Out of Cambodia, Into Thailand

Tuesday. 27-01-2015 — Wednesday. 28-01-2105. 

Day 160 — 161. 

We didn't do much on Day 160. The girls got massages (again) and we ate pizza at Belmiro's for the last time, because the next day we'd be leaving Cambodia for Thailand.

The drive to the airport and the flight to Thailand was uneventful, and then we were in Bangkok.

Another City, Another Confused Taxi Driver

We picked up a taxi outside the and showed the driver the map we got from the owner of the Golden Mountain Hostel (A great hostel! Check out our TripAdvisor review). He looked mighty confused but started to drive off anyway. The area around Bangkok airport reminded us a lot like Los Angeles near LAX—concrete pillars, glass buildings, many lanes, lots of vehicles.

Once we got near our hostel, it was pretty obvious our taxi driver didn't know where he was going. This was pretty weird, because 1) he had a printed map and 2) the hostel was right across the street from the Wat Saket, the Golden Mount Temple—one of the main temples on the area's tourist circuit.

We were following our progress with Google Maps, and when we realized he was lost suggested a possible route to him, but he didn't want to listen to our directions. Instead, he stopped at some metropolitan water treatment plant and tried to get directions. That didn't work, so he called the hostel and they talked him in (along the same route we were suggesting).

But, at last we were at the hostel. We had plans with our fellow world-traveling friends the Purdys from PurdyJourneys.com at Asiatique, an outdoor mall about 10 kilometers away (Bangkok is pretty big). The people at the hostel told us it would take about half an hour to get there, so we could grab a taxi at 5:30 p.m. and be there by 6:00 p.m.

Bangkok traffic.

Bangkok traffic.

Adventures in Hailing a Bangkok Taxi

One of the staff at Golden Mountain Hostel offered to help us hail a taxi, so we walked down the block a little bit to a busy street. It was packed with traffic that wasn't moving. Getting a taxi and getting to our meeting on time was going to be a challenge. There are a lot of taxis in Bangkok, but many of them that went by us already had fares. We had three of them refuse us (they weren't going that way) and one tuk tuk driver offered to take us for 1,000 baht ($30), which was a ridiculous sum.

Short version, about 40 minutes later, we found a taxi willing to take us at the metered rate and off we went. The drive took nearly 45 minutes and cost us 130 baht ($4.00). But we didn't arrive at Asiatique until well after 7:00 p.m., more than an hour after we were supposed to meet up with the Purdys.

We knocked around Asiatique for a while. We had a few beers, ate some kebabs, tried some roti (a Thai pancake sort of like a crepe; this turned out to be a regular item of sustenance for us) and chatted about world travel for a few hours. We even got to see a fireworks display that was going off somewhere over the Chao Phraya river.

Fireworks.

Fireworks.

When it started to get late, we said our good byes we went to grab a taxi. There was a taxi stand at the front of Asiatique, and they gave us a quote of 500 baht to go back to the hostel. We were a bit surprised and told the gent we paid 130 to get here. He shrugged and said we'd get the same price anywhere. We didn't feel like trying to hail a taxi from the street and having the same conversation, so we bargained down to 350 baht and got taken for a ride back to the hostel.

Notable Statistics:

  • Planes taken: 1
  • Taxis taken: 4
  • Taxis that refused us: 4
  • Rotis eaten: 3

is a writer of things with a strong adventurous streak. He also drinks coffee.

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Out of Cambodia, Into Thailand
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