Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Bangkok, round II

Bangkok, here we come!!!

Suzie and I took the ferry from Koh Phangan to Surat Thani, and then hopped on a night train to Bangkok. We arrive at our couchsurfer’s house by trekking through a park filled with tents from the protests. We got out of there quick! Our host was an entrepreneurial business man who traveled as he wished and was staying in the Marriot Executive Apartments. Wow, what a change from our last living sitch! We chatted with our host Ryan and his friend Tom for a bit, and then, surprise, two more couchsurfers showed up! Two girls from the Ukraine. We had actually seen these girls on the ferry from Koh Phangan to Surat Thani. What a small world! So the four of us took off to explore the reclining Buddha.

Later we made tacos for our host and starts playing some drinking games. Around 10 pm 3 more girl couchsurfers walked in! They we’re from Vietnam going to school in Singapore. I’ve never been with so many cuchsurfers on one couch! We hit a club and crawled into bed around 3 only to wake up at 7:30 the next day!

Today was TIGER TEMPLE! We started off thinking about renting a car. That quickly changed to grabbing ham and cheese toasties at 7 Eleven and hopping in a cab heading towards the Southern Bus Station. From there we bussed to Kanchanaburi and hopped on a local bus for the 40 min ride to Tiger Temple. It was 2 o’clock by now and the Tiger Temple closed at 3 (really 3:30, but the taxi driver told us 3 in attempt to convince us we HAD to go with him). I was praying we’d make it on time, especially after the hour taxi and 2.5 hour bus ride.

There are no bus stops for the local bus. All you do is stand on the side of the street and when the bus sees you, it’ll honk. If you start waving your arms, “poof!” you’re standing at a bus stop. To get off the bus you hop up, run to the front, and, for us, yell “Tiger Temple! Tiger Temple!” We were let off on the road and still had 2 km down a dirt road. We lucky hitchhiked with a minibus and arrived at the temple gates with ten minutes to spare. All is good : ) The tigers were soooooo cool! We were lead around to pet about eight different tigers. I may or may not have gone twice ; )

When walking the tigers back to their cages, the one in front of us made a weird noise, put up its tail, and sprayed Suzie! Now, I guess she is his territory. We were told it was good luck. So hopefully we'd make it back to Bangkok by sunset!
Our travels back weren’t nearly as chaotic. We haggled with a mini bus driver for a ride to Bangkok. Our starting price was 300 each. The language barrier was to our advantage because he would take nothing less than a whopping 500 for both!  That night we explore Kohsand Road and saw fried scorpions! No way Jose was I trying that!

For our last night, we swapped couches and stayed with a lovely guy from New York. We celebrated his birthday by seeing Robocop (much better than I expected), and grabbed drinks at a roof top bar.  Tomorrow we’re exploring the largest market in Bangkok and then it’s a night train to Laos.

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