some people say that if you go to thailand, you should never miss the temples. but then again, those people have never seen the temples in cambodia. those who have have claimed that hands down, cambodia’s temples are the best, so much so that the ones in thailand become second-rate. too bad i can’t give my two cents’ worth on that. because although cambodia’s temples were magnificent, i can’t compare it with thailand’s. because for the second time in that cambodia/thailand trip, we were duped. lol.
so there we were in our tuk-tuk on our way to visit the grand palace at eleven in the morning. (no, we did not oversleep but the breakfast we had in mystic place was just too much we had to give our bodies time to digest all those good food!) standing outside the grand palace looking like the gullible tourists that we were, out of nowhere this guy came up to us and asked us if we were going to go see the temple and if we were, then we came at a bad time because it’s closed. the idiots that we were, we believed the bastard. i mean, it was nearing lunch time and all. perhaps thais have their lunch breaks too, kind of like the government offices we have here in the philippines.
the guy, instead, offered us an “alternative” tour about 700 baht each. sure, we may be dumb but we weren’t that dumb! we haggled like crazy with the sonuvab*tch till he agreed to lower it down to 500. at least that uplifted our loser status a bit. but we were still losers nonetheless. lol.
to make the short, sad, and embarrassing story shorter, we found ourselves on a boat ride in chao phraya river, thailand’s major river. i don’t know why they call it river. when i hear the word “river,” i immediately think riverstones and wells and a small, running body of water where women do their laundry. chao phraya river looked like a sea to me, i kid you not. because in my province, for as long as you can still shout “hi!” to the neighbor living on the opposite side and that neighbor can shout back at you and you have that as a form of communication, that is a river. otherwise, it’s a sea.
and man, you should’ve seen the waves!
if i’m going to be negative about the whole experience, i’d probably start ranting about the murky brown waters, the poor shanties and the impoverished condition of the people living by the river. but truth be told, i kind of enjoyed the boat ride. because it gave me time to think and feel of how it must be like to live in thailand and be living in a place like that. that was the other side of bangkok. i’m glad i got to see both sides ‘coz it made me appreciate the place more.
basically, the boat driver took us to see the route of the floating market — a unique commercial activity we would’ve experienced firsthand had we extended our stay for a day. it was a pretty long route. they say that the river is just overflowing with buyers and sellers all on their boats during weekends. and did i say already that their river is more like a sea? so a good stretch of the river would be just swamped! (gawd, why did we have to miss it? it’s making me kind of sad now.)
stopped to feed bread chunks to the catfish in the area too. chao phraya river has lots and lots and lots of them. all waiting for the 10 baht bread that you feed them which is sold by an old man who tells you it’s for good luck. i didn’t care about luck brought about by feeding the river’s catfish anymore. it was a good diversion from the long stretches of seeing nothing but houses along the riverbanks.
as a lousy consolation, we did find a vendor selling her goods on a boat. but apart from the fact that we were not interested in her products, that was that.
and this is what we saw at the end of the boat ride — one of the temples that guy told us we would see along the river cruise. well, we saw it all right. we saw it blur by! and we didn’t even have the slightest idea what temple it was! lol.
but i can’t complain. because a part of me did enjoy that experience.