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Monday, April 15, 2013

BKK 2012 - Day 2, Part 2 - Ayutthaya, Bangkok

“An unalterable and unquestioned law of the musical world required that the German text of French operas sung by Swedish artists should be translated into Italian for the clearer understanding of English-speaking audiences.” ― Edith Wharton

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BKK 2012
Day 2, Part 2 - 8th September - Ayutthaya, Bangkok


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On Wat Phrasisanpeth

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Wat Phrasisanpeth

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Nua

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"Clean Ayutthaya"
Presumably this was the imperative mood

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The Director-General of UNESCO was visiting around this time

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Lake

I then had a look at another site without entering, since it would just be more of the same.

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"Please do not climb up" because you must pay for a ticket

This temple was quite similar to the others I'd seen, except it had a very phallic main building.

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Map of Ayutthaya

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This was a neat anti-dripping device for ice cream. The coconut ice cream was 10B which was a fair price. However it was slightly too sweet and had coloured coconut shreds in it.

Only Indonesia rivalled what I'd seen of Thailand for lack of signage. Of course this was to generate work for guides.

Next was Wat Naphrameru-Rajikaram. This last temple had escaped Burmese destruction.

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Dog

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Buddhas

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On Wat Naphrameru-Rajikaram
"King of Burma... He fired a cannon by himself and one of the cannons burst out and injureel him seriously. He had to go back to Burma with his army. But he died at Tak's border on his way back to Burma"
Sad.

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Buddha

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Buddha behind rolling door

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Guan Yin

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God of Many Faces

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"Astrologer"

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Maybe this read "clean me"

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For some reason I found monks on the back of a pickup quite funny

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20B mystery meat sausages. I couldn't even finish the one I bought.
Across the road there was real food but I was scared of missing my train.

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18B mystery flavour (probably Freaky Fruitade - I'm not sure if it was F&N) Fanta in a weird 450ml size

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What Last Class looked like. A Japanese woman paid 245B for first class tickets. This was 15B for the real Third Class - unpadded wooden benches (on my way here my seat had at least had some padding). Too bad there were no chickens in the cabin.

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Fortune Telling

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"Shield. The Glamorous Bangkok"
"Glamorous" is not the word I'd use

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Thai convenience food. Which looks very good.

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Schwepps Manao flavour (Thai lime), 14B
I love local flavours
Long live 7-11! May Western Economic Neo-colonialism drive out bastard hawkers who overcharge farangs!

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Hua Lamphong Station

A tuk tuk quoted me 30B to my hotel. I was surprised it was so cheap, then I found out the catch: he said I had to stop at his "sponsor", but did not buy anything. At least he was honest, but I didn't want to waste time (the point of taking a tuk tuk would've been to save time anyway). I gave him props for his honesty. I said no, and he claimed it was 3km to the hotel. At this point I got annoyed since he was lying now - I'd walked the distance in the morning and it was no way it was 3km.

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I'd read that we could thank the British for covered sidewalks (i.e. 5 foot ways, which supposedly are exclusive to British Southeast Asia), but this was close enough even though there wasn't 100% shelter.

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Narrow Alley

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"General Paint"

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Cute pigs

One shop advertised Birds Nest for 100B. I went in and the cheapest was 300B, but it came with coconut.

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I couldn't figure out the translation logic on which languages to use.

A man I presumed was the owner couldn't speak Mandarin, and I didn't do Cantonese, so we used English. Hurr hurr.

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Birds Nest with coconut. The coconut added a delectable richness to it.

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"Special Discount"

I ended up topo-ing (getting lost) a lot as it was hard to navigate (no romanised signs, a bad map, confusing streets). Perhaps I was losing my powers. In the end i walked more than 3 km.

A lot of people think Thailand, Southeast Asia etc are very cheap. Actually this is not the case. One must factor in hidden costs, swindling being one. I had already spent 2900B (~S$120) in 1.5 days, excluding my hotel and the sumptuous Chinese meal, and it wasn't as if I'd spent a lot (I'd only taken one taxi or other form of transport dedicated to me, e.g. tuk tuks). Everything adds up - people think Bangkok is cheap because they take short trips, but on a daily basis this is not so.

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Huge snacks

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Pandemonium: there was a temple event

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Temple

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Wat U Phai Rat Bamrung

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Nice pig

There was a place called "Visa King". Green cards on the fly?

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"Warning for Tourists... They are usually well-dressed, friendly, speak little or good English, but all of them have one thing in mind... TO SCAM YOU... Take the above-mentioned advice and your vacation will certainly be spared from 'nightmare' perpetrated by con-artists"

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Flasher

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Map with warning: "Beware of stranger offering ride to discount Jewelry stores or buying fake goods or Other forms of deception. Firmly decline when approached and report any such incidents to the Thai Tourist Police"

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Carpark shrine


Even in Eastern Europe and Greece I don't get Asian-level swindling. The White Man's Burden should've been to make honest men out of Asians. It says something that there is a site called BangkokScams.com.

One way not to get swindled: get the hotel guy to call a taxi for you, so they will use the meter. Or you can try calling the Passenger Protection Center, I guess.
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