A Travellerspoint blog


A laid back stay in a big city

sunny 95 °F

Normally we aren’t into overcrowded cities but we had to stay a few extra days in Bangkok to make sure our Vietnamese visas had enough time to process. It is pretty amazing to see how well Bangkok has cleaned up and recovered from the serious floods that occurred about 3 months ago. Locals told us that the city was basically under water for about a month and shelves were stripped of food and beverages. There was still evidence of sand bags around buildings and plastic bags stuck high up on branches from when in high water. We were lucky to meet Kitt and stayed at his place for a couple of nights -- fortunately for us, he had a roof top deck and a pool to relax in after a hard day’s work of sightseeing.

We thought the Grand Palace was sorta like visiting Disneyland because there were so many tourists, and loud speakers telling you how to enter. To enter the Grand Palace, you have to cover your shoulders and wear either a long skirts or trousers. Luckily, for a deposit, you can borrow clothes to go inside. Unfortunately, they have chosen the MOST unbearably hot clothes for people to wear  Kevin still managed to get blessed by a monk with ‘lotus good fortune water’ despite sagging his formal pants. Tip to perspective visitors; the entrance fee to the Grand Palace also gets you into the Museum of Royal Decorations and Coins, which although the entrance is hard to find, is upstairs with full blast air con (so definitely pay this place a visit after you tour the Palace since they allow you to take your formal wear off.

From Kitt we learned about a series of museums (including anatomy, pathology and criminal investigations) that was housed in the Siriraj Hospital complex. We had a great time looking at preserved body parts and various soft tissue injuries that packed the shelves of this dusty old university biology room. In the main museum there were also mummified bodies of past serial killers and murder victims… creepy but cool. One mummy, who was held standing by a wire around his waist, slowly leaned forward over time until his forehead hit the protective glass and left a long streak of goop. The exhibit could be compared to “The Bodies” road show that we have in The States, but in a much more raw form.

Bangkok is infamous for high end shopping, where we managed to find Robin a pair of real running shoes (knockoffs were all over the city but these required a true shop). Of course we also stayed true to our bargain hunting skills, and managed to find a bunch of street markets and a humongous local mall called BMK (8 stories of little stalls similar to an outside market, but with aircon).

On our way home from shopping, we stopped by 7-11 for some brews and picked up a couple of bottles of each variety… turns out what we though was going to be cheap 8% beer was actually un-carbonated rice wine called Siam Sato that that tastes a bit like Carlo Rossi mixed with a wine cooler. Kevin quickly added this to the list of ‘what to brew when we get home!’ We have started keeping track some of the best places, foods etc… and Bangkok now holds the title of ‘weirdest thing we’ve eaten so far.’ You might think it would be a creepy crawly or some strange animal part to hold this title, but strange enough, it was a plant based quiche with the sharpest thorns we’ve ever tried to chew and swallow. Imagine cutting up a thorny bush in to pieces (without sautéing or softening) and then mixing it into some egg-like substance and then baking it. It was definitely an uncomfortable surprise when chewing and swallowing and couldn’t help but wonder what would happen the next morning on their way “out”.

Posted by Robin-and-Kevin 23:50 Archived in Thailand Tagged bangkok

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I'm sending this to my co-worker from Bangkok. Love :)

by megandibiase

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