Angie and Me in SE Asia travel blog

View from the Skytrain

One of Jim Thompsons printing patterns for his silk


Got up late, breakfasted at the hotel, then went to check out and in again, because we had booked into the hotel on 2 seperate bookings for different room rates, but were told by the receptionist to stay where we were as they had upgraded our last 2 nights. With that sorted we headed off to do a bit of sightseeing and shopping. Got a taxi from near the hotel to the nearest skytrain station (like a tube but in the air not underground). Got off at the National Stadium and headed to Jim Thompson's House, well we headed in the wrong direction, but were "kindly" put right by a con artist who, told us the right way to go, but that we shouldnt go there yet as they were closed for lunch. Luckily I had read about this scam in Lonely Planet, so we thanked him very much for the directions, but said we would go and have a look at the outside of the house anyway. Then as we were going down the road towards the house another chap asked us where we were from, and were we going to Jim Thompson's House, when we answered his questions he too informed us it was closed for lunch again we thanked him for his help and carried on. We arrived at the house and surprise, surprise, it doesnt shut for lunch. The house was lovely. It was very calm and peaceful, despite being in the centre of Bangkok and backed onto a canal. JIm Thompson was the mane responsible for reviving the Thai silk industry and provided the silk used in the film The King and I. His house was complered in 1959 and is constructed from 6 different teak houses that he had transported from all over Thailand. The house contained many beautiful relics mainly from Thailand, Burma, China and Cambodia. We were shown around the house and grounds by an Engliosh speaking guide, who kept telling us to take our time looking around the rooms then rushed us off to another room when we had only looked at about half the previous one. After we had spent a pleasant hour looking around there, we took the short walk to the MBK mall. This is a massive shopping area, that seems to be part department store, part markets and has a large food court thrown in. We spent a few hours in here, buying a few souvenirs, along with a new charger for Angie's Ipod and a new headband/scarf thing for Angie too. Angie reckons she could have spent a fortune there if we had the room to carry everything home. Lucky we are backpacking then. We also had a couple of very nice smoothies in one of the food areas, where we took the wait off of our feet and watched the world go by for a few minutes. As we left MBK, the guy who held the door open for us recognised us as he works in our hotel, in a city of over 10 million people what is the chances of that. We walked from there, down through Siam Square and on the Bangkoks main railway station. On the way we were approached by a man who said we could get train tickets for the same price as at the station from a near by travel agents, so we went in and were quoted 295 baht each for the tickets and they would have them by 6pm. We werent staying anywhere near there so that was no good, so we declined her offer and headed for the station. Outside the station we were approached by an "official" tourist information guide who asked where we were buying tickets for, wrote it on a piece of paper, with the price of 320 baht each (inflation musty be running high here, and increase in 25 baht in less than 15 minutes) and told us to hand that in at the ticket counter. We went up to the counter, I kept the paper in my pocket, told the seller what we wanted and he gave us the tickets for 284 baht each. That is the problem here, everyone wants there cut out of you.

From the railway station we got the metro to Silom station in order to visit Lumpini Park, but as we arrived it started to rain and our experience of the rain in these parts over the last few days is not good so we decided to give our walk through the park a miss and head back towards our hotel, stopping on the way for something to eat. We got the skytrain from just down the road from the park, alighting at the nearest station to our hotel, although not that close, a good 30 minute walk. From the station we wandered around the corner to a restaurant recommended by the Lonely Planet guidebook. When we got there the place was a bit basic for Angie's liking and she was even less impressed with most of her chicken still being on the bone and with skin on, she is far too fussy for these I had an extremely spicy bamboo shoot soup, that I struggled to cope with. We left there with Angie still hungry so stopped at the seven eleven next door to pick up some snacks and beer for later. As we walked back the Bangkok traffic jam, ooops I mean rush hour was in full flow so as we were walking fater than the traffic was moving we strolled all the way back to the hotel, where I did some more work on this journal and we drank the beer and ate the snacks.



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