.

3 months of travelling had flown by, it was time for us to head home and get back to work.  It was an amazing trip, and we had seen so many wonderful things that its hard to remember them all.  Thanks for going with us, and we will try to post more.