the puddles won’t dry up

Posted: January 17, 2012 in Uncategorized

We’ve been having a bit of tropical rain at odds times during the day and night. The humidity has risen to the point that nothing evaporates,  towels stay damp and puddles won’t dry out. When it’s like this, a lazy muggy lethargy sets in and the world slows down. Days go by where clothing is discarded, movement is at a minimum. Going out is considered carefully,  pick your battles, adjudicate your efforts selectively. We’ve chosen to stay poolside and do a lot of swimming and otherwise get our work done. It’s hot and sticky here in BKK !

 

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Comments
  1. Côme says:

    Hello,
    I have been watching your videos about BBK, very interesting!
    I’m flying there on Friday so I have been doing some research online on what to do/see/don’t there!! How easy is it to get around in that city via public transportation? Or is it better to get a cab on the street? I saw a video about street foods, hard to know what you are eating…
    Any suggestions? tips?
    Merci.

    • Hey, thanks for watching. I envy you coming to Bangkok for the first time. It will seem like an enormous mess, but in fact there is simplicity and cohesion in everything….Thai style. In answer to your questions about getting around and eating…first…getting around is a no brainer..there are many layers of public transportation…buses are great and cheap…skytrain is fantastic but doesn’t take you everywhere…but should serve you well on a trip to the most frequented places in the city for sightseeing. Taxi’s are usually good if you have an idea of where you are going and have an idea on how much it will cost…BKK taxi drivers ( including the Tuk Tuks) are notorious for ‘taking the long way around’ to juice the fare on the meter when the get a newbie in the back seat. I suggest getting a 90 baht bus map at Asia Books ( most malls have outlets) when you arrive……I use the buses every day…..I like to see things from ground level and mix with the people from different neighborhoods….and I’m terribly cheap ( I’m a writer…we don’t make money 🙂 Its 8 baht to ride the bus…..about 30 cents….for a trip.

      What to see? Wow …what a question…..some people like the club scene…very vibrant…try Hollywood ..my son tells me its a blast. Definatley visit all the cool stuff…the temples…the palace…Khao San Rd is a crazy mixture of international freakdom gone by and current ( apparently when you burn out in Amsterdam your body comes to Bangkok and winds up on Soi Rambuttri dressed in bizarre hippy clothes from various era’s and Bob Marley printed everything) …..All those things in the guide books are generally a must see for the first time visitor. Try the markets as we have posted in our vids….Chatachak (JJ) is a lot of fun and a great place to buy your gifts…..Bo Pae….MBK…Pahurat, Pratunam…Phantip for electronics and software.

      Food…..eat everything!!! I suggest Khao man Gai Tod..Hoy Toad…..Moo Saa…..Khao Pad Gai Kai Dao….Som Tam…Ba Mee Nam….Pad See You…..( this is just a list of what we eat every day) Just follow some common sense rules……soups and such that are steaming in front of you are cheap and healthy…..safe. Fried and fresh deep fried…same…..bakeries are heavenly……try the ice teas and ice coffee’s……oh yeah…thats good. Its the big hotel buffets where things are prepared a long time before consumption that seem to be the biggest problem…eat fresh cooked food and you should be OK. By all means be patient…smile at everything ( its a local currency here) and look like you’re having fun….you’ll be just fine. Let us know how you make out.

      OH…and heres a tip about getting into town from the airport….there is a train downtown…find it on the lowest level of the terminal…90 Baht to Phaya Thai station…bus to your destination from there…or take a cab…..you’ll be close to Victory Monument from there and very close to downtown…Banglamphu etc…….If you’re taking a cab from the airport there are always a few bad apples picking up passengers and will try to gouge you with outrageous fare requests……Go to the metered taxi stand and tell the attendant specifically where you want to go. Tell the cabbie that you do not want to go to any restaurants or do any shopping…..Keep the receipt that the airport gives you…don’t hand it to the driver…it is your only way to prove that you requested a ride to your hotel. Whew……..Good luck.

  2. Côme says:

    Hello,

    I’m not so sure we will go clubbing while being there. Maybe some nice bar with a view will do it. Any good market/things to do/see near Pratunam? It’s where our hotel is located.Chatachak looks like a crazy place to visit! That I can’t wait! So much to see in so little time. Any nice parks in town to chill out a bit?
    thanks

    • Pratunam is an experience in itself…great shopping…..the entire area is what the Thai’s call…the fashion district. Prat market is huge….mostly covered and a veritable kaleidoscope…..hundreds of little alley ways chock full of stuff to look at. I walked into a Thai classical opera in the back streets there just the other day…..sat down with an icy bubble tea and had a very nice time. There are several other big malls in sight along the same street. We’ll post the opera video soon. Chatachak is great….its a place for Thais to congregate as much as anything….fun people watching…and great snacks….foreigners are a small part of the whole scene. I like to go in the afternoon after the sun cools off a bit….thats when the Thai’s come out in force as well.Lumphini Park between Sukhumvit Rd and Rama 4 is the best park in the city to get some shade and picnic a hot day away……nice lake walk….great snacks….cool vibe. I don’t do the bars (( writing rather complicated novels demands that I keep my head on straight….the things I do for you people) so I’m not up on that…but I do see a great many farang ( thats anyone non Thai..specifically western) hanging out on Khao San Rd watching the world go by from the many bars lining the street. Enjoy.

  3. Côme says:

    hello,
    Have you been on the Chao Phraya River? Is it worth the time to do? Looking at your videos, light clothing are de rigueur! I have read that the food is very spicy(chilli sauce…). Any possibility to reduce the spice? Otherwise we are looking forward to just chill outside with a nice cold beer and some pad-thai…

    • The river is like a highway here…another component of the transport system. You should definitely use the local ferries for a cheap and spectacular alternative to the overland routes…..especially if Ratanakosin is the area you’re visiting….. the palace or Wat Po etc….. Try going from one end to the other. Say…..you’re in the Memorial Bridge area….China Town….Little India or even Khao San……go to the river pier ( all major roads end at the river) and ride south to Saphan Taksin in Bang Rak and back…if you like. If you’re adventurous you can ride all the way north to Nonthaburi…You’ll travel past many lovely sights…..it gives you a cool breeze and a great view of old Bangkok. These piers are all marked on the transpo maps….ie a bus map. Hint…you can ride for as little as 15 baht if you wait for the regular ferry…it will have an orange flag…..buy the ticket on the boat and have exact change…they will over charge or shortchange farang otherwise. This has got to be the cheapest river tour I know of. Another hint…there are many touts who prey on new tourists…especially at the heavily touristed areas they will approach you and introduce themselves as a fellow traveler…a teacher..student..etc…they will attempt to steer you away ( with perfect English) from your destination by telling you that a temple is closed or the palace is being renovated or some such thing….be polite..walk away…they usually want to bring you to a jewellery shop or other ‘classy’ rip off. When someone approaches you form behind and asks “Where are you from?”…be wary….the average Thai will never do that. I read the new Rough Guide recently and on page 42 they had a good break down of many of the scams that still plague tourists to Thailand. BTW….if I remember ..you are staying in the Prahtunam area….look into riding the Klong Saen Saem from Chit Lom towards Lad Prao…..its very ‘Bangkokian transportation through the city.

    • BTW…getting the cook to reduce the amount of chili….just say ‘Mai Pet Krap’…..’Not hot please’…they get it….but seriously….Thailand…no spice….you’re not serious?

  4. Côme says:

    I will give a chance to the spice food but my goal is not to be sick for the next 2 weeks! Going down on the river will be for sure something on my list as well as a good thaix box fight! any tips on Koh samui as well?
    Merci.

    • Poorly cooked food on top of too much alcohol in this heat may give you the ‘Bangkok Belly’….eat fresh cooked foods hot….and you should be fine. Thai cooking uses mostly these ingredients ….white pepper ……. green and red chili…lemon grass…kaffir lime…palm sugar…..tamarind…..galangal….holy basil…coriander leaves…garlic…..fish sauce….and lime juice…..so yummy. The fresh Thai salads are fantastic ..Som Tam and Som Thai are everyday favorites…..try the salted preserved crab with either…..Sai Bhu….delicious…There are real Muay Thai matches at Lumphini stadium on Rama 4 ……and lots of shows for tourists around town at various hotel venues. We haven’t gone back to Ko Samui for over a decade……so I don’t have any new info on that.

  5. Côme says:

    Well can’t wait to get some fresh thai salad!! We are boarding soon for Bangkok. Long trip ahead! Thanks for ur advices/tips!

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