Day 5 – I was supposed to check out from Moradok Thai Guesthouse in the morning. It is a good habit to do all the packing the night before if you are moving out in the morning. You may not anticipate accident ;-)
Instead of taking the 9.30am train, I decided to take the 10.28 train heading to Bangkok. Moradok Thai serves the same set of breakfast; toast, eggs, fruits and coffee/tea. I am not sure of others, but it was enough for me. Initially I requested a tuk tuk from the guesthouse (obviously I do not think I could carry my heavy bag and walk) to the railway station. However, Gina (the owner) was nice enough to give me a free lift to the station. There were a few new guests having breakfast as well. They have just come from Bangkok and heading to the north, just like others.
Arriving at the station gave me a better view of the whole situation since I arrived in the evening a few days before. The station police was very helpful of showing me the counter. The announcement and signs at the station were all in Thai’s which worried me a bit. The same station policeman was kind to alert and show me the platform of the train I am about to board.
It was a third class train coach which had come from the north and there were already passengers on board. Lucky for me, I found a seat near to the train door. Oooppsss!! I have forgotten to mention this - throughout my journey I feel so ignored; mainly because I look like the Thais. On the train, there were many people staring at me and a few did try to talk to me. Unfortunately since I am not Thai, I have no clue what they were trying to say. LOL..!!!
Anyway, I feel extremely pleased to be able to see with my own eyes people selling food and drinks on train – just as seen on TV. Highlight of the day was me buying a traditional food (which I have no clue the name of the food. I did try to ask the seller, but he could not understand). It was a pancake sandwich style stuffed with grated coconut, raisins and sugar (see picture). Another thing I saw, which made me smile was when I saw a fruit (type of berries, I think) which I used to eat when I was a little kid. Back in my dad’s kampong house when I was small, there was pokok buah cermai, grown on the house area. The berry looking fruit was extremely sour tasted – but I remember always picking them from the tree and eat them happily. Seeing the fruit in the selling basket brings back all those sweet memory.
I immediately head to the ticketing counter to get myself a train ticket to Arayanprathet for the next day. However, it was not possible for me to get an advance ticket. My worry was not being able to get a ticket for a very early train (it is scheduled at 5.55am). The hotel I booked in Bangkok is supposed to be nearby the Hua Lamphong railway station, according to internet review. I am so thankful now that I did not try to walk and find the hotel. Instead, I decided to get a tuk tuk to reach to the place. It was right decision – it was an almost 20 minutes tuk tuk ride.
This short Bangkok stay brings me to the famous backpacker’s area. When the tuk tuk drove into the area, my sight was filled with foreign tourists. The whole stretch is full with guesthouses, hostels and Inns. This area is great for backpackers, but I am not sure of traveler from Malaysia or Muslim countries would be comfortable staying here. Ninety five (95) percent of the tourist here are from the Westerners.
My room was not ready when I arrived, so I head to a small café nearby to have my lunch. Salad, toast and eggs were my choice since the menu is full with meat-based dishes. After about an hour, I walked back to the hotel – Sawasdee Krungthep Inn. The location of this Inn is a bit end of the stretch, but it is not so quiet or isolated. My room was on the third floor (no elevator) – thanks to my exercise routine before I embarked on this journey I have no issues climbing the stairs.
I have been to Bangkok several times before this trip. Hence, I was not looking forward to any major sightseeing attractions. Next to the check in counter is a travel representative. Ms Ju was nice to explain to me about bus service from Bangkok directly heading to Siem Reap. After some calculation I realized that the cost travelling to Siem Reap as my original plan is more than if I were to take a direct bus. There I decided to purchase the bus service. It leaves Bangkok at 7.30am and expected to arrive in Siem Reap at 5.30pm.
After getting myself refresh, I decided to follow the ‘white’ tourists. I am sure they must be heading somewhere and by observing I realized that since there are so many of them, it would be easier for me to get to somewhere without having to ask (I am still being confused as local =.=”).
To my surprised, after walking about 10 minutes, I am at the intersection leading my way to the famous Khao San Road. This area is heaven for backpackers to do shopping. The road is filled with street’s vendors, selling from t-shirts to durian, from books to hair braiding service, etc. I got my hand drawn with henna – cost me 200 Baht, as a souvenir. While walking I could hear loud music sound – it came from a mini parade by the Tourism Authority of Thailand. Apparently, the Songkran festival is coming in a week’s time. The mini parade was to invite everyone to join many activities around Bangkok during the festival.
The road was long (I think double the length of Petaling Street in Kuala Lumpur). At the end of the road is another stretch full with silver jewelry shops. It is heaven for silver jewelry wholesalers and retailers. If I were to come for shopping, I would just walk into one of the shops and buy something for myself.
Worried that I may have problem finding my way back (it’s getting dark), I walk back the same route which I came before. It was funny to take a short-cut via a shop (named Travellers) from the Khao San road to the road heading to my hotel. You have to climb the stairs from the front and climb down the stairs at the back of the shop. There is even a big sign at the front and back entrance, “This is not the end of the road. It is short cut to the Khao San Rd”.
I took the opportunity to switch on my netbook and check updates on facebook as well as this blog before climbing up to my room. Since I have an early day and a long travel journey the next day, it is an easy decision to get myself into bed early. This hotel also has wake-up call service – at least I can get them to wake me up at 6am, enough time for me to get ready and check out for day 6.
Check out Day 5 pictures here in facebook – Day 5 : Pit Stop in Bangkok