Less than 14 degrees north of the Equator you’ll find the bustling city of Bangkok, a tropical metropolis that happens to be one of the most traveler-friendly cities in Asia. The city is surprisingly safe and more organized than it appears. It is predominantly Thai-Chinese but is also a 2nd home to millions of up-country Thai-Thai (people who come to make a living).
Colors- We had already been warned to avoid wearing red or yellow as the 2 opposing political parties were gearing up for major protests in an area we may venture into. They want to kick out Jean Quan…. Oops I mean their current female Prime Minister. For a minute I thought I was in Oakland not Thailand.
After my leisurely breakfast in the dining room, I was headed to the Terminal to see if there was any free wi fi but no luck so I hopped on the ship’s complimentary shuttle into town. Drop off was at the Central World Shopping Center. En route we saw hundreds of police decked in their riot gear and ready for action. Bangkok is quite a contrast to Singapore, where everything is so very clean and it’s difficult to find a vehicle over 10 years old. But the Thai’s are always smiling. I love these people! I just might do a trip here, Singapore with an accent on jazz in Tokyo. I’ve been fighting Tokyo but they showed me love when I passed through so just maybe,,,,,So’Mone. 🙂
Shoppers, there are high end stores all around, near the mall but the 6 level mall is huge and has something for everyone. Everyone but me. Can’t stand shopping. At any rate, I quickly found Starbucks, not for coffee but wifi. 150 Baht ($5) for 2 hrs. sure beats the heck out of $100 for 3 hrs on the ship. Of course I picked up Winfrey’s Starbucks cup for here and Singapore. We’ll see about Vietnam.
Cruising, whether with hubby or by myself means REST! my schedule is too crazy at home to rio and run in foreign lands. Last night was Thanksgiving for us here but I skipped dinner and took it easy. Lunch was delightful in Windows Cafe’ and I was Thankful so no need for dinner.
Today, took the ship’s shuttle back to Starbucks but was too early so hooked up a Tuk Tuk driver. A Tuk Tuk is a 3 wheel motorcycle taxi that zips in and out of the traffic and can get you to your destination in no time flat. There us a “scam” element about these drivers but thank God I had favor. ComeThai agreed to take me clear across town to a souvenir store and wait, and bring me back to the mall for 20 Baht which is less than $1. Additionally, when he blazed past a post card stand, he made the block, went back for me and waited, then took me to get Fitzroy some silk ties. I was ready for the East Oakland okie doke, and try to rock me to sleep with some Thai bull crap on the price hike when he returned me to where he picked me up. Surely, he would not drive me all over Bangkok for over an hour for $1. Well, all he asked for was 20 baht. I happily gave him 60 Baht ($3) and even that was too little if you ask me.
Some tourists have had bad experiences but mine was great and I say taking at least 1 ride in a Tuk Tuk is mandatory for a true Thailand experience. This would never happen in Oakland so I guess I am really in Thailand