Friday, July 7, 2017

July 7, 2017. Busy first day in Bangkok

LOCATION:  Housesitting in Bangkok, Thailand

WEATHER:  Hot and humid.  High 98.  Sunny during the day; rain in the evening


With jet lag, we got up early, at about 6:00.  We walked around our has strange life-size transformer statues all around.

We decided to explore the area for breakfast, rather than eat in the hotel.  We found this street cafe with a menu listing 3 options...
The waitress, not speaking any English, showed us a picture of one of the items on her phone.  So, we went with that.  It turned out quite tasty - like a stir-fried chicken dish.  For the two of us, it was $1.50.  

We weren't supposed to meet up with our homeowner until 7:30 PM, so had the day to kill.  I saw a tour guide in the hotel lobby, so we decided to spend a day going on a day trip.  We negotiated that they would take us on the tour, and then to the condo where we will be housesitting, rather than returning us to the airport hotel, as the airport is about 30 miles from downtown.  It turned out that we had our own car and driver, so he would do anything we asked.  Great!  And at a very reasonable price.


We went to the Floating Markets, which are quite famous here.  We had to drive about 2 hours to get there, through some slow traffic.  Once there we hopped on a boat and started the 2-hour tour.  

George was very impressed by the huge motors on these tiny boats.


The floating market is in a series of canals.  Boats whirl down the canals, pulling up  at stands like this where the boat drivers' friends are selling souvenirs.
It is an amazing traffic jam of boats, but everyone seems to have a great time.  The drivers negotiate around each other joking and shouting. 

There are little ladies like these 2 selling fruit (durian, mango and papaya) and cooked meats.

You can see the propane tank on this one.  We stopped at one and bought some pork skewers.  

People live in houses on stilts on the river banks.

After the tour, we stopped in an elephant tourist trap, but told the driver we didn't want to stay.  So, we drove back to the city.  The traffic was even worse.  When we got near downtown, the traffic virtually stopped moving.  Motorbikes darted in and out of the traffic, as they were the only ones moving.    It took us one hour to drive one block!  After about 3 hours in traffic, going about 10 miles, we arrived at the location where we will be housesitting.  It is a beautiful, high-rise condo.     We got oriented with our homeowner, then walked to a nearby Japanese ramen shop for dinner.   Our homeowner Kate, an American expat working here, left at 9:30 PM to catch a flight at midnight for the USA>.     

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