SE Asia Chronicles – Bangkok, Thailand
Day 3: The floating market
After partying all night and then not sleeping, Kaitlin, Bri and I packed our things to check out of the hostel and go on a tour to the floating market at 7:30 AM. Whose idea was this?? I felt like death on the 1.5 hour cramped, bumpy van ride to the market. We were the last people on the van, and the only ones talking (at 7:30 AM, go figure) so obviously everyone hated us. Everyone kept looking back at us and were very short-answered when asked them questions. One old guy even looked at Kaitlin square in the eyes. When she cheerfully said “Hi! Where are you from?!” he continued to stare at her for another five seconds and then turned away. What? When is that kind of social behavior ever acceptable?
At the floating market, we hopped into a canoe and were off to the races. We bought some food and beer first thing, and that cured the hellish feeling from the night before. We floated around the market sewage (I don’t even want to know what was in the brown water below us) as we talked to adorable little Thai vendors and refused to buy there products. I will say, there were many things I wanted to buy, but having only one backpack for 2.5 months leaves little room for souvenirs (sorry friends and family, the best you’ll. get is probably just a postcard or a photo on Facebook.)
Getting scammed in a foreign country
After the market, we prepared our stuff for our travel to the next town, Koh Tao, Thailand. We had previously spoken with a travel agency and purchased tickets for travel to Koh Tao, Ko Phangan, and back to Bangkok. However, we never received the tickets. We asked the hostel if the agency had dropped off our tickets with them and they said no (keep in mind, awesome little hostel, great location, super nice workers….not the sharpest tools in the box.)
In a fit of frustration and anxiety, we tried calling the travel agency. The number wouldn’t go through. We tried GPS’ing the agency so we could go there. It didn’t appear on Google maps. We tried going to their website to find information. All reviews said they were a scam. Wuuuuut?
Anxiety Level = 100.
Based off of memory, we were able to find our way towards the travel agency. We were going to confront these suckers face to face. We walked most of the way, and got lost at the end. We decided to ask a Thai man, who was sitting outside his business, for help. After trying to call a few different numbers, he got through to someone, found out where they were, got up and walked us there. Again, wuuuut? Who takes time out of their day to show someone directions? Sure it was only two streets away, but my heart melted at the act of kindness he showed to complete strangers.
Good people do exist.
When we arrived at the agency, we explained our problem to the woman working (the same woman we had booked with). She called the hostel, and turns out they DID have the tickets. Omg. So anticlimactic, I know. Sorry to disappoint. 😁
Around 7pm, Nate, Kaitlin, Bri and I headed to the train station to take a 13 hour sleeper train to Surat Thani and then a ferry to Koh Tao. I won’t go into details about the train (I slept the whole time, so there’s not much to tell) but I will say that I highly recommend that mode of transportation to anyone traveling long distance.