Street but Sweet

THOUGHTS, TALES, AND TRIVIAL THINGS

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Bangkok: Day 1

I don't want to mar this entry by writing about my horrid time at NAIA (maybe in another entry...), so let's move on to the good stuff!

We landed at around 12:30 am Bangkok time, then took a cab to Soi Lang Suan, where Mikki's flat was located. Unfortunately, she had to go to Manila while we were there, but she graciously let us stay at her lovely serviced apartment. What luck! H and I surmised that we were in the sosy part of Bangkok, a la Legaspi Village, where there were serviced apartments lining both sides of the street. Plus, it was pretty accessible, walking distance from two Sky Train stations.


The living room of our lovely Bangkok "home"

We did more than our fair share of walking, which is probably why I don't think I gained any weight despite the way we were eating (rice for merienda, a second dinner one evening, ice cream every day...H, on the other hand, gained four pounds!). On day one, we woke up mid-morning and decided to just walk around the neighborhood. H wanted to get his bearings with map in hand, charting the train stations and different landmarks. Then my cousin, Kuya Rogi, his wife Ate Bing, and three of their kids (my niece Celine, nephew Andrew, and godson Robin) picked us up from a nearby Starbucks before taking us to the Jim Thompson House.

Playing around with my cam's color-accent function at Starbucks

Jim Thompson House

We had an awesome lunch at the cafe (more on that in my other blog) before going on a tour of the house. Jim Thompson was an American who pretty much single-handedly revived the Thai silk industry. According to the pamphlet, he gained further renown for his house, which combines six teak buildings elevated off the ground in the traditional Thai style. Other Thai elements can be seen in the house: red paint on the outside walls, low "barriers" on doorways (according to our guide, this was both to prevent babies from crawling from room to room and to keep spirits from coming in--Thais believe that spirits can only travel on the ground, so they can't really lift themselves to pass through a doorway). There were centuries-old Buddha statues and porcelain, and even a "mouse house," a doll house that served as a maze in a glass box; in the old days, children would put a mouse inside and watch as it wandered around for hours. "It was like their TV," our charming guide explained, "but only one channel!"


H and me with my niece, Celine. In fairness to me, she was wearing heels that day
and I was in flats...

Sadly, we couldn't take pictures inside the house. I did love the living room which opened up to the terrace, and would love to have something like that in my future house.

Muay Thai Gone Pfffft

H and I wanted to watch a muay thai match while we were there. Our hosts took us to a stadium where regular matches were held. Their driver, Kun ("Mang") Ananta, asked how much tickets were to the special fight Friday night. "2,000 for non-Thai." How much for Thai? "200." We asked how much watching a regular match would cost. "1,500 for non-Thai." How much for Thai? "200."

Our trusty Time Out guide had prepared us for this--it said that Thais generally charged foreigners more, and that we should just get over it. We actually found it kind of cool, because in a sense, it showed some sort of Thai pride. I couldn't help but compare it with Pinoys, who treat foreigners like gods, and their own people like second-class citizens sometimes! Sigh.

The Evening

We proceeded to Kuya Rogi's place, where we chilled for a bit before having a scrumptious, home-cooked meal. My two other nephews, Kevin and Rocky, joined us. Afterwards, Kuya Rogi, Ate Bing, H, and I headed to the Suan Lum Night Market, just so we could get a feel of the typical night market in Bangkok.


A hurriedly taken photo of Suan Lum Night Market

After doing the rounds, our hosts brought us "home," where we rested to prepare for the next day's touristy-but-not excursion to some temples.

4 Comments:

  • At 5:35 PM , Blogger Lei said...

    Is that the house of the guy who made all the silk for The King and I or something? It was featured in Sony Style TV Mag on AXN but I can't remember the name of the guy. I was too distracted by the host, super cutie Oli Pettigrew. Haha. He's so cutie.

     
  • At 11:18 PM , Blogger Tisha said...

    Yup, I think so. There were some things our guide was saying that I didn't quite understand so I could be wrong. She was endearing though.:)

     
  • At 2:13 AM , Blogger gladzalwayshappy said...

    grabe rip-off yang muay thai na yan ah!! exaggggg!!!

    but yeah, i have to agree with you that their sense of nationality's really strong and you'll really affirm them for that. during's the king's anniv whatevs every december, at 6pm the whole country would stop and sing their national anthem. it's like their angelus or something.. talk about thai pride noh!

    pero eto lang, they really charge so much if you're a farang.. i thought nga i would pass as a thai... they thought im some jap girl... kaya ayan... 300baht sa taxi.. skytrain's way to go!

     
  • At 11:21 AM , Blogger Tisha said...

    Everywhere I went, people thought I was Thai. Kaso nabubuko pag kinausap ako so wala din. Haha.

     

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