Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Partyin' Partyin' Yeah!

I'm pretty sure our whole time in Thailand, we never stopped making fun of Rebecca Black and talking about how awful her life will be when she goes to high school and college. So that is the backdrop for our ballin' week in Thailand.

We started off in Phuket, which is a large touristy island off the coast of Thailand. One of the first meals I ate was pad thai, which was amazinggg. Everything in Phuket was chill, so it shouldn't have come as any surprise when we ran into a guy with a baby elephant in the street.

On our second day, we decided to take a boat tour around to the surrounding islands. We got to see Maya Beach where Leonardo DiCaprio filmed The Beach, we got to snorkel with the fish, and we went to the Phi Phi Islands which have some of the nicest beaches in Thailand. The water out there was amazingly blue, and the cliffs were so tall.

The beaches had the whitest sand ever too. Phi Phi was basically a paradise.

The sad thing though was that we didn't have enough time in Phuket. The day after our boat trip, we had to catch a 12 hour bus ride to Bangkok, the capital of Thailand. The bus didn't leave until 6:00, but we had to be ready to be picked up at 3:45. We were planning on going to the beach in the morning, but it rained so we were stuck just sleeping and eating all morning.

And although Kenny gave me a hard time about booking a bus instead of a plane to Bangkok, it turned out to be a fun adventure. We watched a Thai TV show that featured an ape looking guy with the voice of a 5-year old. And after that was over we watched Black Swarm in Thai, which is a movie about killer bees. And it's so much funnier when you don't know what they're saying because then you can make up everything that is going on. Bees were stinging people and turning them into zombies, and people who had been stung were vomiting bees at other people... We found it to be a very humorous movie.

Once we arrived in Bangkok, we needed to take a taxi to our hostel. Luckily, the only guy who spoke English knew where we were going, so he told us he would take us there for 450 baht (a little more than $20). Only later when we took a metered taxi did we realize how much this guy had ripped us off. And since we got to our hostel early, there was no one to check us in, so we slept in the lobby of the hotel next door and got some nice street food for breakfast.

After a couple hours, we decided it was time to get out and see the city. We decided the Grand Palace would be a good place to start, since we didn't know anywhere else to go. And that's when the adventure started. We told our taxi driver that we wanted to go to the Grand Palace and he seemed confused, but then it was as if a light bulb went off in his head and he finally knew where we were going... Except he didn't. He ended up dropping us off at the Centara Grand Hotel. So we had to go inside and ask the concierge to flag a cab for us and tell the driver where we were going.

When we finally got to the palace, some guy outside told us that it was only open to Thai people until 2:30 (which is what they tell every tourist) and sent us on a tuk-tuk ride around the city. We went to a temple with a giant buddha statue and then went to a tailors and a jewelry shop. Kenny and Austin decided to get tailored suits, and I settled for a tailor-made dress shirt. After that, we finally made it back to the Grand Palace. We managed to see some of the temples that were at the palace before it started to rain, and then we just got a glimpse of the palace before we decided to leave.

After we left, we tried to find our tuk-tuk driver so he could take us back to the tailor for our fittings, but he was nowhere to be found. We tried killing some time by wandering around and trying lots of delicious street food, but it seemed that he had disappeared so we decided to take a taxi back to the tailor. This guy was a true tourist scammer. He asked us if we had a phone so he could call the tailor (don't ask me why he needed to do that) even though all of our phones were international phones. And then later, his phone rang and he answered it. So he obviously had his own phone, he just didn't want to use it. He also took us the long way so that we got stuck in traffic and ran the meter up just for waiting. And when we got to the tailor, we tried to pay him with a 100 baht bill, but he told us he didn't have any change. What kind of taxi driver doesn't have change??

But at least we got there. After leaving, we needed to then take a taxi back to our hostel. Which is in such a remote part of town that not many people know where it is. So we finally find a cab that knows where we're going. And as we're driving, we pass a 7-Eleven that is right next to a Vietnamese restaurant. Since that is directly next to our hostel, we told him to turn around. And after getting stuck in traffic on the highway, he drops us off there. Except that wasn't where our hostel was... so we had to get another tuk-tuk to take us back. And at around 8:00pm, we finally made it back to our hostel to enjoy some good food and go to bed.

The next morning, we started off the day with a disgusting amount of delicious street food.

Our task for the day was to go the Vimanmek Mansion and find some shopping. Luckily, the first taxi we found didn't have much trouble getting to where we needed to be. The first thing we saw when we got there was the parliament building, which housed an arts exhibit.

In order to go inside we had to dress properly, so we had to buy some Thai-style sarongs, but I liked to say that Kenny and Austin were forced to wear skirts.

Unfortunately, they didn't actually allow photography inside the buildings. And if they hadn't taken our cameras at the entrance, I definitely would have snuck in a few pictures because it was absolutely amazing inside.

Our ticket to that allowed us to see other things, including the Royal Elephant Museum and the Vimanmek Mansion Museum.

This mansion is the largest teakwood mansion in the world and used to be the royal palace before the new one was built. After visiting the mansion, we decided to head to Siam Square, which is where our front desk told us we could find shopping. And boy did we find shopping. There were malls attached to each other with 5 or 6 stories, and inside were shops along with markets. Anything that you wanted, you could find here.

So after a successful day in Bangkok, Austin and I decided it was time to get a true Thai massage. Luckily, we found a really nice place right down the street from our hostel called Magic Hands. The name may make you laugh, but it was a really legit place. We payed 150 baht (mad cheap) for an hour massage, and they washed our feet beforehand and gave us warm tea and hot towels afterwards. If it wasn't our last day and if I hadn't already taken out a loan from the Bank of Ricky, I definitely would have gone back there.

But unfortunately we had to leave for the airport at 6:45 the next morning to head back to Singapore. And now here we are, studying hard and taking our final exams. The only thing getting me through this time is the anticipation of my last two trips and my return home! I can't wait to see everyone soon!! xoxo


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