Tuesday, March 26, 2013

First night in Bangkok

March 26, 2013,

After skipping a day, we are now in Bangkok, Thailand, breathless and hot, but relieved that so far flights, hotel bookings, etc have gone according to plan.
Our first glimpse of this huge metropolis (between 6-7 million people) was from a taxi stuck in traffic. Just like home, but worse, with motocycles whizzing in and out between cars and buses. They were the only things moving. At least here no one honks and people obey traffic signs, which was not the case in Delhi last trip!  It took 2 hours to finally get to our hotel. So this afternoon on our first outing we made a point on learning how to use the skyrail system which is fast, clean and airconditioned. Ironically, the station nearest our hotel is Nana, a particularly appropriate name that reminds me of my grandchildren each time we use it!
We are learning to beware of entrepreneurial tuk-tuk drivers who will not give a set price on departure and of course overcharge tourists when dropped off. Perhaps if we had agreed to visit his friend the gem dealer, we would have paid less. But even that is taken with a smile it seems.
Beach Travellers contact here  has been very helpful in booking flights, trains and boats. After months of emailing we met her in person, along with her infant son, in her tiny shop on Khao San Road, surrounded by street vendors, the smell of grilled food, massage shops and much more. This is a feast for the senses.
Tomorrow we will explore the historical part of Bangkok, swim in the small hotel pool and enjoy more Thai food. On the street tonight we passed stalls brimming with local delicacies, including deep fried insects. I am not sure whether I will indulge in anything that was creepy-crawly, but the other things look very appetizing. 

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