Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Thailand Day 5

Today is the 5th day that I am in Thailand. Time to recap on the things that I didn't talk about.

I spent a day and a half down in Pattaya. To get there I had to take a Van suggested to me by the host at the hostel. First time to ride on the back of scooter in the middle of Bangkok... thought I was gonna die. Then took the ever so cheaply van (only 120 baht/ compared to the 100 baht i payed the Tuk Tuk to go a simple mile) to get down to pattaya... thought I was gonna get tricked and get chopped up by the side of the road. SCARED SHITLESS all along the ride. But I finally got down to Pattaya with all my limbs attached.

First thing I noticed: THRONGS of white old dudes with their Thai partners... Dirty or awkward as it may sound... There is actually an interesting story to all of it. I found out a lot about Pattaya and the system that works there, through a dinner that I had with 2 very experienced and knowledgeable expats living there. Pattaya is a very interesting scene in the midst of Thailand. I want to do more research on it when I have the time. But there is so much that I found out so far... come have dinner or coffee with me some time, and I would not mind discussing it with anyone.

So from this one end of Thailand I came back to Bangkok to visit the commercial an business district of Thailand. THE PARAGON!!! Is what I shall be talking about on my next blog. This MEGA MALL made me feel so insignificant...

Sunday, 27 June 2010

Bangkok Day1 Revised

So what happened on day 1?

It was a very eventful and tiring day. Lets start from what i liked.
-Take out drinks in plastic bags!!! Bwahhaha imagine drinking coke from a bag with a straw (though i never tried).
-Cheap food only 30 Baht for fishball noodles; which is around 1 canadian dollar
-Cheap breaverages too, all less than 30 Baht

What i didn't like.
-Impossible to find a satisfying meal! At the right price of course...
-OMG so dehydrating! Find myself buying drinks at 711 4-6 times a day
-Never know what is real or not, lies or truths (DAMN TOOK TOOKS)

Now for the story of how i have been taken for a fool all day!

Usually I like exploring everything on my own independently; away from external influences or suggestions. So that day I took my map and the trusty compass that I bought back in my Busan trip to visit the city.

So starting from around 8 AM, I walked through the streets of Bangkok finding all the touristic attractions displayed. Unfortunately the touristic maps of Bangkok are non-representative of the actual streets. So many smaller streets have been omitted, making the city seem smaller than it actually is. So in reality I had to walk so much more to reach from one landmark to another, which got me lost so many times.

Then, By around 12 o clock at another visit to a random temple, that's when I fell into "THEIR" trap. In the temple that I visited there was a man lighting incense and praying in front of a buddah. Me being the visitor that I was, walked around admiring all the golden beauties of the temple. That's when the man smiled at me and said "You're a foreigner aren't you; you know this temple, mainly the locals people visit it." My first reaction: WOW THIS GUY SPEAKS GOOD ENGLISH! So then we got into a conversation, cause he said that I look thai (And many Korean said I looked Korean). He asked me where I was from; I told him montreal. And what shocked me even more was that he knew where montreal was and was aware that people speak in french there. Then he told me that he lives in LA and he was here on vacation and visiting family. AND ALL OF IT SOUNDED SO LEGIT! Usually i'm very weary of strangers but his story checked out! He sounded like a relatively educated man, which made me accord more time talking with him.

So after the Small talk he asked me did i know that it was a special week in Thailand because of Buddah's birthday? Me remembering vaguely that my Thai teacher told us that the week of Buddah's birthday in korea was different because it was before the one in Thailand (Singapore as well) reinforced my feeling of legitimacy of his informations. Then he showed me things to do on my map, and called the special "GOUVERNMENT SPONSORED TOOK TOOK" that would take me around to few of the temples and the low cost of 10 Baht. Obviously this Took Took driver was part of THIER network of scammers (I took a picture with the Took Took man. If u guys ever see him, spit in his face for me). He then first took me to a "popular temple" which was closed then appologised to me cause he "didnt know". Then it was the shopping places. Then to the closed temples again and then shopping again. But they do it in a way that keep you convinced the whole time that it was a "Gouvernment sponsored" thing and that it was legit. The driver keeps telling me that he gets gaz cupons whenever he brings me these specific places; making me understand the motives under which he brings me to those shops. And at the every now and then temples, there is conveniently another english speaking Thai (or pretend Philippino tourist) that shares his/her story (one of them told me that his brother works in Toronto); keeping you in their game (they tell you about the legitimacy of the stores that you are being brought to).

I always questioned the legitimacy of it all, but only snapped out of it and came to the fact that I was being led along the whole time only at the before last temple I visited. I was at another closed temple when I the "Toronto Brother guy" sitting down, twith 3 empty bottles of water right beside him. And then I realised, "shit he has been sitting here all day talking to foreigners..."

Bangkok Day 2


First of all, I must apologize for not having updated my blog at all in the last 3 months or so. I was actually concentrated in my studies at school. And that's no lie.

Proof? Hows about 3 A+, 1 B+ and 1 more grade to has yet to be posted. Yahhhhhh that's right!! Hehe but truth be told; exchange in Korea is the easiest. The fact that your a foreigner, and your english is better than the teachers' would automatically guaranty a grade above B+ regardless of the effort you put in.

ANYHOW! That is already the past, cause now i'm in BANGKOK!

Lets start from day 1.
Plane from Incheon - Shanghai and then Shanghai - Bangkok. Lucked out! The flight from Shanghai to Bangkok was overbooked, so they upgraded me to business class. Saturday june 26 12:50 AM, I arrive to BKK airport. Not wanting to pay for taxi, I stayed at the airport until 6 in the morning where I took a bus into town. During that time I was doing my research on the tourist attractions in Bankok. Total hours of sleep: 1-2 hours. By 7 or so I finally reached my hostel, but could not check in to my room, cause I had to wait for other people to check out first. So then I left half the baggages in the hostel and went out looking for breakfast, but then ended up walking the whole day and only came back to the dorm at 6 pm

What happened between I must write on another blog, or else it would be too long on this one.