Posts Tagged 'Bangkok'

Dancing With The Elephants

I went on a vacation recently to Thailand and wandering through a new city (Patong and Bangkok) famous for its night life, “massage parlors”, cheap shopping and fleecing tuk-tuk’s, we couldn’t help but wonder…how at home we felt thanks to the extremely friendly nature of the Thai people.

Not to mention the strange but true facts – that the people in Phuket spoke much more fluent English than the people in Bangkok itself,  that no matter how hard we tried we couldn’t get lost, every single price was negotiable right from a handbag at the street store to the foot massage at a suave-looking parlor!!!

The Patong beach itself was not very attractive and moreover it was “too busy” for our taste…so we found a quiet corner in the Kata beach further south of Patong and had a whale of a time. On the third day, we even ventured out on a rented motorbike and drove up and down the entire stretch ranging from Patong to Kata beach 4 times, looking for food, fun and souvenirs…and not to mention baby elephants that were swaying their way to glory, as they ate their meal!

Food was costly and there were very few options to get a decent meal without paying up at least 100Bhat/person, going upward with addition of a beverage and any interesting experimentation with the dishes :). One can have a pancake snack with interesting combinations like banana and nutella for 50Bhat. Comparatively the massages were cheaper. One can get a good foot massage for 200Bhat and a good Thai massage for  300Bhat (and these are mid-range prices), they can get really low in cheap parlors that have girls sitting outside and shouting “Helloooooooooo! Massaaaaaaaage” to very high in well…high-end massage parlors.

While Phuket was a seaside and wandering experience, Bangkok was more of a shopping spree, for us. We went from one kind of market to another – night market (Pat Pong), street-side markets (near some subway stations), day time markets (Pratunam) and some of the larger airconditioned markets in full fledged buildings (Big C, Platinum Fashion Market) – comparing prices, haggling over 50Bhat price differences, snacking on fresh cut fruit on the street stalls and wading our way through the never ending shipping list – was a vacation well worth the price!

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