I finally arrived in Thailand!
I arrived at the hostel and was given a friendly welcome by the hostel owner, Joy. Joy quickly checked me in and introduced me to one of my dorm mates, a Candian guy named Eric. Eric was just about to leave for his first day of sightseeing so Joy suggested that we go together.
We went and grabbed some lunch quickly, which was the most difficult part of the day. I tried to explain that I wanted my meal without the pork, the waitress didn’t understand me and thought that I didn’t want the food…so it never came.
After giving up on getting food we caught a bus to the grand palace. This task was also easier said than done. We were on the wrong side of the street so we had to play frogger across a 6 lane road to beat the bus to the right side of the road. This seems to be a common game that I played in Bangkok. Playing frogger with only one life is a little intense but doesn’t seem to be the case in Chiang Mai.
Seeing the grand palace was great. We paid our money, Eric rented pants to cover his shins and I put my sarong over my shorts. An interesting tidbit of information: a sarong is acceptable coverage even with one whole side is open and exposed, yet shorts that cover the knee are not acceptable.
By the time we finished the grand palace everything was closing so we decided to take a tuk tuk back to the hostel. A tuk tuk can best be decribed as a golf cart that goes motercycle speeds. Our tuk tuk even got grazed by a few motorcycles trying to go around traffic.
The next day I went on my first adventure alone. Joy suggested that go to Chinatown and the mall. I got on my first bus to find that the bus ended and I was not in China town. Some old lady grabbed me by the wrist and lead my to a public ferry. I followed the old women with blind trust that she would get me to wear I needed to be. Hindsight is 20-20 that she could have been leading me just about anywhere and I would have followed, however she lead my to Chinatown, let go off me, smiled and promtly continued on her way.
I adventured through China town and came across a musuem with what they boast to be the largest golden budha. The musuem was very imformative and possibly one of the best I have every been to. I was able to learn quite a bit about Thai history and the history of Chinese people in Thailand.
Next I tried to catch a bus to the shopping mall to pick up the things I had forgotten to bring with me like a universal plug. I stood there waiting for the 29 bus for about half an hour at which point I finally asked for some help. The man I asked didn’t know english but was able to communicate to me that my dirrections were wrong and I needed the 529 bus which had already passed me twice. After I got on the bus I was able to make it to the mall and pick up everything I needed. On my way home I bought my skytrain ticket on the machine without having to change it to English.
The next day we did some city sightseeing and went out to dinner with all nine people staying in the hostel. After dinner we went out to go see the lights for the queens birthday and hit a bar. Somehow me managed to get 5 people into a Tuk tuk to get to the lights. The bars were fun and we stayed out parting till 5 am. I have to say how impressed I am by how friendly everyone at the hostel was and how well we all watched out for one another’s safety throughout the night.
Overall I have to say that so far Bangkok seems to be quite a livable city, with some of the most friendly people I have ever seen. I would say that everyone here is just as nice and helpful as the people in Japan, which makes me wonder why people always talk about how helpful Japanese are and never seem to mention Thai’s as being helpful.