Saturday, January 30, 2010

Culture shock in Bangkok

Mason and I successfully met up at the airport in Korea (we easily spotted each other since we were wearing idential outfits.) After an entire day of traveling we made it to Bangkok, where Mason's friend Zach kindly met up with us to escort us into the city. We stayed at a pretty swanky hotel our first 2 nights- with cable TV and AC! Yesterday we ventured into the humidity and ate lunch at the food court of the MBK center (a massive, airconditioned, multi-story mall). We met up with Mason and Zach's friend James, who guided us to the other side of Bangkok where we boarded a river taxi to Wat Po- home of a very large reclining Buddha. The water taxi is quite an adventure because it's extremely crowded and it's difficult to tell which stop to get off at since most docks look the same. On our first attempt to disembark Mason, James and I got stuck in the crowd and watched as Zach- who got off first, had to jump back on the taxi as it pulled away. Finally we got off and made our way to Wat Po. We didn't even get to see the reclining Buddha because it was closed off for some event that was being set up. Wat Po is also home to Thailand's original massage school. We figured this would be the perfect place for our first massage in the country. After wandering around the complex we finally found the school, where 3 ladies intercepted us and said they would lead us to where the massages take place. We followed for about 5 minutes until the ladies began to leave the complex- at which point we got a bit sketched out and decided just to go find a cafe. We went to the Kao San Road area- a major backpacker mecca- and spent most of our time sizing up other people's backpack sizes and trying to reassure ourselves that our aren't that bad! (But they really are.) Already dreading lugging them around.

At the end of the day we headed back to our hotel- as we had been wanting to swim at our hotel's 6-floor balcony pool all day! Unfortunately we would have preferred to be there in the heat of the day (the water was quite cold!) but it is an awesome pool with fountains and jets and we took a quick dip. There is also a sauna and we thought that would be a perfect way to warm up after the cold pool...unfortunately it wasn't on and didn't heat up in the 20 minutes we waited. We got too hungry and headed to dinner at a yummy Tapas Cafe!

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