William's RSS

First Impressions

By William on Sat, Mar 21st 09 at 04:25AM | Permalink | Comments (9)

We've been in Bangkok, Thailand for a few days.  To be honest, so far, I don't really like it.  We ended up at a hotel which was recommended to us, which is actually really nice and quite cheap (just $15 a night).

The problem is the location.  We're right in the middle of a big tourist area of the city.  It's crowded, loud, dirty and it feels like someone is constantly trying to scam me wherever I go.  Possibly because the first thing that happened when we got here was to get scammed by  taxi drivers.  Whenever I've gone walking through the city, people are constantly trying to get me to by things, tell me my fortune, or get me in their taxi.  I always ultimately get fed up and go back to the hotel.

There is one redeeming quality to this city, however.  The food.  At a street vender, a good plate of pad thai is about a dollar.  Spring rolls, fresh fruit drinks, and many other delicious things are even cheaper.  In a nice restaurant, the food is about 3 or 4 dollars a plate and quite amazing.

Yesterday I took a cooking class, which was also quite cheap, and learned to make 2 of my favorite dishes, pad thai and green curry, as well as spicy prawn soup which is quite amazing.  We made everything from scratch, all the sauces and spices.  We even made the coconut milk.  Everything was delicious.

I'm sure my opinion of Thailand will improve as I see more of it.  In a couple days we will be staying with a couch surfer, who hopefully will be able to show us the city outside the tourist traps.  I know there is a beautiful and fascinating culture to be discovered here, I just haven't figured out how to find it yet.

Comments

Scott wrote on March 21st 09 at 06:30AM
Get out of there! Thailand is SCARY! :)
booed off wrote on March 21st 09 at 10:31AM
Dude, get a brain and get out of the tourist area. The part of bangkok that is like that is tiny - all around Khao San or Sukhumvit. If you go to those areas you're seen as fair game.

But, let me guess, you're walking around with your copy of Lonely Planet? Toss it away and start again.

Then you might find parts of Bangkok (and the rest of the country) where you never get scammed....
William wrote on March 21st 09 at 08:16PM
We've never travelled with a Lonely Planet guide, and never will. We came here at the recommendation of a friend, which sadly backfired. We always go to a place and try to meet locals who can tell us what we should do, it just hasn't worked here so far. But, like I said we will be with a couchsurfer on monday and that should solve all our problems.
Daniel wrote on March 22nd 09 at 06:16PM
It probably doesn't help that it's rainy season.
kevin wrote on March 22nd 09 at 08:25PM
i hope you get food outside of kao san road. you'll just have to get used to it, that's life for a tourist in bangkok. try visiting chiang mai or other parts or northern thailand. much more relaxed.
Shawn wrote on March 23rd 09 at 04:08AM
Big cities are difficult. Dropping into Cairo is a head rush, too.

Although, a guide book helps, I am in my seventeenth month of traveling and I did buy the book for Eastern Europe since I will be in the region for the next two years.
Nomadic Matt wrote on March 23rd 09 at 07:21AM
you guys should read my blog more. I lived in Bangkok for 2 years- just left it really and no emails about what to see and do? I could have gotten u a place to stay for free, and told u how not to get ripped off of 2,000 baht!
David wrote on March 25th 09 at 02:26PM
mmm pad thai. Hope you can make it to Phuket!
Sam Jones wrote on March 29th 09 at 04:22AM
"We've never travelled with a Lonely Planet guide, and never will."

Bwahahahaaa. Nice soundbite from someone who has just won the entire collection of LP titles!
The incredible story of how two recent college grads are traveling around the world on an impossible budget.
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