First day in Bangkok – so I go out for a troll around – looking to head around old city area and check out Khaosan Road and also possible other guest houses within my budget to stay in when I come back to Bangkok at end of stay in Siam.
I am checking a “you are here” map (with NO arrow to say where I am actually!) when a Thai man on a motorbike stops and asks me what I am looking for. – How lovely and helpful, I think.
He chats and then suggests that if I am wanting to do lots of things and book tickets, etc. that I go to the TAT (Tourism Authority Thailand) and he tells me NOT to pay more than 20 Baht for a tuk-tuk to take me to the main office, which is displayed on this map on the board I am scouring. Anyway, so I leave him and then I walk along and a minute later he has pulled me a tuk tuk who will only charge 20 Baht to take me to a sponsored office. Here I meet the MOST unfriendly and pointless guy out to make a fast buck from me without actually giving me much information at all!
Stunned with the speed of how I get to this outcome and no genuine smiles in this Land of Smiles, I get a couple of prices for some things from him but no real help with how much places, train or bus tickets will be, I then leave to get a tuk tuk back to my area. This next tuk tuk refuses to take me for less than 50 Baht and as I am slightly displaced with where I am (and not yet sorted Google Maps on my phone) I then get royally ripped off on my first day here as a tourist – haha!
Apparently even AC taxis only charge 35 Baht for the first 2 km and then 7 per km after that so muggins me with the tuk-tuk, eh, seeing as he only took me back to Khaosan Road which turned out to be about 3 minutes away, so I think it was only tight around the block a short walk!
Mind you it has to be done to experience the way that the Thais in Bangkok will cream the tourists. Steven, informed me of this later. He is 69 and I had met him whilst waiting in Goa for the plane. He is a Canadian living the past 25 years in North Goa, and had introduced me to the guest House where I am staying (New Siam II) in the Khaosan Toad area. This area to me feels like the Poppies area of Kuta, Bali as it is a transient area with loads of stalls, street restaurants and guest houses. Has a great feel to it so am pleased I came to stay here.
My guest house is not such a cheap one at $28 per night per room but is clean and also has a small pool. Of course as a single tourist I am as usual penalised for travelling alone and staying in a double room, but that is the price you pay for independence I know – everything being geared still in life towards couples – LOL!
I have anyway decided to stay here 3 – 4 nights while am getting to know my way around Bangkok and environs for first few days and before heading south.
I have booked a bus trip day-tour to Ayutthaya for the morning for 500Baht including a small lunch (the guy in the “official office” had quoted me 1200 for the same thing!) and that picks me up at 7am from my hotel. So I am looking forward to a bit of cultural stuff there and trust I haven’t paid over the odds. This will include lunch as well so watch this space for results.
In the meantime I am now off to bed early (9pm) as I only caught a few naps (as well as got caught napping of course!) in the last 24 hours and am shattered now. Just had a quick green Thai curry at a street café as well as a beer to help me sleep and then at least I should be freshfor the 7am start in the morning. Night all.