So, we ate some eggs and bacon and fruit, then headed out down the street toward the ferry dock. On
the way, we passed through a market selling
every kind of fruit imaginable...and some unimaginable. And it only cost about 10 baht for a bag of fruit. Which we found only after we tried to buy a single starfruit and ended up with a whole kilo. Which Jon walked around with in his bag all day.
Once we got to the ferry dock, we deciphered the map and, stealthily avoiding the overpriced tourist boat, boarded the local ferry and headed offup-river. Bangkok is built around the river, and one of the public transportation options is a ferry system that goes up and down the river. It's quite convenient, and a great way of observing Bangkok life. You can see the temples, hotels, restaurants and houses along the riverside, and observe the people riding the ferry, including monks of all ages wearing bright orange robes.
We got off the ferry at a dock near the old palace and one of the most famous temples- Wat Pho. By the dock, there were food vendors, selling coconut juice in wholecoconuts, fresh dragonfruit juice and some pad thai. Jon got a coconut and I had some dragonfruit juice...the vendor assured me it was "very healthy, fiber and vitamins. Very
healthy." I'm not sure about health, but it was sure yummy!
Then we walked up the street, around the old palace, and through more food and
trinket vendors. Of c
ourse, I bought some more food. Then, Jon and I found a shop selling Thai traditional clothes. I h
ad been wanting to buy a skirt, and the think about Thai temples is that they are strict about dress.
You can't go into functioningtemples unless men have long pants and women have long pants or skirts, and your shoulders are covered. You take your shoes off in any room with an image of Buddha. And you don't pose for pictures with a Buddha image. So, in any case, we needed covering. And the skirt I bought was AWESOME! It's orange silk with golden embroidery. Jon bought black linen pants.
So then, we walked some more until we ended up at the Thai history museum. It was a really big compound, with buildings full of Thai artifacts, from pottery to old bronze artifacts to giant, golden royal funerary carriage
s. A l
ot of the stuff was really cool, but it was a little thrown-together and overwhelming by sheer magnitude.
After the museum, we endevoured to find Kho San Road, which is backpacker central in Bangkok. After wandering around Bangkok for a while because of a very not-to-scale map, we found it. Kho San Road is full of hostels; stores selling clothes and souvenirs; Thai massage parlors and bars and restaurants. It's filled with milling backpackers, mostly white. It's special
in its own way, but not somewhere I'd like to stay and hang out. Its more suited for the type of traveler who seems to travel to shop, drink andmeet other backpackers.
After Kho San Road, we wandered around some more. We went into the entrance of the Grand Palace, and sat and rested on the grass by a wall for a while. But, in the ended, we decided not to go in since we were going to the Ancient Capital the next day and would see our fill of temples and palaces. So, we walked down the river and hung out on the docks, drinking
a nice cold beer and watching kids jump into the river.
We eventually got onto the ferry. We decided to ride it all the way up the river and see what we could see. Which was a lot. More river life, which looked great as the sun was setting.
The final stop on the river was a comparably lively dock, where we discovered a man with a baby elephant! He was selling bamboo shoots to feed the elephant...so, of course, we obliged. It was adorable...the elephant grabbed bamboo shoots from the bag and let us pet him and pretty much hug him.
After that, we got some street food for dinner and got back on the ferry. By the time we got back to the stop near the hostel, it was dark. We hung out at the hostel a little, then went to bed, since we had a long day ahead of us. We were going to take the train to Ayutthaya, the ancient capital.