Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Cha Am Part 1- Getting There

Porn is a legit name in Thailand
Have I mentioned that to fly anywhere in SE Asia, you had to go thru Bangkok?

Did I happen to mention that there were no good massages in Laos?
Wat Arun at dusk from the Chayo Pria River

Given that information, is it any wonder that Monkey Man and I planned for a 2 -layover in Bangkok, for the express purpose of having more massages after we left Luang Prabang? We even stayed at the notorious Wendy Hotel again; with its windowless rooms and steep staircase, due to its location across the Soi from the most excellent Spa we were familiar with.

I want to eat here always!
Arriving late, we needed to nourish ourselves before having an 8pm, one-hour long, foot/leg massage. Not more than 2 blocks away from the Wendy, is a large shopping center - MBK, with a copious amount food-vendor stalls underneath. It’s just like street food, but with brighter lights and louder music. Almost all the shopping centers have 3 food courts: a fancy one, a reasonable one and the “street vendor” one. We had a choice of any kind of seafood, meat, veg and fruit there, Hallal stalls too! Shrimp Pad Thai with a shared beer; all for less than $6 bucks for the both of us.

Our plan for the next day, which we planned during the massage, was a visit to Chinatown. The flower market is located there and though we visited our last time around, it was obvious that there was more to explore of this corner of town in the labyrinths of alleyways and sidewalks.

The Chinese need gates.
Monkey Man had heard tale of a “hardware” section of Chinatown and I was game. We studied the street maps and choose a route, which ended at the Golden Mount Temple running parallel to a Klong (canal), where we could catch a water bus at the Saphan Phanfa Pier, which then would stop at the Jim Thompson House on the Soi next to ours.

There goes the 3pm bus
Given that the morning work traffic was over, we hired a taxi to take us to Chinatown and proceeded to wander. If it seemed we should go right, we definitely took a left. It was that kind of stroll. The smaller the alleyway, the more attractive it was to us. We never specifically found the “hardware” section, but we found the machinist area, the motorcycle repair/parts area and the woodworking area – all were fascinating and a delight!

Add a motor to anything with wheels - tractors, jeeps and tuktuks
Bar aluminum
 As you know, we were not on a normal tourist route; thus we were a novelty to the workers in the area. Several helpful citizens tried to set us straight and direct us, in their broken English, to the locations of “purses” and “Budda’s”. Obviously, we were lost to anyone with a lick of sense and exactly where we wanted to be.

Ticket Taker on the Klong
With the exception of a couple of checks with Google Maps, we found our way organically and randomly to the Water Bus. Unforeseeable as things were going so well, we got off the water bus one stop too early. In this manner, our adventure continued and the only plan is there is no plan.
In spite of the early stop, we made it for our 2 o’clock massages (90 minutes each!).
Probably my next FB profile picture
Tomorrow, we take a Taxi 2 hours south to Cha Am, to meet back up with Primo and Prima. But not just any Taxi, oh no! Famous Teddy will pick us up and drive us personally in his large van, equipped with massage seats. Teddy is the go-to guy in Thailand to get you a distance taxi ride and always "knows a guy" to drive you, no matter how far reaching your location or how absurd a time. Legend has it that Primo once took a picture of his location in Bangkok (he and Prima were at the "mall" watching a movie, then wanted to go directly back to Cha Am - they forgot the name of the mall also) and one of Teddy's guys, picked them up on the street, 10 minutes after the movie ended. 

I can't wait.

No comments: