The journey begins, staying up till 4 am to leave for my 6:30 Am flight out of Montreal. I don’t remember ever being so tired in my entire life and so energetic at the same time. Basically brushing with insanity in the best possible way. After 24 hours of travelling sleeping and not sleeping, talking with my row mates and stretching I finally reached Bangkok at midnight and split a cab with a fellow Canuck into the heart of Bangkok to rest for the night. Another restless night led to an unplanned day of whatever I felt like doing whatever that may be. I ended up meeting a family of backpackers a mom, dad, and 7 and 10 year old. They were off to a great start adventuring the world and learning the ropes of backpacking. We grouped up and decided to head to the grand palace. Asking a couple other hostel peeps, the best way to get there was by boat bus so we ventured off to the docks. After figuring out the flag system on the boats we were able to board the right one that would bring us right to the Grand Palace for 15 Cents, a 30 minute boat ride.
As soon as we got off the boat we were approached by Tuk Tuk drivers asking where we were going. We told him the Grand Palace and he said it was closed because of the Chinese new year and that it would only open in the afternoon, he offered to bring us to multiple locations around town until it opened up. Mama Kaitlyn, knew this was a scam and kept us moving along. We were right next to this giant temple, we didn’t know Wat it was Pho so we ventured in. We discovered that it was Wat Pho, the location of the leaning Buddha.
I could not get over how big it was, AND it was plated in pure 24k Gold. They were currently giving him a pedicure (Re-golding his feet). There was a ton of other Buddha’s here over 200 and they were all different with a slight variation in either color or posture. Truly something crazy to see. Another interesting fact is that having a statue or picture of a Buddha head is very improper, a lot of Buddha statue heads were taken during temple pillaging so to have one if basically exposing yourself as someone who pillaged a temple. It was funny because they were selling the heads everywhere.
We then decided to head to the Grand Palace, again on our way there a Tuk Tuk driver stopped us and said that 12:30 was a bad time to go to the temple because of chinese new year and everyone went on their lunch to give their prayers. He offered us a little tour of the town to kill time, it was a dollar. We knew it was a scam but decided to just go with it for the experience. It was great Tuk Tuk riding is so much fun, zooming through traffic in car gaps you’d never imagine were possible, they cut corners and get into whichever slot they can. He then asked to bring us to a jewelry shop saying there was a big deal there today only, we said no but he then explained to us how the jewelry store pays his gas if he brings people into the store. So we agreed, might as well get the full bangkok experience.
It was all a big gimmick so we asked him to take us back to the palace, he wanted to bring us somewhere else first, we had to threaten to not pay for him to bring us back and he finally did. The Grand Palace was way too busy, cool sites but the amount of tourists took away from the experience. What was cool was all the pagodas of previous kings of Bangkok were again covered in 24k Gold. I can’t imagine the value of all the gold on the buildings.
On my way back home, I was alone and decided to take a tuk tuk home because I enjoyed the experience, once again same scam, but this time he wanted to take me to a tailor. Curious about it, I once again went for it. The tailor immediately offered me a beer and being interested I took it. They kept pushing top quality and saying I deserved the best, basically his starting price was 500USD$ shipping included and after multiple exchanges I was able to receive an offer for 100USD for a custom made suit. The fact the drop was so huge is what scared me away but immediately their mood changed when I pushed for it, it really became unpleasant, they still pulled the today only price just for you. I was done with these places at this point and the Tuk Tuk driver was done with me, he even unloaded me to another driver. I was fine with it. Still a funny experience, I was wondering if one day there would be an honest Tuk Tuk driver that would just bring you where you need to go. I feel he’d make some good money if he eventually got a fleet of Tuk Tuk drivers and called the company “Honest Tuk Tuks” maybe one day they’ll get it 🙂
That was my first day, lots of fun and different experiences but off to a great start of adventure. Stay tuned for more!! Any comments would be greatly appreciated as this is my first travel blog post ever 🙂
Stay awesome and follow your dreams!