18 November 2014
Today is set to be an exciting day. We packed up our belongings, said goodbye to our elusive mouse roommate and checked out of the hotel. Our plan is to move to an area called Th Sukhumvit, where our tour guide from the other day suggested we stay for a night or two. But first we say goodbye to our favorite alley that provided us food and drink:
We get there by taking a ferry to the Skytrain. First the ferry ride:
Next the train:
We exited the train station to a much different Bangkok then we left. We are now in an area that looks like any large city in the US with raised train tracks, modern looking storefronts, and even a mall (more to come on the mall tomorrow). We didn't know where we were going to stay, so I found a place recommended in the guidebook and luckily they had a room available. Suk 11 is a hostel, but much nicer than ones we have stayed in the US. We were able to get a room with our own bathroom, so we didn't have to deal with the typical shared bathroom that most hostels have. Anyway...this place is pretty cool:
After checking in we threw our stuff in the room and headed out for a walking tour of Chinatown. We purposely ate a small breakfast knowing that we would be eating our way through Chinatown today. A train took us a few blocks from Chinatown where we had to stop and see the Golden Buddha, but we first needed a snack:
On to the Golden Buddha (Wat Traimit). It is a 10 foot tall, 10 ton, solid-gold (supposedly) Buddha that was only discovered 40 years ago when it was dropped and the plaster cracked revealing a gold Buddha underneath. It is housed in a new Wat that was built in 2010. Unlike some of the other temples, this one allowed up to take pictures making me wonder if this place is just a money making Wat (they charged us 50 Baht each). But at least a was able to get a cool picture of the Golden Buddha.
Onward to Chinatown! Of course, it can't be Chinatown without a gate:
Chinatown was down-right crazy. People everywhere, food venders everywhere, shops everywhere. Here is just a taste of the sights we encountered throughout the day:
And some of the amazing, colorful, and unfamiliar food being sold:
And two more meals:
Do you ever wonder where all those electronic items you order from Amazon and Ebay come from?
Time to head back to the hotel…which way is the train station? After walking, with a bit of backtracking, for 1 hour we finally made it back to the train and back to our hotel. What a great day of just walking around and exploring the Chinatown of Bangkok. Overall I felt quite at home today since I was reminded of the Chinatown in New York City that I have spent a lot of time visiting. Tim on the other hand was a bit overwhelmed with all the people and all the crazy traffic we had to deal with every time we crossed a street. It's OK Tim…tomorrow we will just hang out around the hotel and not do anything too crazy. I promise...wink, wink.