Thinking we were going to the floating market today, we were ready by about 10 but were told by the bellhop that we needed to go early, and that it would take an hour to get there by taxi. We changed course and took a taxi to Chinatown, on Jack’s bucket list for the trip.
As we walked along a main street, we somehow managed to stumble into a massive outdoor and indoor market. Since it was Sunday, the market was very crowded.
We first entered into a food section, fresh seafood, teas, grains, vegetables in stalls lining a long and narrow passageway. This morphed into sections where you can buy most anything – auto accessories, electronics, household goods, and, of course, clothing. I was looking for t-shirts that say “Bangkok” on them but this market was for locals, not tourists. There were plenty of t-shirts available, but they were all pre-printed in China, with marketing brands or major city names like New York on their fronts.
I did find a bathroom in all this maze, but you really don’t want to hear the experience.
After maybe two hours, and feeling a bit squeezed by the crowd, we finally found a way out of the market, which snaked over several blocks, with whole alleyways devoted to certain types of goods. We even tried some fried street food, some good, some not.
Back at the hotel, ventured across the street to a European-looking restaurant for lunch. Seafood dishes were the specialty, with some chicken options, all a bit pricey. We opted for mussels that were too spicy for me and a prawn and glass noodle dish with only two large shrimp in it. Then it was nap time to catch up on the previous night’s missed sleep.
Then we decided to do what all guys apparently want to do when they come to Bangkok – venture to the Nana Plaza area, the city’s legendary bar district. It was a long ride; we negotiated the fare down to 150 baht, after being told by the hotel bellhop the fare was 100 baht (that’s $5 vs. $3).
After Jack asked three drunk guys from Las Vegas what to do, we found the plaza, a three-story, open-center building filled with bars, including designated ladyboy bars (if that’s what you’re into). The bars here all had dancing girls in bikinis on stages who you can pick from for the night. We didn’t go in as Jack wanted to see more of the area.
So we walked a bit and found another section of pubs outside the plaza, filled mostly with men competing for a limited number of ladies. These pubs mostly had pool tables and there were lots of guys and girls signed up to play. Jack decided to check out other bars and I stayed and eventually got on a pool table, only to lose.
With no Jack in sight, I walked to another bar where the tables weren’t so busy and the girl-to-guy ratio was much better. I did a little better here on the tables but finally decided to go back to the condo. Trouble was, Jack had the only key.
Fortunately, he showed up at the condo right after I did. Another late night getting to bed.
And I have to mention the pratfall I took the night before in the condo. The floors are all wooden, with a 4-inch rise to get to the bedroom or living room. I commented when we first arrived that one of us was going to forget that small ledge and hurt himself. Turns out it was me. When rushing from the balcony to the kitchen to tend to cooking bacon (yes, bacon!), I forgot the drop-off. I think my fall covered about 15 feet, with maybe two bounces. I stayed still on the floor for a moment to make sure nothing was broken, and had to suffer through the laughter and barbs afterward. Bacon almost killed me!