Tuesday, July 11, 2017

July 11, 2010. A look at Backpackers' Row

LOCATION:  Housesitting in Bangkok, Thailand

WEATHER:  Hot and humid again.  We learned that this is the rainy season, with highs in the 90s-100 daily.  We missed "summer" a few months ago when it is 100+


Our cat is still in the pet hospital, so we thought we should go on an excursion that would take up most of the day.  We decided to visit Khao San Road.  This road/alley was featured in the book/movie "The Beach" (which we haven't seen) about a young American - Leonardo DiCaprio who comes to Thailand for an adventure.  He stays in a hostel in this area before going to some island beach.  So, off we went.  

First, we had to get some cash.  I've never been anywhere where there are so many ATMs.  We learned that they are so prevalent because most businesses don't accept credit cards.  

We have figured out the Sky Train pretty well.  For some reason they keep the A/C on about 60 inside.  It is like a meat locker!  Then, when you get to your station and leave the train, the 100 degree heat and humidity hit you like a wall.  My glasses always fog up and I can't see where I'm going. It is a very inefficient system.  The ticket machines only accept coins.  Most currency is paper.  So, you stand in line and get change from a clerk.  Then, you turn around and stand in another line to put your coins in the machine with the amount you need to get to your destination.  We generally travel during non-peak hours and it is packed.  One of the guidebooks recommending experiences in Bangkok says to go to a downtownn Bangkok Sky Train station at 6:00 PM to experience rush hour.  I can't imagine!

To get to our destination today, we had to take the water taxi again.  We passed by this famous temple - Temple of the Dawn.

 Again, in the water taxi, we were packed in like sardines and at each stop, the captain yelled to move forward in order to allow more people to board.  Crazy!  We found our backpackers' street next to the 13th water taxi stop.    
I think it is more upscale than it used to be, but it is still popular among backpackers.  I saw ads for hostels at $6/night.  Lots of cafes, bars, shops, places for laundry, and massage parlors.  We had lunch in a cafe.  I have a list of the top 10 foods to eat in Thailand, so we are trying to get those items first.  Today was Cashew Chicken and Veg over rice.

George went to the bathroom and saw this very explicit sign.  Notice the detail on the stick figure!

The King of Thailand died recently, and there are shrines all over the city praising his reign of about 70 years.

Back home, we rested and waited until 5:00 when we could buy alcohol again.  We went to an expat bar near our condo, hoping to get some beer other than the ubiquitous Thai beers that taste like Bud light.  We have found 3 brands, all from the same company, all tasting the same.  This bar has some imports.  We had a pretty good one - from Cambodia.  We sat between a guy from Norway and a table of Indians.  Very international.  


About a block from our condo is a fairly large area with lots of street food.  We saw these whole, grilled fish and decided to buy one for dinner.


When you pay, they give you little baggies full of sauces to put on your food.  

DINNER:  Grilled fish in a ginger/soy sauce and rice.  


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