Wow, we really did pick a hot spot of entertainment to stay at right here, as when I woke up at 4.30am, fairly refreshed, I could still hear the party going on outside. So clearly the night market and clubs are a big hit with the tourists, and I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s the case each and every night. Well, I guess we’ll find that out tonight, but luckily it’s only loud in the bathroom, and when actually in bed you can’t really hear anything.
So where we are staying for the first 4 nights is at the Rikka Inn, which is on Khao San Road, and it’s a road most taxi and Tuk Tuk drivers know about, which also says a lot about the street. It’s filled with bars, eateries, shops, and 24/7 market stalls, the majority of which are open between 4pm till the early hours of the morning. During the morning and afternoon, the road is open to Tuk Tuks and taxis, and so you get harassed the second you hit the street, but at night because it’s closed off, there’s lot of people asking you to enter their establishment, but they tend not to hassle you as much as the ones during the day.
As we woke up and decided to head out onto the streets for an explore, it was around 9am, and it really is funny seeing people camping outside the hotel just waiting for tourists to leave so that they can con them into dodgy deals, or pay 4 times too much for their taxi or Tuk Tuk. That was a bit of a learning experience, but we went there with a decent amount of research under our belt, and lots of advice from people, so though it felt rude, most times we just ignored them, smiled, kept to simple chit chat, and just kept walking. Plus once we were off that street, and away from the other tourists, we never got hassled again.
About 20 minutes into our walk we suddenly left all white people behind, and most likely all tourists for that matter, and over the next hour and a bit, walked the back streets of Bangkok, with out a foreigner to be seen. This funnily enough was both a little disconcerting and good in-equal measures. During the walk we thought about grabbing a taxi to the MBK Mall, which we knew to be about 6kms away, but the first taxi we asked tried to say 300 tbh, which he quickly dropped to 250, but because we knew it should be around 100-120 on a meter, if not less, we deiced to keep walking.
We finally made it back to the other foreigners, and headed back to our hotel where we took a bit of a break from the heat, refilled our drinks, and then asked them about booking us a metered taxi, though they said all the taxis outside were metered, which though they said they were, we knew other wise. But, we headed out onto the road again to get hassled some more, but we walked down a bit and grabbed a taxi, but we made sure to ask it was metered first, which he didn’t actually reply to, other than saying get in.
The journey only lasted 50 meters, as I asked three times about meters with no response, then he said he could do us a cheap deal of 50 baht but we had to go to a shop first. This is of course a scam as they force you to buy something at the shop, but we stuck to our guns and said no, we want the meter or we are getting out. He got angry, so we got out. It was at this stage we realised this was going to be a constant battle, so we thought we might as well take a Tuk Tuk which don’t have meters, so at least we can negotiate a price upfront.
We walked out of Khao San Road as we thought we’d get a better deal that way, and the first one we grabbed said 200 with no stops, which we worked down to 150, still knowing full well it should have been half that. But by this stage we just wanted to get on the road. The Tuk Tuk was actually really fun, and a great way to get around, especially if you want to see more things, as it’s so damn open. There’s no safety at all of course, but sometimes in life you just need to hold on and hope for the best. About 20 minutes later we were at MBK, the 7 story mega mall!
Getting out of the heat was the first thing we enjoyed about MBK, and spending the next couple hours exploring it was pretty cool. It ranged from branded stores, with prices alluding to the fact it was all real, to very market type places where you could barter, and of course heaps of food! We thought we had found the mother load on floor 5, so we ate there, only to finish eating and head up a level to find the real mother load. Ohh well, at least we know for next time.
After we had seen what we wanted to, it was time to grab a Tuk Tuk back to our hotel, and this time we were much more confident in doing it, and once again got a price down to 150. Another 20 minutes later and we were back, and we could finally relax and shower and wash off the stinky effects of so much time in hot and humid conditions. We pretty much chilled out and napped the rest of the day and night but looked to hit the market outside around 8pm, but Mollidy passed out for another couple hours, and so we didn’t actually walk outside till 10.
What an experience that was! The difference between Khao San Road at day and night is, well, like day and night, and it was pretty cool. Heaps to eat, heaps to drink, heaps to buy, and heaps to see, be it pretty Thai girls luring you into bars, live bands, interesting characters, and of course tonnes of drinking and drunk tourists. We spent a couple hours walking around, eating, and drinking, and it’s pretty cool knowing we can do that again the next two nights, so there’s one good thing about staying on this road. After midnight we finally went back inside, where we packed our stuff away, and, let sleep take us, and we could safely say it was a cool and experience inducing first full day in Bangkok, Thailand!