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Thailand: Bangkok
May 5-7, 2006

Thailand is known as the “land of smiles” and everyone lauds the friendliness of the people there.  With such high expectations, we were bound to be disappointed. After spending one day in the capital, Bangkok, we decided we hated it. 

Zac and I are pretty good at navigating new cities by now, but in Bangkok, we were so lost at one point that we literally walked in a big circle and found ourselves right back where we started. It didn’t help that neither of the maps we were equipped with corresponded to reality as far as street names were concerned.

Bangkok, which Zac soon dubbed, “the crotch of Thailand” has bad air pollution, no character, and it’s crawling with con artists preying on tourists.  There’s nothing to do there but look at Wats (Buddhist temples/monasteries) and pictures of the King, which adorned every street corner.  To be fair, there is a lot to do in Bangkok, it’s just that getting drunk and high and hooking up with “ladyboys” isn’t our cup of tea.  Apparently, in addition to smiles, Thailand is famous for its men that have transgendered themselves into beautiful women.

totally lost

one of many buddhist Wats

“Land of Smiles”

a picture of the royal couple

an ornate stupa in a wat

lots of stupas

a Wat

another Wat

The Great Pigeon Scam

Watch out for this scam in Bangkok! You are walking along the sidewalk minding your own business when a woman thrusts some corn into your hands.  She doesn’t speak English and when you try to give it back to her, she doesn’t accept it.  Then she opens the packet of corn and pours it into your hand, gesturing at the pigeons.  “Well,” you think to yourself, “maybe she’s part of a friends of pigeons organization or something.” There’s nothing to do but throw the food to the birds.  When you’re finished, or after she has dumped a few more bags of corn into your hands, she will use the one English words she knows, “Money!” and demands, “Money!”  Being the cruel tourist you are, you don’t pay her because you don’t appreciate being scammed and you know that by paying her you are just encouraging the scam.

a street market where we didn’t buy anything

one of our few enjoyments was taking a river taxi

to be fair, Bangkok did have awesome grilled chicken

cars with no emission standards

Khao San Road

Bangkok’s sky train


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