I still needed a place to stay for the next 3 nights so I walked around a bit. The places on/near Khao san Road were too expensive. True I found some guest houses for well under 3 dollars a night, but I want TV, A/C, a fridge, private bathroom/shower, and a private room. I figure I'll be sharing a room in India for almost 4 weeks, and will be in a dorm of 16 or so people for over a week when I'm in Ireland. I tried to walk to Silom Rd area, but got lost (of course). It was an 8 or so km walk (about 5.5 mile walk). I think I may have already posted this? The map that I have doesn't have all the roads and not all the roads I come across are labeled. Even fewer are in English. Well I finally found my way back to Khao san Road after 3+ hours of wandering. What a great exercises. I stopped for a Pepsi green, which was a greenish-clear Pepsi that tasted like a hybrid of Pepsi, 7-up, and cream soda. Quite good...and cheap. I finally chose this nice place that is a hostel, but is a very nice on at that. It's called the "Thai Cozy House", (pictures attaches). It is a restaurant, Tailor, tourist center and massage parlor all in this mini mall like structure that has one garage-sized entrance emptying into a street that is not 25 meters from Khao san Rd. I was able to talk them down to 600 baht (~$17 USD) per night for a private room, queen bed, writing desk, full sized mirror, fullsized closet, color cable TV, private shower and bathroom with hot/cold. I also have wireless in my room, which is a nice perc.
2nd Day in Bangkok
So my memory card for my camera is officially broken--it cannot be read and all the pictures on the card are lost. Good thing I obsesively backup my photos. I ended up only loosing pictures that I took while on the sleeper train from Chiang Mai to Bangkok and all the photos I took while in Bangkok the first day, I think I'll live. I walk around a bit in the mornging and decide it's just too damn hot, >94 degrees F with VERY high humidity...no thank you. I catch a cab and go to the MBK, in the Siam Center, which cost me 80 baht (~2 USD) and way ~3 miles away. 3 Miles in Bangkok traffic took more than 20 minutes. I walk in and holy hell is this place huge. Here are just some of the facts about this Goliath:
- 8 stories high
- 2,500 shops
- 330 meters (1,000 ft long)
- 89,000 square meters (958,000,000 sq feet)
After the mall I tried to walk to Patpong Road. After an hour of getting myself lost and a kilogram of water weight accumulating on my shirt, in the form of sweat, I hailed a taxi. I like to walk and get lost mostly to just see the local scenery and not have to worry about getting to a destination, but soak in the experience of 'wandering' a foreign area. I had been debating whether or not to go to Patpong, but felt I would be more likely to regret going than regret having tried something and had a bad experience. I will not explain Patpong in detail for the sake of the younger readers, but I will be HAPPY to share with any of you that email me (firstname.lastname@example.org). Suffice it to say, if it were not for me being a keen, witty, industrious, and a little cocky person I would have been ripped off to the nth power. I was able to talk my 1,300 baht extortion money down to 300 baht and a 650 bath taxi ride to a measly 100 bath. You ask for my technique, well here are some of the 'things' I used/used.
- Being on the offense, not defense
- Threats (e.g. I said, "I'm going to see if this is correct, will you hold a minute while I phone the Tourist Police"? Man did that threat help, though I had no phone, when I reached into my pocket they had no idea, good thing they didn't call my bluff!)
- Having a reasonable goal (i.e. reasonable to both parties).
- Being well educated of the situation
As for today, I'll take it easy, perhaps buy my Lonely Planets for India and Ireland. I also need a cable lock to secure my luggage to my bunk while on the Indian sleeper train. I want another massage before I leave, at $8 it sure beats that $75+ I pay back home. I think I may go to the floating market tour tomorrow, but I'll let you know. This is Scottieb signing out...and please feel free to email me if you're intimidated by this posting blog system.