Last Saturday we decided to venture out to see something new in Bangkok. We want to see the temples and touristy places but doing so is an “experience” to say the least. We take a taxi to the Grande Palace to see the Emerald Buddha, it takes about 30-45 minutes and costs us about 130 baht ($4.40 USD). We get to the palace early in the morning but boy is it packed!
Tour groups are everywhere, there are some signs but only a few in English so we aren’t really sure where to go, as we walk people are starring at Killian and taking his picture, and it’s so hot… We decide to follow the masses and we find the ticket counter, purchased our tickets and go inside the temple grounds. It was so packed full of people we could all hardly move. People were falling all over Killian’s stroller, no one cares if you have a kid here, they just knock him over (one of the biggest things I miss from home- manners). So after a while of Chris “driving” the stroller and people falling over my child because Chris is trying to use his manners and not run them over I decide that I am going to “drive” this stroller like I stole it! NASCAR AIN’T GOT NOTHING ON ME! The problem at the tourist locations is the tour groups. They are huge and the people on the tour refuse to leave their group. So if I need to walk through the group just to get to the other side they box you out as to not be separated from their guide (which is impossible since the tour group is so large they are everywhere). Chris continues with his manners and is trying to dodge every single photo that is taken, dude is going to throw out his back, and I explain that these people refuse to move for us and our child forget their picture! (Momma bear isn’t pleased)
We finally find the emerald Buddha and I was expecting something huge but nope he is small and sits high on an alter about 30 feet in the air. We later discover why it is so crowded at this temple, turns out during the new year Buddhists from all over Asia come to see the emerald Buddha, like Muslims headed to Mecca or the Jews at the wailing wall. Killian has had his fill of Buddha for the day and we decide to leave the temple. We find a nice little local Thai place for lunch and then the search is on for a cab.
There is a new law in place in Thailand that says a cab driver can not refuse a fare, I’m guessing that most cab drivers on the side of town where we were didn’t get that memo. I have one stop and I tell I’m where I am going (all in Thai mind you) and he says 250 baht. I say no way, it only cost us 130 to get here so he drives away. The next cab driver pulls over and says 400 baht! I say the last guy said 250! He says ok 300. PANG MAK, which means to expensive, I negotiate 200 and he says no 300 I say no way! Well crap now what? We can’t walk home and we can’t take the bus because we have no idea where the bus line goes and if you take the bus to get off you have to do a jump, tuck and roll and with Killian that isn’t going to work… So we decide to walk away front he touristy part and finally a taxi pulls over agrees to turn on the meter and take us home! Thank you Lord because I was just about to get upset. I’m sure there are many foreigners that would have paid 400 baht but I am no sucker! Momma didn’t raise no fool! I bet they were surprised I was negotiating with them in Thai too, they were probably like what!?
This weekend we are planning to take a boat taxi down the river to go see the temple of the reclining Buddha. Should be fun!