I was thrilled to return to Bangkok. The day was rough and the border experience caused me to momentarily dislike Thais, but we found a swanky hotel for cheap and met up with Joshua’s cousin, Larry, for beers on the street and chats about life. Neither of us planned to stay in the city long, but both of us decided to soak up some precious family time (something that has been far to infrequent on the trip).
Larry has been traveling for 6 months, and it just so happened that the day we were passing through Bangkok from Cambodia he was doing the same en route to Chiang Mai from the islands–except he met a girl named Sally (when Larry met Sally…) and they decided to spend the last few days of her vacation indulging in the “inner” city of Bangkok with us.
We met at 7-11, which in Bangkok is almost impossible, because there are at least two on every block. It didn’t stop us from finding one another and checking out the Patpong market where everything in the world is copied. Want a Gucci fanny pack, Ray Ban sunglasses, Tiffany jewelry NBA jerseys or a Rolex? All can be purchased at the market that opens at dark and really gets started once the police are off the street at 9pm. By the way, I looked at the Gucci fanny pack and commented on the fact that I didn’t like the velcro closure. The saleswoman immediately retorted that I obviously had never held a real one which does use velcro, apparently…touche mean saleslady. The sassiness continued when Joshua went to buy some fake Calvin Klein underwear and as he was rifling through the pile for a small, the saleslady told him that would be an “Asian Medium.”
From there we made our way to a Ping Pong show with a sweet older gentlemen who promised us it was free to “lookie lookie.”
We found out he was a liar when the madame started harassing us for a ludicrous entrance fee. So we left in a huff with our expensive beers, but we saw the magic happen (less amazing than I would have ever imagined).
I’ve never seen girls so bored in my life. We made our way from the girls streets, where prostitutes sit in a line, eat their dinner, brush their hair, do their nails, while waiting to be picked up, to the Boys Alley where all the fun is really had.
We pushed through all the dancing hosts to the last bar on the street where “Bangkok Boy” runs the show. He offers cool drinks and Connect 4.
We played a few serious rounds before Joshua and I turned into pumpkins and left the lovebirds alone. We knew we had stayed out well past our bedtime because we had to step over and around the city’s huge rat population feeding on the day’s leftovers to get back to our hotel.
Our final stop was the abandoned train market where hipsters set new trends. We saw that Hawaiian shirts are coming back…so happy to be ahead of the game on that one.
Make note: so are the ugliest jean shorts made from ill-fitting old men’s levis, hats that look like cats and dogs in baby bjorns.
The market was THE hot spot for eating, drinking, music and people watching…an absolutely great cultural experience.
We ended the night with a visit to Sky Bar, made famous by Hangover II…also made ridiculously expensive and uber stuck-up at the same time. $60 for a champagne cocktail…we cannot. But, I’ll take the view from the cheap seats!