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|4th March 2009, 11:46||#46|
Senior - BHPian
One more info. For a taxi to be allowed to get into Airport official taxi spot to pick passenger, the car should not be more than 5 years old. This was a info told by the driver himself. So, not sure how correct or wrong this statement is.
|4th March 2009, 16:27||#47|
Senior - BHPian
Then we started heading back to hotel. On the way, the driver was trying to get one more 2000BHAT for the next day. Ha, no more chance. I said firmly that I will not be taking any taxi tomorrow and will like to take the Metro rails and buses. To that he mentions, you cannot make it, because Thailand trains and buses are not as good as our place. But since I was determined to try the Public transport, he failed to convince me.
He was also asking me if I have already got the ticket for going to Phuket. When i said no, he was consistently trying to take me to a booking office. But, after reading all those horror stories of these type, I said a big no.
What are those horror stories?
These people take you to some booking agent saying you will get a VIP buses, with toilet, bed etc etc and sell you the ticket. later you will come to know that the ticket is just a used one or a in-valid one. So, careful.
Some pics on the returning journey
Famous Rama bridge (Actually there are many Rama I, II etc...)
Remember the kalvanin Kadali movie song? nayan and Surya dancing? Its this one.
Finally we reached the hotel around 7:30pm. We refreshed ourselves and again started our journey.
My kid asked if we can try those elevated trains. The metro (BTS) train is what he was mentioning. Since we were staying very near to the Nana BTS station, we took the train from that place to Siam square.
It costs 40Bhat per person. We take the ticket from the vending machine, get into the automated entry and walk to the platform. The connectivity is very good. They have the trains in a frequency of about 3-4mins.
Waiting for the Train!
Here it comes!
While we wait for the train, i see a guy waiting with the flower bouquet in the opposite platform. It was then I remember that it was Valentines day.
Waiting for the Valentine!
Then the train arrives and we take the train and start towards the Siam square.
It was so nice to view the city with all building lighted up and that too from a high raised position. In moments we reached the destination. When we came out we saw a huge crowd with loud music. With youngsters all round, with bouquet in hands.
Loud music with lights was attracting everyones attention. We walked around for a while, crossed the crowd with great difficulty and finally saw a Mac Donald. Decided to have our dinner right there, we get into it. Had a nice dinner and decided to do some more walking back to our place.
Do you notice 2 Trains?
It was almost 9pm and it was time when the street side shops comes to life. We can see everywhere on the street, people setting up the shops. Had a good walk back and hit the sack with no plans of what to do the next day!
|5th March 2009, 08:14||#49|
Senior - BHPian
We just went out for my son who insisted on traveling in the train that ran those elevated bridge
|5th March 2009, 13:38||#50|
Senior - BHPian
15-Feb-2009 [Happy birthday MJ]
I wake up the next day around 6:00am. We all got ready by 7am and started to plan for the day. Suddenly my son jumps and says, Happy birthday dad. Wow, it is. Then we decide to go to the Grand Palace for the day. Since we need to check out before 12 noon, we also decided to check out before leaving.
The plan is to go for the Grand Palace, roam around and come back to hotel by 3pm. We checked out around 7:30am, and start to walk to the Nana BTS station. Our driver guys comes one by one and asks for cab for the whole day. I just ignore all those fellows, climb the stair for the station and get 3 ticket to the Saphan Taksin station.
Inside the Train
This station is connected to the Pier, called the port/harbour. From here we were told that we can take the ferry/boat to The Grand Palace.
The train journey from Nana BTS to this place is actually in 2 different trains. The connecting station is the SIAM. We need to get down in this station and take a different train to Taksin.
In less than 30min you will arrive to the Taksin station. The scenes from the train was very interesting and view was much clear due to broad day light. Totally different from the previous days night journey.
Outside the Train
You can see this flying almost in all Govt building!
Once we reached the Taksin station, we had no clue on which way to go. We saw a Information counter in here and so asked them. They said we can take the boat service in the river to reach the Grand Palace and we need to get down in Tha Chang pier. She also mentioned that it would be less than 20BHAT per person on me asking the rates.
Map showing the river routes
Ok, we follow the signs and the pier is very near to the station. Once you get down on the left of Exit 2, you will see this pier. It like a bus service operated by Bangkok govt. You will also find many touts and other boat operators bugging you and telling the govt boats will take atleast 30min to come etc etc story. They charge you anywhere between 120BHAT to 300BHAT depending on what they thin at that time. yes, its huge money.
We wait for a while for the boat bus to come. Meanwhile we have a mini photo session clicking all the colorful boats around there.
Place to board the Boat
View from the Pier
We take the boat going towards the Tha Chang and the boat conductor comes for ticket. It costs ONLY 13BHAT for the destination.
They have a peculiar cylindrical box which had tickets rolled inside. The way they tear the ticket from that is really funny.
Then we enjoy the environment, surrounded all sides by water, with speed boats going up and down, long tail boats with restaurants on it etc.
Nicely constructed Building. Interesting view!!!
Temple of the Dawn
If you watch closely you can find people climbing on those steps in the middle of the tower.
Captain - Present, Ticket Collector - Present, Engineer - ABSENT!!!
Time to get down in our stop.
We got down in Tha Chang pier. We were greeted with a crowdy place with shops on all the sides with little way for walk. It was a very busy junction.
Hold on a while, we need to cross the road and get to the other side to access the Grand Palace. So, be with me. Get your water bottles and other drinks or snacks you need from those busy shops before we continue further
|5th March 2009, 15:59||#51|
Senior - BHPian
When I arrive the road, 2 guys [the tuk-tuk drivers] comes asking for where we are heading too. i just ignored these people. If you wanna know the reason, just Google for "Thailand Gem Scam" and you know why. Infact the same thing was sort of happening to me too.
They said the Grand palace was closed for the day and he would take me to different place to see. I ignored him since i was already aware of these tactics.
You cross the road and will see a white compound wall. This is actually the part of those Grand Palace. Follow the compound straight further and you will have the entrance on the right side of the road.
When you enter the palace, you will first see police/army everywhere. There is a special room for them to the right. They also have regular drills everyday. Don't be surprised if you see bunch of soldiers marching briskly towards you with those rifles. its a routine exercise. You would really love those single and synchronized sound of boots.
Tak, tak tak... Tak tak tak...
Then you will see everyone taking pictures of those palace in the background. It was a tough job since the sun was in same direction as you take the pictures.
View of palace from Entrance
From there we go to the counter and they charge 350BHAT per person and its free for the Kids. You start getting to the entrance from there and you can see a board mentioning separate lines for Thai people and Foreign people. Not sure why.
They also have people checking your attire. If your attire is not fully closing your body, then you would be asked to rent a cloth and cover the body fully. For eg: Sleeveless shirts, short skirts etc...
Then they provide a pamphlet that talks about the significance of the Palace and what it contains. pretty useful for a tourist spot.
There isn't much to put in words, but the pictures are more worthy.
The main place when you enter the palace
More pics of Palace to come...
|5th March 2009, 16:07||#52|
Senior - BHPian
Some more pics before we leave the Palace...
Emerald Buddha Temple.
Entrance of Emerald Buddha
View of Buddha
Inside the Palace, you also have the Emerald Buddha temple. Its very sacred place and so you are requested to remove your shoes/slippers. Maintain complete silence inside and most important is, not to use your cam or recorder. Even though they request not to take any picture inside, they do allow taking the equipment with you. I thought its just the belief and to make system easier.
But later i found that its not just belief, its the system they have. There vigil guards who are monitoring the moments of the people.
Inspite of all these checking one gentle women managed to take video. She was sitting in a posture like praying, keeping the camcorder below her and adjusting the LCD screen so that she can shoot the Buddha without anyone noticing. Surprisingly, I saw a guard peeping from her back in doubt, and somehow he sensed her doing these and taken the camera. Not sure what happened next, since we moved from there.
It would be nice for people to follow some instruction provided by those people. Else, it would only result in they asking to deposit all the cam and then enter the premises, which is more pain.
Once you complete those, then you exit from there. On the way you have beautiful wall paintings that glow on pics. After taking some pics we left from there.
|5th March 2009, 16:21||#53|
Senior - BHPian
Behind the Palace, there are other building like Museums, govt offices etc.
We took some pics with the guards who where standing there. Almost everyone did the same thing.
Then we came to the place near Museum. Here you can see rows of Canon displayed.
After that you have the museum which contains the very interesting stuffs like construction pictures, materials used for construction of the palace, donations from other countries, things used by the king etc etc.
Its worth having a look if you have time.
While returning back to the entrance we see this HONDA silently waiting for the owner.
Then we were outside the venue around 1pm. Not knowing where to go further we just starred on the roads. Later we decided to head back to hotel.
|8th March 2009, 11:27||#55|
Senior - BHPian
We came back to the hotel by taking the same BTS Boat service and train service. On the way we had lunch in one of the thai style hotel in the Boat station itself.
We initially thought of taking the taxi for the Southern Bus terminal. This is the Bus station from where all buses going towards down south of Thailand is starting from. Heard that this bus station is really far. But since we had almost 3-4hrs to kill, we decided to take a local bus to the Bus station. We enquired the information center and came to know that the Bus # 511 goes to that station from our place, Nana Station in Sukhumvit area.
We came to the main road, rolling our baggage. In the bus stop we waited for almost 30min. Every 1 sec we will have a taxi stopping by and offering the service. Infact some guys even mentioned to give what I thought was ok. Anyway, I was just waiting for the bus. After like 40min it came.
We took the bus and the charge was 20 BHAT per person. It was nice to have the view of the city. Rather than sitting inside the Taxi and loosing all those building and views this was a better decision.
I think one has to move in the local transport to know the place culture, people, city etc.
We reached the Bus station around 5pm. We got into the station for the booking. Booked the ticket in a VIP bus with Toilet. The fare is around 1000BHAT per person.
It takes almost 12hrs to reach Phuket. You can reach Phi Phi Island from 2 locations. One is Phuket and the other is Krabi. Both the buses starts from here.
The buses and the roads are really good. You wont even feel the tired when you reach the destination.
Now the pics...
Stop 20BHAT boat service - from Private guys.
The pier for accessing the Grand Palace.
How much HP this would be?
You do have road-hostess [If hostess in "Air"plane called air-hostess, then why not ]
Goodies from Bus operator. + Snacks too
Bus starts almost 20minutes after departure time. No diff from our place. But it reaches sharp 6:00am the next day.
I had a very good sleep in that Volvo...
Dreaming for those Phi Phi Island and the James bond island!!!
|8th March 2009, 18:52||#56|
Join Date: Jun 2008
a very detailed travelogue and nice pictures. this is tempting me to plan a trip later this year.
|8th March 2009, 20:09||#57|
Join Date: Jul 2006
Thanked: 16 Times
Wow a very nice detailed account of your trip. Makes me wanna visit the place again. Missed the tiger park last year. Was in Phuket most of the time. Phi Phi Island was heaven.
|8th March 2009, 22:06||#58|
Join Date: Aug 2008
Thanked: 55 Times
Nice travelogue there Mjothi. Tempting me to do this trip in the near future. How are the vegetarian food options there?
|8th March 2009, 23:47||#59|
Join Date: May 2007
Thanked: 157 Times
Really Really Nice Travelogue Jothi.... Making me to think about a trip to Thai...BTW -How much is the total expense..have to give a thought on $$ in this time of recession :(
|9th March 2009, 06:42||#60|
Senior - BHPian
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