After breakfast, we went out out on the town to do a little sight seeing and make some plans. Our first stop was the Vietnam consulate. On the way we saw this really cute bakery with all kinds of yummy yummy pastries!
We also ran into this guy who said he was a police man and wanted to know where we were from and where we were going. He was friendly and it is not at all uncommon for a Thai man to approach tourists and start a conversation so we told him. He reminded us that it was a holiday and that the Vietnam Consulate was closed and told us where we could go instead and even go a tuk-tuk to take us there.
So, being the trusting people we are, we climbed into the tuk-tuk and off we went to this tourist information center near the train station. Later we read that you never want to use these travel centers but we learned the hard way.
The tuk-tuk is this little motorcycle-car thing that zips you around the city. They are really fun and although there are a ton of taxi's in the city I prefer these little guys as my means of transportation. You have to be careful though because they totally try to rip you off! So he took us to the tourist center where we met this guy named moo-moo and booked our bus trip (because according to moo-moo "you take train, you die!") to Chiang Mai for the next morning. We also booked our hotel, a trekking trip, a day trip to the Golden triangle, and our flights back to Bangkok and then to and from Hanoi through him. It all seemed kinda shady and a bit expensive but he was nice and recommended so we went with it. Stupid stupid stupid! You will see why later!
After spending our morning with Moo-moo we decided to walk back to our hotel. A three mile walk, although we didn't know that at the time. But it was fun and we saw many interesting things on the way.
There are shrines like the one above all over the city. People place flowers and incense on it and pray.
We also stopped into a mall called MBK. It's HUGE! Seven stories and all of them look like the one above. Packed with stores that sell everything and anything you can imagine!
They had a food court in this mall so we stopped and had our first traditional Thai meal of the trip. Rice noodles with curry and all kinds of toppings.
I chose the chicken coconut curry and I was not very adventurous with my toppings, choosing only the things I could recognize: cucumber, and sprouts. It was really yummy but very spicy!
For dessert I topped the rice noodles with a sweet coconut sauce, pineapple, a bit of ginger, and bananas. YUM!We also stopped at another mall on our way back to the hotel. The Siam Paragon. This is a brand new GINORMOUS mall. I have never seen anything so freakin huge! I can't even begin to describe it. There is a whole floor with luxury cars, a ocean museum, a huge theater, and every store imaginable. We didn't spend too much time in this mall because a) we were totally overwhelmed buy it's hugeness! and b) it was all stores we have in the USA and we didn't fly half way around the world to shop in shops we can shop in at home (wow did i really just use the word "shops" that many times in one sentence?)
We also noticed on our way back to the hotel how many taxi's there are in Bangkok. And look at the colors! Hot pink, orange, baby blue! How cute! Taxi's here are also super cheap! But you have to make sure you ask them to use the meter or they will rip you off!
The other thing I noticed in Thailand is how many unfinished projects there are. All over the city you walk and the side walk will abruptly end or there is a half finished building. It's crazy! Apparently because of all the government unrest each new person in the government starts projects but gets kicked out before he can finish them and they they just sit unfinished while new projects are started! Crazy!