Summary: Our first day in Bangkok.
< I started a [[Flickr]] set for [http://www.flickr.com/photos/kensanata/sets/72157594391046774/ our holidays in Bangkok].
Breakfast was good. I settled for a routine of waffles with mapple syrup and some Miso soup. Claudia settled for hash browns and white beans in a sweet red sauce. Yuck!! That’s what hotel buffets do to you. Mind tricks!
On our way along Soi 7 to Mah Boon Krong Center we met a Thai who said he was teaching law at Chulalongkorn University. Note the little “English” link in the title bar when following the link and clicking through the intro. Or check out the Chulalongkorn University history page. In the end he recommended we take a Tuk Tuk to the domestic Tourist Authority of Thailand (TAT) and then we should buy a suit in some mall or outlet he knew was having a sale, and I think it was connected to his sister who importing textiles from Thailand to the USA, having a shop in Manhattan, and she was living in our hotel and he had just visited her, and so on. We declined the suit stuff but let him tell a Tuk Tuk driver about the TAT. There we booked a tour to Ayutthaya for 2000฿ for the next day.
After verifying that I still liked MBK Center and showing the food court to Claudia, we asked the two friendly persons at the information booth for the bus to Chinatown.
Yes, I love travelling by public transport. And I enjoy bus rides in Bangkok. So we took bus 73 from Siam Square to Chinatown. We asked our seat neighbour where to get off and ended up somewhere in the middle of Yaowarat road. Perfect!
After exploring the alleys and seeing our first Thai and our first Chinese temple (see the Flickr set), we headed home, showered, slept for an hour or two, and spent the evening exploring the shopping malls, saw the cinema complex at the top of Siam Paragon, noticed the Siam Ocean World at the bottom, and decided to come back to see The Banquet (2006) one of these days.
We ate in the MK Restaurant by the BTS station. Since we didn’t know what it was all about, we ordered some stuff and noticed it was all based on soup. Then we realized that everybody else was ordering pieces of meat and vegetables and putting them into that boiling pot of soup that our waiter had just removed. Aha, we thought! “Fondue Chinois!” – That’s what we call it here in Switzerland, and it is a very traditional thing to eat on Christmas eve. And here it was called “Suki”. The Chulalongkorn students seemed to love it; we had to wait for a table.
We promised ourselves to be back. And to bring an extra jacket because it was freezing cold due to the air conditioning.