Thailand Day Eight: Our Last Day in Thailand

This is my seventh day in Bangkok as part of my Lunar New Year vacation in Thailand. Follow the links here to Day OneTwoThreeFourFive, Six, or Seven.

Our Last Day in Thailand

Paella in the Weekend Market

This portly chef danced and made chicken at the weekend market
This portly chef danced and made chicken at the weekend market

We got up at a leisurley time, a rarity for our vacations since we try to pack in as much as we can. Since this was our last day in Thailand, we decided to revisit a few places. We returned to the weekend market that we visited on our second day to purchase a few more souvenirs and enjoy some food from the dancing fat man who makes Paella. The chef makes it in a giant pan the size of a poker table and dances around the pan sprinkling spices and various herbs into the pan. Its a site to behold.

Nicole and I shared a serving of it before walking around the market. We bought a few more postcards to send home and I bought some more soap for my apartment.[divider_flat]

[box type=”info”]Thai soap is fantastic.[/box]

After the market, Nicole and I went back to our apartment to lay by the pool and do nothing. Neither of us had been swimming since our beach day in Korea last summer.

Nicole laying by the pool in Bangkok Thailand

The Last Thai Supper

After our relaxing afternoon by the pool, Nicole and I went out for one last night on the town before our vacation ended. We dressed up and walked down to the restaurant we ate at on our first night in Thailand. However, we could not find it. The walk from our apartment to Asiatique is a straight shot and we knew exactly where the restaurant was. Every time we walked by, it just didn’t seem to exist. There was either a boarded up store front, or a shop that was open, but was definitely not a restaurant (i.e. a scooter rental place).

Unable to find the restaurant, we continued to Asiatique, our old stomping ground, at least for this vacation. We finished off our final night with a nice dinner of spicy shrimp for me, and mashed potatoes for Nicole before getting a massage.

Thai Massages: How I became a Noodle

On our 8 days of vacation so far, we’d had two massages and Nicole wanted another one to complete the hat trick. I must say I was warming up to them. They felt really nice and for a few dollars, they were well worth it. We stopped into one of the massage places that the Dr. Fish people had given us a coupon for. An old Thai woman led us up a set of stairs so steep they would have given Wat Arun a run for their money. At the top of the stairs was a very small room with a low ceiling that smelled like Eucalyptus. It was very dark and lined with soft mattresses on the ground on either side of a narrow walkway. The masseuse led us each to a mattress and instructed us to change out of our clothes and into a pair of loose-fitting scrubs like what a doctor would wear. This was a similar process to our first massage in Thailand and similar to what Nicole has told me of massages in Korea. The idea of getting naked, aside from a towel, for a massage seems like a very western construct.

inflatable arm tube man

The woman then pulled a curtain closed around each of our mattresses and we changed. A few minutes later another two Thai women came in a gave us each an hour-long full body massage. For being so small the ladies were really strong. Just about every joint in my body that could crack, did crack at some point during that massage. At the end of the massage I felt like a wet noodle, or a wacky waving inflatable arm tube man.

We changed back into our clothes and walked back to the apartment to pack and get ready to return to Korea. It had been a great trip, but now it was coming to an end and we had to return to Korea and our jobs educating the youth of a nation in the fine art of speaking English, a skill I likely butcher every time I write a new entry in my blog.

 

 

Thailand Day Two: Markets and Pubs

This is the second post in my series of Thailand vacation posts. If you missed it, the first one is here.

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Nicole and I ate a quick breakfast in the room; danishes from the 7-11 on the corner. Then, we  stopped at the street side café for more delicious soup. It was quickly becoming a staple of our trip to Thailand, much like the coconut ice cream from the night before. [divider_flat]

The Skytrain

The skytrain, Bangkok’s elevated subway system, was only a 5 minute walk from our apartment. It stops all over downtown and central Bangkok, but it only has a few stops outside of central Bangkok. Fortunately, we were near one such stop. We took the skytrain across Bangkok to the weekend market. Along the way we saw hundreds of protesters camped out, sleeping in the streets in tents. Before our arrival, Thailand declared a state of emergency for two months. Thailand was going through some serious political tension and the government was holding an emergency election February 3rd, the day after we left.

[box type=”alert”]I expected, to some degree, that the protesters would affect our trip or our ability to enjoy Thailand, but, in general, they kept to themselves and weren’t remotely interested in tourists.[/box]

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The Weekend Market

weekend market in Bangkok thailand

The weekend market, open Friday-Sunday, is massive. It would take days to see everything there. The market is set up like a giant flea market with lots of little stalls selling everything imaginable. There are stalls selling clothes, shoes, pet supplies, art on canvases, sculptures, coconuts, postcards, leather belts, wooden elephants, almost everything imaginable. Lots of the goods we saw were name brand, or knock-offs, and selling for a fraction of the price of what they would go for in the states. For example, Nicole and I bought Beats headphones for about $7 each.

We spent the afternoon at the market buying tons of presents for our families. Clearly, we weren’t the only ones with this idea. The market does enough tourist business that there’s even a DHL in the market offering cheap flat rates to send your boxes home.

Lunch

Shrimp Pad Thai at the Weekend Market

After we shopped to our heart’s content, we had a delicious meal of shrimp Pad Thai. It was about $3.  So far, everything in Thailand has been absurdly cheap. Nothing we’ve done or spent money on has been more than $3-5. The meal was delicious and the food was served quick.  In Asia, I’ve never had to wait more than a few minutes for my food to arrive.[divider_flat]

Our Trove of Thai Treasures

After lunch, we headed back to the apartment, via the skytrain. Back at the apartment, I sorted through my gifts for my family and wrote a few post cards. I’d bought so many souvenirs already. My family was going to get a second Christmas.

presents from the weekend market
presents from the weekend market

Fish and Chips

For dinner, Nicole found the best place in Bangkok to eat fish and chips, her guilty pleasure. We took the skytrain over to the Londoner, an English pub in downtown Bangkok that brews its own beer and makes delicious English food. Unfortunately, due to the protests in Bangkok, the Londoner was not serving alcohol, including their own home-brewed beer, and was buffet only for the day.

cheesy fries in bangkok thailand

Forlorn, distraught, and dejected, Nicole and I walked next door to another pub called the Royal Oak where we enjoyed some Australian Tennis and fish and chips. It was surreal to find a corner of Thailand filled with Brits, Aussies, and pubs. From inside of either of the pubs we visited, you would think you were in Britain or Australia instead of Thailand.

Thai Massages

After Dinner, Nicole and I went across the street to a massage parlor- not that kind- and had Thai massages. We had hour-long back, neck, and shoulder massages for about $5. It was my first ever massage and a great experience. I planned to get many more in the coming days.

Day Two in Thailand: Recap

Our second day in Thailand was fantastic! We ate delicious Thai food and English food. We bought tons of gifts for our families, and we got to enjoy warm weather in Thailand. Overall, it was an awesome day.