This post is available in English too. Please scroll to the end of the post, under the romanian version and find it there.
Revin cu amintirile din Thailanda si, de aceasta data, cu ultima destinatie a vacantei, Bangkok. Vor fi multe poze in acest articol. Despre Bangkok s-au scris multe pe internet, eu insami am citit zeci de articole inainte sa ajung aici, mai ales pentru ca era prima oara cand puneam piciorul intr-o tara asiatica si trebuia sa stiu cat mai multe lucruri despre ea, pentru a-mi face vacanta cat mai usoara.
Daca inainte de a pleca spre Asia, activitatea noastra pe insule era cat de cat conturata, cand sa planificam cele 4 zile in Bangkok lucrurile au tergiversat putin. Citisem despre multe “tzepe” pe care le luasera unii turisti incepand de la soferii de taxi si pana la binevoitorii de rand care nu-si doreau altceva decat sa te pacaleasca si sa aiba vreun profit de pe urma ta. Aceste informatii m-au ajutat sa iau niste decizii pe care nu le regret si care m-au facut sa ma simt in siguranta. Am decis inca de acasa sa nu luam taxiuri de pe strada, sa nu ne lasam atrasi in capcanele soferilor de tuk tuk si sa nu fim influentati de localnicii binevoitori care ne-ar fi abordat intr-o maniera politicoasa pe strada, propunandu-ne diverse excursii. 4 zile erau insuficiente pentru a vedea macar cateva din cele mai importante obiective din oras si imprejurimi. Distantele dintre ele erau foarte mari, nu stiam cum sa le grupam asa incat sa ajungem cel putin la cele mai cunoscute.
Asa se face ca, inainte cu 6 saptamani de plecare, am contactat o agentie locală de turism cu ghizi autorizati, despre care am citit ca este printre cele mai serioase agentii de profil din Bangkok si… am asteptat un raspuns… eram pe punctul de a renunta si a incepe din nou cautarile pentru o alta agentie… dupa doua saptamani am primit raspunsul. Am aflat ulterior ca sunt sunt foarte aglomerati si ca este o chestiune de noroc daca primesti sau nu raspuns 🙂 Am fost norocosi. Noi le-am spus ce am vrea sa vizitam, ei ne-au facut traseul, o oferta de pret pe care am acceptat-o fara sa clipim, fiind foarte convenabila si… aventura in Bangkok poate incepe 🙂
Am aterizat in Bangkok dupa un zbor de o ora din Krabi. Am luat un taxi autorizat de aeroport, cu pret fix si, in aproximativ 45 de minute eram la hotel. Aici am avut un nou soc termic: din momentul in care am intrat pe usa receptiei si pana am coborat din nou in strada, am tremurat de frig. Afara era o caldura si o umiditate pe care nu le simtisem in insula. Erau diferente uriase intre temperatura de afara si cea din interior, indiferent daca acest interior era o toaleta sau tren sau taxi. Oamenii de aici sunt nebuni cu aerul conditionat. Pentru ca aveam la dispozitie o dupa-amiaza intreaga, in prima zi am luat skytrain – ul si am plecat sa cunoastem orasul.
Am incheiat seara la piscina de pe acoperisul hotelului. Pozele nu reusesc sa spuna mare lucru, realitatea este coplesitoare, insa.
Buna dimineata, Bangkok! Astazi vom face cunostinta cu tine in mod organizat 🙂 Dupa un mic dejun consistent, am coborat la receptia hotelului unde am intalnit-o pe Nina, un foarte haios ghid turistic, cu care am petrecut 2 zile. Fata asta este foarte amuzanta, rade si vorbeste incontinuu. Te molipseste cu veselia ei.
Stiam inca din tara traseul pe care urma sa-l parcurgem impreuna in cele doua zile in care Nina a fost ghidul nostru (numele ei real era altul, l-am uitat; ea si-a ales un nume usor de retinut de catre turiști si oricum accentul cu care isi pronunta ea numele era diferit de al nostru). In fine, la scara hotelului ne astepta o masina foarte frumoasa cu un sofer care imi deschidea portiera ori de cate ori coboram sau urcam in masina, exagerat de politicos, dar foarte simpatic. Nu stia o boaba de engleza dar compensa prin comportamentul lui politicos.
Prima destinatie a fost piata plutitoare Damnoen Saduak. Am ajuns aici dupa un drum de aproximativ 2 ore cu masina, locul este frumos, merita vazut, poti negocia absolut orrice, iar faptul ca am fost insotiti de un ghid local ne-a ajutat in obtinerea unor preturi foarte mici. Am cumparat sofran la un pret ridicol de mic, aproximativ 10 RON / 100 g., in conditiile in care stim cat de scump este acest produs pe piata din Romania si Europa, in general. Am mai negociat niste esarfe, posete lucrate manual, am primit cadou fructe proaspete – longan, foarte bune si dulci. Ne-am plimbat cu barca pe canale si am mancat cel mai bun sticky rice (orez cu lapte de cocos si mango… mmm…delicious!!!!).
Am plecat in aceasta excursie devreme pentru a evita aglomeratia din floating market, dar si pentru a avea timp sa facem tot ce ne-am propus pentru ziua aceea. Astfel, urmatoarea destinatie a fost templul tigrilor. Nu intru in detalii pentru ca nu sunt de acord cu conditiile in care sunt tinute animalele acelea. Vreau doar sa va spun ca tigrii erau destul de agitati. Am asteptat cam 5-10 minute pana ce îngrijitorii i-au linistit cat de cat si au acceptat sa fie imortalizati. Saracii de ei!!! stiu ca la sfarsitul lunii aprilie urmau sa fie luati de acolo si dusi in mediul natural, nu stiu daca s-a intamplat asta si nici nu cred ca le-ar fi facut un bine, ei fiind obisnuiti sa fie hraniti de oameni. In fine, parerile sunt impartite, nu am tinut neaparat sa ajungem acolo, dar pachetul turistic cuprindea si aceasta locatie.
Ultima excursie din ziua aceea a fost la elefanti. Si ei sunt chinuiti si dresati sa faca ce vor ingrijitorii. Din pacate nu am poze de la plimbarea cu elefantul, dintr-o eroare tehnica. Din nou!!!! Oricum, dupa ce am hranit o femela cu banane, ne-am plimbat cu ea pret de o ora. Era a doua ca marime din Thailanda, era uriasa 🙂 Aveam doua posibilitati: sa ne plimbam pur si simplu in jurul unei gradini si pe malul unui rau, sau sa facem baie cu elefantul, adica se ne arunce el in apa, sa ne stropeasca, sa ne balaceasca :-)). Sotul meu ar fi dorit varianta a doua, dar bineînțeles ca eu am avut ultimul cuvant 🙂 Oricum, cand am vazut cat de mare este elefantul nostru, pana si o plimbare simpla mi se parea imposibil de realizat, cu greu am acceptat sa ma urc in spatele lui 🙂 Interesant! Apoi am mancat la un restaurant cu specific thailandez, recomandat de Nina pentru preturile bune si pentru gust. Foarte buna mancarea!
Seara am considerat ca merit un masaj la picioare, mai ales ca ma dureau ingrozitor, apoi o baie in piscina hotelului si …somn
A doua zi ne-am intalnit din nou cu Nina, de data aceasta fara masina si fara sofer, pentru ca ziua aceasta era destinata orasului Bangkok. Nu intru in detalii, pentru ca am vizitat temple despre care abunda internetul cu tot felul de informatii si pe care orice turist care vine in Bangkok le viziteaza (Buddha culcat, Buddha din aur, Buddha din smarald, ce sa mai… Buddha in general). Le respect credinta, dar pentru mine este doar o poveste si atat. Am vazut o piata de flori foarte frumoasa, cartierul chinezesc si ne-am plimbat cu o barca privata pe canalele din Bangkok. Va las cu pozele:
Nu ca thailandezii sunt veseli? 🙂
Eu si Nina, ghidul nostru
Eu, obosita??? 🙂 chiar deloc!
Dupa vizita la cateva temple, am inchiriat o barca si am mers pe raul Chao Phraya din Bangkok, pentru a vedea o zona mai putin luxoasa a orasului, acolo unde traiesc oameni, in conditii greu de imaginat.
Am incheiat excursia aceea cu regretul ca ne despartim de Nina si de veselia ei molipsitoare. Fiecare loc vizitat are cate o poveste care va ramane in sufletul nostru, iar Nina a spus atat de multe povesti despre poporul thailandez incat am admirat puterea ei de a vedea in orice lucru partea frumoasa a acestuia. Datorita ei am descoperit ca thailandezii sunt optimisti, cred cu putere in conducatorii lor, pe care nu-I omagiaza pentru ca trebuie, chiar ii iubesc, fac usoare plecaciuni atunci cand vorbesc despre familia regala. De la ea am invatat ca nu e greu sa spui : multumesc si ca daca spui multumesc in timp ce zambesti, poti primi acelasi raspuns, exprimat in acelasi mod, iar ziua chiar poate incepe frumos.
Seara aveam un obiectiv de bifat pe lista personala, mall-ul Terminal 21, despre care citisem lucruri interesante. Chiar a fost placut sa-l vad. Fiecare etaj este conceput ca reprezentand copia unui oras celebru:
Ca o concluzie, voi reveni in Thailanda peste cateva luni. Nu stiu daca voi mai sta in Bangkok, mi-a placut orasul, dar cred ca Thailanda are foarte multe de oferit. Mi-ar placea sa va vorbesc intr-un articol viitor despre ce produse locale mi-am cumparat, cosmetice si nu numai 🙂 Daca aveti intrebari, va raspund cu mare drag. Cam asta a fost excursia mea in Asia. Pana data viitoare, numai bine!
Two days full of experiences around Bangkok
I came back with memories from Thailand and this time with my last vacation destination, Bangkok. There will be many pictures in this article. Many things have been written about Bangkok on the Internet; I myself read a dozen articles before arriving here, especially because it was the first time I was putting my foot in an Asian country, and I needed to know about it as much as possible to make my vacation as easy as possible.
If before our trip to Asia our island activity was quite outlined, when we planned the 4 days in Bangkok, things were a little bit terrible. I read a few nasty things that some tourists experienced from taxi drivers and those who were willing to do anything but fool you and make some profit from you. This information has helped me make some decisions I didn’t regret and which made me feel safe. We decided at home not to take taxis on the street, not to be attracted to the traps of tuk tuk drivers and not to be influenced by the benevolent locals who would have approached us in a polite manner on the street, proposing us excursions. 4 days were not enough to see at least some of the most important landmarks in town and surroundings. The distances between them were very long; we did not know how to organize them so that we could reach at least the best known ones.
That’s how it was that, before 6 weeks off, I contacted a local travel agency with authorized guides, about that I read that it is one of the most serious agencies in Bangkok and … I waited for an answer. I was on the verge of giving up and starting looking for another agency. After two weeks I received the answer. I later found out that they are very busy and it is a matter of luck whether you get or not an answer. We were lucky. We told them what we wanted to visit, they made our route, a price offer that we accepted in a blink of an eye, being very convenient, and … Bangkok adventure could begin.
I landed in Bangkok after an hour flight from Krabi. I took an authorized airport taxi, and in about 45 minutes I was at the hotel. Here I had a new heat shock: as soon as I walked into the reception door and down the street again, I trembled with cold. Outside it was heat and humidity I didn’t feel on the island. There were huge differences between indoor and outdoor temperatures, whether this was a toilet or a train or a taxi. People here are crazy with air conditioning. Because we had an entire afternoon, on the first day we took the skytrain and left to meet the city.
I finished the evening at the pool on the hotel roof. The pictures fail to say big things, the reality is overwhelming.
Good morning, Bangkok! Today we will meet you in an organized way. After a consistent breakfast, I went down to the hotel reception where I met Nina, a very fun tourist guide, who I spent with 2 days. This girl was very funny, she laughed and talked all the time. She can infect you with her joy.
I knew the route we were going to go through together in the two days when Nina was our guide (her real name was another one, I forgot, she chose a name that is easy to remember by tourists and However, the accent with which she pronounced her name was different from ours). Finally, at the hotel’s staircase we were expecting a very beautiful car with a driver who opened my door whenever we went down or jumped in the car, overly polite but very sympathetic. He did not know a English bean but compensated by his polite behavior.
We knew the route we were going to go through together in the two days while Nina was our guide (her real name was another one, which I forgot; she chose a name that is easy to remember by tourists and however, the accent with which she pronounced her name was different from ours). Finally, at the hotel’s staircase we were expected by a very beautiful car with a driver who opened the door whenever I went down or jumped into the car, overly polite, but very nice. He didn’t know a word in English, but it compensated by his polite behavior.
The first destination was Damnoen Saduak floating market. We have arrived here after 2 hours trip by car, the place is beautiful, it worths seeing, you can bargain for everything, and the fact that we were accompanied by a local guide helped us in obtaining very low prices. I bought saffron at a ridiculously low price of about 10 RON/100 g, as we know how expensive this product is on the Romanian market and Europe in general. We have negotiated some scarves, handmade handbags, fresh fruit – very good and sweet longan. We sailed on the canals and ate the best sticky rice (coconut and mango rice … .mmm … delicious !!!!).
We went on this early trip to avoid the floating market crowd, but also to have time to do whatever we wanted for that day. Thus, the next destination was the Tiger Temple. I’m not taking any details because I do not agree with the conditions in which those animals are kept. I just want to tell you that the tigers were quite agitated. I waited about 5-10 minutes until the caregivers reassured them how much they agreed to be photographed. Poor them!!! I know that at the end of April they would be taken from the temple and taken to their natural environment. I don’t know if this happened and I don’t think they would have done a good thing, as they are used to be fed by people. However, there are different opinions, we didn’t necessarily want to get there, but the tourist package also included this location.
The last trip of that day was to the elephants. They are also aggressed and trained to do what the caregivers want. Unfortunately, I have no pictures of walking on the elephant due to a technical error. Again!!!! Anyway, after we fed a female with bananas, we walked with her for an hour. It was the second largest in Thailand, it was huge. We had two possibilities: simply to walk around a garden and on the shores of a river, or to bathe with the elephant, that is, the elephant threw us in the water and splashed us. My husband would have liked the second option, but of course I had the last word. Anyway, when I saw how big our elephant was, even a simple ride seemed impossible to accomplish, I hardly accepted to climb on its back. Interesting! Then I ate at a Thai restaurant recommended by Nina for good prices and for taste. Very good food!
In the evening, I thought I deserved a foot massage, especially because they were terrible painful, then a bath in the hotel pool and then a good sleep.
The next day we met Nina again, this time without a car and driver, because that day was for Bangkok. I don’t insist on details because I visited temples about which the internet abounds with all kinds of information and which any visitor who comes to Bangkok visits them (Buddha lying, golden Buddha, emerald Buddha, well … Buddha in general). I respect their faith, but for me it’s just a story and nothing more. I saw a very beautiful flower market, the Chinese quarter and we sailed a private boat on Bangkok’s canals. Here are the pictures:
I saw beautiful flower decorations, some were made especially for being taken to temples or embelish the cars.
The king, who the Thai have a huge respect to, buys flower every year from here and Nina asked me to take this picture.
After visiting some temples, we rented a boat and sailed across the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok to see a less luxurious area of the city, where people live in hardly imagined conditions.
We ended this trip with the regret that we were saying good-bye to Nina and her contagious joy. Each visited place has a story that will remain in our heart, and Nina has told so many stories about the Thai people that I admired her power to see the beautiful part of everything. Because of her we found that the Thai people are optimistic, they believe strongly in their leaders, who they don’t pay tribute because they have to, but because the people love them and take gentle bows when talking about the royal family. I learned from her that it is not hard to say: thank you and if you say thank you while you smile, you can get the same answer, expressed in the same way, and the day can actually start beautifully.
In the evening I had a check-in point on my personal list, the Terminal 21 shopping mall, about which I was reading interesting things. It was really nice to see it. Each floor is designed as the copy of a famous city:
We spent the last day shopping, and in the evening we went to see the most beautiful sunset in Asiatique, a city district on the bank of the Chao Phraya river, particularly beautiful.
I’ve warned you from the beginning that there will be many pictures; I hope we didn’t get bored.
As a conclusion, I will return to Thailand in a few months. I don’t know if I’m going to stay in Bangkok, I liked the city, but I think Thailand has a lot to offer. I would love to talk to you in a future article about what I bought: local products, cosmetics and not many other. If you have any questions, I will answer them dearly. This was my trip to Asia. Until next time, all the best!