Tuesday, March 07, 2006

A Foodtripper's Adventure in Thailand (Part 2)

We were all up by 5AM on our second day due to a scheduled out of town sightseeing tour via AsiaWorldTravel.net. I was able to book this tour online more than a week before the trip just so to avoid all the hassles when we get there.
Fortunately the driver was prompt in the 6:20 pick-up time. We were then transferred to a tourist bus, along with the other farangs (foreigners) and left Bangkok a little before 8am.
First stop is the Damnern Saduak Floating Market, a certified tourist spot where everything is overpriced. Even the boat ride of 150baht/head is just so unbelievable leaving tourists with no choice but to grab it anyway. What's worse is that our paddler was an old lady with a really short temper (slapped my hand when i accidentally placed it outside the boat). Imagine my shock!

We weren't able to buy anything since it was all unreasonably priced. Good thing I spotted this sort of coconut dumpling with lettuce for 20baht and young coconut juice again for a cheaper deal of 10baht. The dumplings taste somewhat like a milder version of our local bucaio and i'm guessing that it was intended to be eaten wrapped in the lettuce leaves that comes with it. I ate it that way anyhoo and totally enjoyed it.

Next stop was the cobra show, which was not included in the itinerary. It was after all a deliberate scam and tourists were made to pay a separate 200baht for the show. We didn't bite. That sidetrip turned out to be the root cause of all the delays in all that followed after.

We arrived so late at the Samphran Elephant Ground Zoo that we literally had to run the entire time we were there to catch up with time. The buffet lunch was really superb, more so because all of us were just so darn hungry for a late lunch at 1:30pm. And just as i was about to pop a watermelon into my mouth, the conniving Mr. One (our tourist guide) was back announcing that the elephant show had started, signalling the end of my afternoon bliss. We missed a good portion of the show but had fun nevertheless. The crocodile show that came after isn't even worth mentioning. Interaction and photo opportunity with adorable baby elephants was the highlight of the zoo.

Next stop is the Rose Garden for the cultural show. Honestly, a good half of the show is reminiscent of grade school field demonstrations because of its sort of cornball presentation. The better deal is that we all got to ride an elephant for a 50baht/head fee for a quick tour around the garden.

An afternoon tea followed at the jewelry factory again. Agents are serious about this stop because of the gas money they get in exchange for requiring tourists to stop by in the area. We were back in the hotel by 5:30pm.

By 6pm, Anne and i decided to go to the Pratunam Center for some possible shopping. Unfortunately, stores close early in Bangkok and what's left in the nightmarket are either overpriced or no good at all. Mom, on the other hand couldn't wait no more, and had Joy accompany her for an authentic dose of Thai Massage at the spa beside our hotel.

It's our second day in bangkok and we haven't had a decent dinner yet because of our street food indulgence. Bahtless still, i had my sister buy me some watermelon (can't get enough of this baby!) for 10baht and ready-to-eat pomelo (comes with a sugar-chili dip), 20baht, to munch along the way. The other girls bought some steamed corns (comes with a coconut-sugar dip) that turned out surprisingly good albeit different, and did not resist the urge to buy the much needed fix of chips, cookies, and chocolate drink to wash the all the spice away.


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