22 nights in Bangkok and the world’s your oyster: 5 things i Hated
Usually when one comes back from an overall successful trip, it’s raves and praises about what they love and where they’ve been to laadeedaa. However, imma swing the other way and bitch about what i did NOT like about my trip to Thailand as well as throw in some bad experiences i had. Just to get it off my back!
1) The smell.
Oh God. Where do i even begin? It was just…putrid. Almost the entire city smelt of drains and mud puddles. And it was crazy humid too. So just imagine being constantly bombarded with warm, steamy odours which stick to your hair and skin and inevitably make your face look like you just skinny dipped into a pot of murky banana fritter oil.
What makes it worse is that, i am generally open to trying street food despite the likeliness of me getting food poisoning and terrible diarrhea. However, because the smell was so bad wherever we walked on the streets, no matter how delicious it was or how aromatic the food actually was, my stomach turned upon suggestions that i try any. And even now when i think back to all the street food opportunities that i missed out on, i just can’t rid myself of the terrible sewage odors that pollute my memories. Shudders
2) The scams
In case you guys don’t already know this about me, i am the most paranoid bitch there is around. And if there’s one thing that Thailand is notorious for, it’s their scams (there’s even a whole episode of it on National Geographic’s Scam City series!). I personally did not get scammed because as aforementioned i am the most paranoid person there is, but the group of people i was with for the first week or so did get “gem scammed“, like, three times. Ahem needless to say they weren’t exactly the most alertest of travellers, nor the best informed. And i did get approached by a couple of scammers but NUH-UH NOT ON MAMA’S WATCH YOU DON’T, YOU SON OF A GUN *snaps fingers in Z formation*. Just a few tips!
- Don’t fall for the temple scam where someone will bypass you and tell you that the temples are closed for the day because of a religious holiday or that the monks are praying etc. They’re just trying to lure you to another location disguised as a temple which is actually a “tourist centre” a.k.a. a store selling overpriced jewellery, souveniers etc. where the sellers won’t let you leave until you buy something. Horrible.
- In fact, it seems like these scams are getting more and more imaginative everyday. I’ve had a terribly lovely wealthy middle aged woman approach me and my boyfriend as he was browsing through the BTS map (ahem it was his first day there so please excuse him) . She began by asking us where we were heading and then proceeded to tell us that we were too early because it only opens in the afternoon! Then she took out a pen and paper and drew out her own map, giving us tips on where to get “nice jewellery and souveniers” and to take a “tuktuk, werry cheap onry 20baht”. SOUND THE ALARMS. Those are your keywords right there.
- DO NOT fall for extremely cheap tuktuk or taxi rates. I SWEAR, DO NOT. I don’t care how much of a fuckin cheapskate you are, there is no such thing as a free meal nor a 20baht tuktuk ride or 45 baht taxi ride to a place which you know is like 5 BTS stops away. If you insist on being a cheapskate, then you deserve to be scammed! In the end, you’ll end up having to spend on useless jewellery and keychains which are overpriced so it’s a lose-lose situation either way.
3) Shady taxi drivers
I didn’t enjoy the whole business of hailing cabs. At times, i would be hailing up to 5 cabs in a row and having to turn them down and vice versa. Mostly it was just a lot of taxi drivers hoping to earn a quick buck during rush hour. They tell you that it’s raining and that there’s huge traffic up ahead so to be fair, they’ll give you 200baht tops. It’s actually up to you if you want to take it, at most it’s a mere few US dollars above the meter charge (although in Thai baht, it may seem extortionate to some) but i have a friend who NEVER takes taxis who quote flat rates based on principle. She maintains her belief that if they’re not honest enough to use a meter in the first place, then getting in to their taxi is basically like walking into an unpredictable death trap.
Or something like that.
Half of them will turn you down after finding out where you’re heading because it’s too far and there’s far too much traffic to get through or because there are too many of you or because it’s too late, or you just have bad timing.
4) How i suck at bargaining
At Ayutthaya’s floating market (which i swear was not even floating, it was more of a market on stilts) the guide told us, “Always remember to bargain. Do not spoil the sellers by paying full price because they usually triple the costs”. This chicken shit didn’t even bother trying. I just KNOW how it’s going to go and i might as well just save my breath and time and energy and embarrassment. Just to give you an insight and to provide evidence that i have tried (and failed) at bargaining, this is a typical conversation between me and a seller.
Me: Hi, how much is this? (Sawaddeekha, tau rai ka?)
Seller: 400 baht
Me: Ohh, can you give me a discount? (Lut noi na ka?)
Seller: Oh no, it’s really cheap already… i’m sorry i can’t
Me: Aww…okay.jpg *buys the damn thing anyway*
I SUCK AT IT. SO FREAKIN BAD. I guess i’m just not an assertive sort of person. Hiar hiar joke of the century for the people in my daily life.
5) Chatuchak Market
Now, Chatuchak market, also known as JJ market is Asia’s largest flea market in the entire world and consists of 16, 000 stalls within its proximities.
I loved it and i hated it. Just thinking about it is giving me the shudders (both the good kind and the bad kind). I miss it so bloody much. But yeah, i did hate it as well in a way. Where do i even begin…
a) THE HEAT. The heat the heat the fucking heat. Oh God. 40 fucking degrees minimum. The first time i went there i actually wore jeans because someone stole my brand new H&M shorts (THE ONLY shorts that could fit me within a thousand miles radius and they got stolen!) and i didn’t have time to change my whole outfit so i just squeezed into some jeans without thinking. Worst mistake ever.
b) THE CROWD. Packed as fuck. It’s hard enough walking around in the sweltering heat but to have to jostle around like pigs as well? The worst thing about it is that there’s no perfect time for you to go to JJ market, like you can’t just pick out a time where you think there’ll be less people. There is always a crowd. ALWAYS. And that’s mostly due to the fact that it’s only open on Saturdays and Sundays until 4pm.
c) Everything is outdoors. That means NO AIR CONDITION. There will be a few tiny stalls which have air condition in their units but you can hardly stand there looking at the same clothes for 30 minutes, can you? That also means that there are no tiny cafes where you can cool off and have a rest. It is packed and sweaty all the way through.
d) IT IS MASSIVE. It isn’t impossible to locate other people while in JJ market but it takes a hell lot of patience and persistence. There are basically lanes which they call Soi and sections so often you can see placards bearing “Soi 25 Section 7” or something like that. Although i must warn you. 30 seconds of walking later you might see another placard bearing a completely unrelated number like “Soi 52 Section 1” or some shit like that. Exhausting.
So all in all, this has been a long ass post. I almost didn’t get through writing it but i pushed myself through all ahem, 1500 words. Uni’s starting soon so i’ve got to prep up my writing skills, haven’t i? I hope this hasn’t been too crappy of a post to read! I’m thinking of re-inventing my site but i’m such an idiot when it comes to HTML coding and whatnot. GAHD. Anyway, like i said my trip to Bangkok was absolutely amazing and i had to practically rake my brains to come up with 5 points in this post! Do me a favour and let me know how you think i can make my blog more interesting. I love blogging, i feel a strange sense of satisfaction when i’m writing but honest to God
I’m just such a bloody procrastinator.