Where am I?

Breakfast and a Bed

February 27, 2007 at 11:06 PM | categories: Thailand, travel | View Comments

What do the Thai eat for breakfast? Apparently anything they'll eat for lunch or dinner, plus broken-rice soup. The sidewalk tom yum smells great - or we could have donuts.

sidewalk tom yum street of art and culture - and starbucks also

After breakfast, we don't have much of an agenda. We know we don't want to stay around Th. Khao Sahn, so we need to look at some rooms. So we have to check out at 11am, go looking for a new place, drop our stuff, and then come back to Th. Khao Sahn to meet Shelly and Roland around midnight, after their flight arrives.

For the morning, we end up at the National Museum. A nice English lady explains the finer points of Thai cultural history and basic wat etiquette, while I sweat profusely. Did I mention that it's hot? After 9am, it's about 95-F and 100% humidity. It's worse than summer in New Orleans. I keep hoping that the Thai have figured out a clever technique for natural cooling of wats and palaces, but if they ever have, that knowledge has been lost to us.

National Museum, Bangkok

The tour ends just as we need to check out of the hotel, so we sweat back to Th. Khao Sahn and pick up our backs. Outside, I scare the jen rai out of a tuk-tuk driver. Apparently I re-opened a shaving cut on my upper lip, and a viscous mix of blood and sweat is sliding down my face. I probably look like a paler James Brown at the end of a marathon concert, but that puts the tuk-tuk driver in a bad position to bargain. He takes us to Thewet, while I find a clean tissue and mop up.

Thewet is just north of the Khao Sahn area, and has quite a few guest houses. It's also the home of a royal wat and several government offices, plus the National Library. The Bangkok Zoo and the Dusit government buildings are right next door. But taxi and tuk-tuk drivers across Bangkok have never heard of the district. After lots of false starts, we found that "Thanon Samsen gap Thanon Si Ayuthaya" would get us to the right street-corner (probably that's horrible Thai, and it helps if you know how to pronounce all the words).

The tuk-tuk dropped us in front of a nice-looking restaurant area on Soi Si Ayuthaya (not Thanon Si Ayuthaya). "Let's stop for lunch, get our bearings, and then start looking for guesthouses," I suggested. John was too jet-lagged to argue, so we sat down. When no one came by to take our order, I started looking through the Lonely Planet. "I'd like to start at Shanti - what do you think?" I looked around and saw a place called "Sawasdee", across the alley. I looked across the street and saw a few food vendors, a hairdresser, and a 7-Eleven. Then I looked up, and saw where we were sitting: Shanti.

"Hey John, let's just try to get a room here."

"What about Shanti?"

John at Shanti

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