Braving Bangkok, Day 2

On our second day in Bangkok we awoke without any formal plan for the day (this is how we travel 95% of the time, one day/activity at a time).  Our two main goals for the day were to find a cooking class & take a cruise down the river to the Grand Palace. As luck would have it Google informed us that the cooking class at the Blue Elephant (located next door to the Eastin Grand) started at 8:30, and it still had open seats, so with minimal knowledge of what we were getting ourselves into, we waltzed next door just in time.  Our chef/guide greeted us with a refreshing minty tea while we waited for our fellow “classmates” to arrive.  Only one other person joined & we soon hopped onto the skytrain with our guide, Happy,** to experience an authentic Thai market.

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Happy** was quick to inform us that the market we were visiting was much, much cleaner than the one they actually purchase their supplies from. We appreciated his honesty until the odor of the “tourist friendly” market hit our nostrils. A nauseating mix of curry, rotting fish & diesel fumes hit us like a ton of bricks as we approached the market.  Happy ushered us around, explaining the use of spices, fresh fish, & rare vegetables in Thai cuisine. Our personal favorite part of the trip to the market was iced coffee in a bag.  This iced coffee was life altering. We spoke of it almost as often as the scrambled eggs we had at Ronin Café in Singapore. #americantourists

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How does one stow this on their commute to work?

Once back in our cooking classroom, we settled in to watch our chef’s tutorial on classic Thai cuisine.  Unbeknownst to us, after we observed each course, we were to duplicate the recipe ourselves.  4 tutorials later, we were seated at a private table whilst our waiter presented us with the fruits of our labor.  It was 3.5 courses more than we were going to eat since we still had a long day ahead of us.  It was sadly wasteful on our part, but with a busy afternoon planned we knew taking the leftovers to the hotel would just result in our room smelling like curry *** when we returned that evening.  NO, thanks.

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LOOK DAD, I finished something!

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We re-grouped briefly before setting out for a boat ride down the Chao Praya River to see the Grand Palace.  For anyone else, finding the dock for the river taxis would be simple, but we took a right instead of a left.  After wasting the better half of an hour looking for the dock, a local was finally able to point us in the right direction.  The launching point was obviously just steps from the metro station we had exited, to the LEFT. This type of thing is par for the course for us.

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Once we finally boarded the boat, we settled in our seats & enjoyed people watching, soaking up the breeze & checking out the sites along the banks of the river. Almost too quickly we arrived at the Grand Palace dock & made our way to check out the Palace with a BAJILLION other tourists.  (Side note:  If you carry an umbrella when it isn’t f*cking raining, do your fellow tourists a favor and Mary Poppins yourself out of our path.)

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The entrance was swarming with tuk tuk drivers trying to talk us out of entering the Palace gates.  Initially we managed to avoid the scam we had read so much about, but once we were denied access to the Palace for inappropriate attire (I don’t even remember what sliver of skin exposure kept us from entry) we exited and threw our selves at the mercy of a tuk tuk driver.

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There she is!

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Just as we had read not to do we got taken for a ride, literally…We visited a few different landmarks, all of which were rather unremarkable, and made our way back to the dock to catch a boat back down the river.  Brigette scoured the area for a delicacy known as the “ice cream sandwich”. Forget what you know as a traditional icy treat and picture ice cream mounds atop a hot dog roll.

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Brigette & her “ice cream sandwich”

Our boat back gave us a nice sunset view and the breeze was delightful.  We hightailed back to our room & both agreed that we’d had enough of Bangkok.  We ordered room service and repacked our suitcases for an early AM flight to Cambodia.

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In the morning Bangkok gave us one more “f*ck you” when we got into a cab that broke down a mile from our hotel.  We were already running late, because of a mix up with our military time conversion (I KNOW, we’re working on it!). **** We had no choice but to ditch the broken down jalopy and load our bags and ourselves into a different cab.  In this transition our folder of receipts, hotel info, flight info & other important documents spilled onto the ground and blew around the parking lot… ****

We arrived at DMK like two lunatics trying to escape the looney bin Bangkok.  Thankfully, we caught our flight to Siem Reap, but not before letting Bangkok know it would be a cold day in hell before we return.


Brigette’s footnotes:

** Happy’s name was actually “Nice”.  .. we weren’t with one of the seven Dwarfs lol

*** And LAMB BROTH (GAG)

**** Not entirely military time’s fault, Sarah often miscalculates our wake up time. (see also, Iceland & Johannesburg)

**** It felt like hurricane force winds as the copies of our credit cards & passports blew around the gas station parking lot.

The tea was not mint it was lemongrass which I instantly became obsessed with

 

19 Comments

  1. Gabi

    October 20, 2016 at 6:19 pm

    Nice and fun reading! It was good to see that your “Bangkok on the run” allowed some time for seeing the wonderful sights this city has to offer. Amazing temples and buildings which are too beautiful to miss.

  2. Wanderlust Vegans

    October 20, 2016 at 8:27 pm

    We do not plan our days either. Just take it one day at a time, we find you discover things along the way. Those buildings are beautiful and you had a beautiful day for photography. In the end, I’m glad you made it to your flight without losing anything!

  3. Joanna

    October 20, 2016 at 9:25 pm

    It’s great to see that you took a cooking class but I’m sorry to hear that you didn’t actually eat all 4 dishes. I took a similar class in Vietnam, which included a visit to the market too, and eating the fruits of my labor was the best part. That ice coffee in a bag is really funny, I don’t think I would try it. I have to have my drinks in proper glasses or bottles. 🙂

  4. Marita

    October 21, 2016 at 4:57 pm

    We’ve been wanting do cooking classes for so long and will hopefully do one in Italy when we visit next year and one in Thailand when visiting in 2018. Do you feel that you actually learned something from it, or was it more of a fun experience?

  5. Amy

    October 21, 2016 at 5:01 pm

    You had me at iced coffee in a bag. The market, not so much, I can’t imagine how overpowering that would be. And umbrellas…how I feel your pain. I love your brutally honest opinions, and your ability to admit your learning curve. It makes it realistic!!

  6. Vyjay

    October 23, 2016 at 12:48 pm

    I loved your writing style. We were in Bangkok a couple of years ago, but did not do the cooking class part. Hope it was an enjoyable experience. Curious to know whether you tried out your new Thai cooking skills, back home.

  7. Brian

    October 23, 2016 at 2:28 pm

    I’m fortunate enough to know a Thai chef, so I didn’t take a cooking class in Thailand. However, I did in Siem Reap and it was one of my best experiences in what was otherwise a very somber trip. When your trip is over, I hope you can cook Thai food at “home.”

  8. Johann

    October 24, 2016 at 1:58 am

    Haha! Bitter-sweet experiences. Glad you made it to that flight to Cambodia.

  9. Gareth

    October 24, 2016 at 8:00 am

    Such an eventful day and a really enjoyable read. Really liked you “Look Dad, I finished something” comment although I’m sorry to hear the resultant curry didn’t make it back to the hotel. And also, couldn’t agree more about the market place. I love markets in South East Asia and while they can such a great snapshot into local life, they can certainly be an assault on the senses, even those that are supposedly tourist-friendly. Best of luck on the next leg of your journey and looking forward to reading more!

  10. Luca

    October 24, 2016 at 1:57 pm

    I’ve never thought that could be a population weird enough to invent a drink in a bag, not to mention the fact that’s coffee!! Looking at it, I imagine it’s absolutely one of the most uncomfortable things to carry around (unless you don’t care about your clothes)! 😀

  11. maryrose

    October 25, 2016 at 2:19 am

    Bangkok looks like an amazing place! Great idea of doing a cooking class in another country too. Looks like a lot of fun. Thank you for sharing with us 🙂

  12. Sudipto De

    October 25, 2016 at 3:50 am

    Whoa! I really love the way you guys mix the problems you faced into your blogs. I would have pretty much exploded by that point of time. What all did you guys cook though??

  13. Ehsanul

    October 25, 2016 at 4:51 am

    Awesome read! Bangkok remains one of my favorite cities to date (I guess I just arrived there at the right time in my life, haha). I have always longed to taking a cooking class, will look into it when I return back to Asia. The Grand Palace was an awesome experience but there were just too many people which makes any sight less enjoyable. Glad you caight your flight to Cambodia (a place i haven’t quite made it to yet)

  14. Indrani

    October 25, 2016 at 7:21 am

    I would very happily take that cooking class… love thai food.
    Enjoyable activities lined up for you… I was reminded of the tuk tuk driver who fooled me in Bangkok.

  15. Mansi K.

    October 25, 2016 at 11:11 am

    Fun read! It also reminded me of why I always thought Bangkok was highly overrated. It has its charms and Blue Elephant is certainly one of them…especially for vegetarian foodies…but the rest of it is not too impressive. It’s always been a shopping destination for those living in India…which also I haven’t quite understood, but I suppose to each their own. That said, the sunset photos are gorgeous!

  16. Lindon Lee

    October 25, 2016 at 2:34 pm

    It’s such a fun read. Glad you took some cooking class while traveling there that looks fun. Have you tried eating the icecream sandwich like giving a bite on a hotdog sandwich? I hope you did. 🙂

  17. Nadine Cathleen

    October 25, 2016 at 11:39 pm

    I have just spent 2 months in Vietnam and loved it. Next time when I am back in the area I also want to visit Bangkok! Can’t wait. Beautiful post 🙂

  18. Jitaditya

    October 26, 2016 at 3:17 pm

    It is great to go unplanned in a crowded, chaotic city. I’m sure if everytghing had gone smoothly then the post would not be this entertaining. Try some Indian city in case you have not. The write up will be even better. 😉

  19. Adam, Bite of Iceland

    October 26, 2016 at 4:00 pm

    I love Thai cuisine! For me it’s one of the best in the world, so taking part in a cooking class sounds great to me. It looks like you prepared some delicious food. Would love to try it! 🙂

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