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.
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
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
** 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