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Bangkok: The path for Aussie roo
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article summary - arriving, the taxi and tips on where to stay in Bangkok for Aussie and why

 

 1st and foremost I declare my love for this amazing country and the exotic allure of its culture, breathtaking scenery and the gracious attitude of its inhabitants.

I had visited Thailand many times but never Bangkok, I will never go because the “fear fairy” assured me it was all bad..  some years later, by luck I went there and with a little coxing by expats I became a “Traveller instead of a tourist” and quickly discovered the most enchanting dynamic place in the world.

 

 
There is only one to get there (carrier that is)...   TG....  while not get in the groove with Amazing Smile and Care on the way we show their TG Aussie Flight schedule on our website



 

 

 Disembark (I like that word it troubled me for many years) the plane and begin a lengthy walk to the new world, some opt that moving footpath 1st created by the “Jetsons”. 1st anxiety attack do I walk or ride that magic thing.. do I show my fitness (or lack thereof), do I stay in the pack or march ahead and end up lost .. easier to stay in the pack and not think (i'm on holidays). As our flock from TG985 jostle for position to path of immigration (docking station) I hear the words “maaaa...... maaaaa”, it's what I whisper to myself or anyone travelling with me (they usually get the joke and it makes me laugh), sometimes a good joke suppresses anxieties.. for a while. By the way “maa” in thai means (depending on the Tone) “come” or “dog” or “Horse”.  Haa haa haa ….  (oops that thai for 5 5 5)

 

 Bangkok Airport (saam bin)
The Grandest of Airports suwanapoom (spell it how you like, it's about Phonetic in Thailand, no one there gives a hoot about sa-pelling, there’s more to life than the western culture of agonising the author over a spelling error …try focusing on wellness ...... please consider those of us in the transitional state of learning a new language (Thai) it’s hard enough remembering the tones (5 of them) without worry about spelling “mis-tarkes”…

 

 I found it easier to learn the language after learning language culture, in particular “Heart Culture”. We think English language is easy and Thai is soooooo complicated because of the 5 different Tones … example: say the word “Glai” with a different tone and it can mean “close” or “far away”  ..this can be most frustrating but remember the endearing words “no worries” (Mai ben rai), more on Thai Language

Our flock has lucked their way to the immigration queue (a few have not)…  2nd anxiety attack …..  which queue has the least dilly sheep so I don’t have to wait…...  and oh the pain when we guess the wrong queue and even further we contemplate changing queues mid stream … so much for the holiday ……ahhh the holiday .. .before that starts you must conquer several fears ..Fear 3 – Customs...  I think you know why .. some golf sticks are harbouring bottles of "cabernet wellness"..But silly me oh what a breeze it is … “wow” a country that welcomes Tourists, not interrogates…  so many smiles as we pass through Customs…  ok now “freedom” into the Public arena, you are ever so politely beseiged by the most polite and elegant of touters for a Taxi service…   don’t ignore them! Thai are very polite, ask them a price (it’s about 200-400baht by metre taxi) if you don’t like their price (it might suit if your in a group) ask about them, how are they and they will be delighted with your politeness. If you then ask Directions to the metre taxi without without hesitation these lovely people will smile and offer directions .. careful they may escort you (for free) it’s called “tam boon” (good gesture)….. amazing

 

 Fear 1 – immigration – that camera on the counter peering into your eyes (oh god I lied about my golf handicap and how much wine I declared.. can it tell... is it connected to some machine.....  what was that movie called "Midnight express").
Fear 2 “the Baggage”  (yes I mean the luggage). Did all that booze break in transit? I casually but briskly charge to the conveyor (more magic) .. On tippy toes I try to spot it early.... but it’s so far away, so the “worry fairy” kicks in sending me images of my bag, sprawling in a mass of blood like a murder victim from some movie ….… damn there goes my Red wine (maybe 10 bottles was too many).

Money exchange – you can do this on the walk to the taxi – the price is always better than OZ (unless there was a disaster in flight)

Taxi
The Taxi metre stand is located at the far left end (after you exit Customs) of the airport (sa nam bin) (sa nam=field and bin=plane) and Taxi in Thai is “Taxi”. Try to look ahead to see if there is a big queue forming outside because those 1st 30 seconds of humid oxygen is un-nice so don't be gasping for air as you charge outdside, if there is a queue slow down your walk and relax. When you get to the outside Taxi ordering counter you must pass through about 4 staff handling your docket in a space of 20 feet (that’s jobs for everyone) so get use to it.    Taxi fare meter is around 200-300baht to Bangkok cbd (in 2009) in fair traffic

Choice of route – if you don’t ask for the “skyway” or “Toll way” (an extra 100 baht) it may not be offered. Obvious high traffic volumes times can be disaster (I mean hours), assess your need to get settled versus seeing the sights on the ground .. the view up there (skyway) is ok just don’t look forward … never look forward in a Taxi on the skywayby the by  … whenever I leave thailand I most always ask the Taxi driver “khor reo reo krup” (please go fast), and I mean fast. Is it the thrill of the ride or the need to get out quick (usually one or the other and I think the later is why I worry about the Customs check in as the last trip may have given the authorities cause to post a wanted poster).  Conversley when I arrive I’m most likely to scream “khor chaa chaa krup” (please go slow)..

I guess that’s human nature slow to start and then want it all.  Mind you, I think this video sums it up, that
transformation of Robocop to human, thanks Thailand

Jump on that sky train (BTS) and in minutes you can be at one end of town or the other, jump in a Taxi (aircon) most cabbies can converse or try a tuk tuk (those loud backfiring 3 seater things that sound like they are breaking the sound barrier) or the ultimate device for combating traffic and preserving energy (but not anxiety) a motor bike taxi. Australians pay thousands of dollars for a thrill rides, yet for 40 baht it’s here, they're everywhere.  Remember “chaa chaa” (slow slow) .. and remember to grab a business card (nam butt) from the hotel so you can get home because you can get a little disorientated with so much “Fear or Fun” – up to you. Other: Our website Travel thailand – special section about Bangkok and our forumincludes Travel Thailand – see Bangkok.

 

 Fear 4 – the 1st Taxi ride

Taking the Skyway (freeway in the air)….   Do not sit in the front sit and never look forward….. (I did warn you) 
Most Thai’s believe they were borne with skills better than world renown rally car drivers and most are die hard gamblers holding the enthusiastic view that any new number or series therein will bring fortune so when limited to the Taxi they consider the higher the speedo indicator climbs will be positive energy toward this weeks lottery… so DON’T SIT IN THE FRONT SIT and don’t look ahead  .. get busy enjoying the view out the side window or shuffle through your bags ensuring you have your passport ready for hotel check in or start sending farewell sms to loved ones……

 

 

By the way taking the ground route is not much better, sure it’s slower but if you get caught in traffic (after a few hrs the boredom beckons the thrill of the skyway).

 

 Bangkok  well I can only tell you about “Farangville” (foreingers ville) i presume you know "farang". Farangville is in the middle of town, like Earls court in London! and it’s where this story is going ……it has it all, touristy stuff and lots of authentic Thai so you have the best of both worlds. Walk a short distance and look up at BTS (an incredibly efficient monorail) then look around to see a range the a range of 2-3-4-5 star restaurant, both Thai and Western including the humble “Pang Loy” (mobile stalls), some of these Karts are museum relics … it’s just so diverse.

 

 Oh yeah sorry about Farangville…  we have created a little bit of history with a inbound local travel agent in providing local intelligence on a Soi in the middle of Farangville. We recommend you stay here and discover it all  … visit the website tours thailand  page called “My home Soi 19 it’s an intro to the Soi  and why you should stay there. At the bottom of the article is a link about Nightlife (todate it’s only for boys), we will add more as soon as you or we contribute.  The article also includes AusWaThai friends (local and expat) so you have a ready made family for tips and tricks.

2009-10 added: forum articles about stuff in Bangkok

-- Edited by Sawasdee on Saturday 4th of July 2009 05:26:01 PM

 

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help, join our friendship network and contribute articles – on Bilateral connection Thailand and West Australia.  www.friends.auswathai.com

 



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