Posted by: Larzizou | September 24, 2008

Bangkok, Thailand

Technically, it is the second time I am in Bangkok. I stopped-over on my way to Paris two weeks ago, stayed at the infamous Federal Hotel, in Sukhumvit. Clueless, I thought all these ladies trying to stop me at every street corner were attracted to my wonderful self. I was flattered.

This time, I stay at the non less famous backpacker area – Khao San Road – and am brought back to reality. As I settle in my room, the rules of the ill-named Khao San Palace Hotel take my attention.

As you can read, among other things, “no persons with infectious diseases are allowed to stay”, “do not bring prostitutes in the hotel” and “guests are requested to conduct themselves in a responsible manner at all time”. Could these tree overlap ?

Khao San Road, filled with suckers foreigners.

Very strong cocktails ! We do not check id card ! And we rape little animals !

View of the city, on a bright humid day, from my – shabby – hotel rooftop.

After a few runs back and forth, to dress appropriately, at Wat Phra Kaew.

School boys and girls. Order reigns.

Truly magnificent, if you like gold and fresh paint…

… and mozaic…

… and Thai art.

Constant renovations.

I challenge this guy to a duel but he did not move. Coward.

The shadow of love.

Remouz, the great. My brother, in flesh. I did not return alone from Paris, and took him with me for two months of intense traveling. How lucky he is a) to have such a dedicated brother and b) to travel at such a young age. At least, that’s what I’m convinced of.

The oddest creatures find place in Buddhist enclosures.

Solid gold.

Golden or gilded ?

People hovering around are a pain. For picture purposes.

Praying Buddha or Pepsi Cola.

Inside the Royal Chaptel of the Emerald Buddha, photos prohibited. However, what did you expect from a daredevil such as me ? This is my best shot. It has been hard though, guards where checking badly.

The traditional orange toga.

The tale of two brothers. Don’t you know we’re locos ?

Remouz is at time playful, at time stupid. Right now, he is being playful.

True bravour.

Now, the Grand Palace, to which we only have partial access.

Never seen such a sculpture. Have you ?

Buckingham Palace style, he did not move an inch.

The Grand Palace is… grand.

The guards make sure no criminal mind puts his fantasies to fruition. With arms.

Street stalls, food and stuffs are a big part of Bangkok culture. Jasmine has to be one of my favorite smells.

Similar to Origami, but different. I never understood this whole “same same but different” thing. If someone deign explaining me.

Pinky dragonfruits. Rather bland to me. Left, longanes (in French). Delicious.

I did not dare trying.

Mangostinos – love them. Right, sort of hairy lychees. Not so much.

The river.

Pink egs. Why not ?

Wat Pho, a 46m long Buddha, 13 m high. And impossible to find a decent angle to shoot him.

More orange togas.

A tuk tuk. To me, it is a rickshaw, as I used them first in India and this is how they are called there. Pollution makes riding a tuk tuk unbearable in Bangkok. The cheapness of taxis makes it a nonsense.

Sneakers will always be sneakers. At MBK, a big modern shopping mall specialized in selling fakes…

… and inexpensive food.  Our favorite place with Remouz. For 280 bahts (roughly 10 USD), all you can eat shabu shabu at Shabushi, for 1h15. Then, a charge of 20 bahts per 15 minutes. Well worth it. We went there once, twice, three times… but that was enough. The two of us ate probably more than 130 plates.

The quintessential Thai dish – Phad Thai. For close to 30 bahts in Khao San Road.

Scratched dog, a club that caters mostly for locals. I land there thanks to Itthi, a Thai who has lived in exile for years, but has been back for work recently. Certainly a good place to have fun.

Pouting.

Itthi and I. Who is who ?

Post clubbing experience. At 6h30am, in Khao San Road, I join a group of – mostly local – people, singing Thai and international songs. The player performs on a four-stringed guitar, quite a feat. After 15 minutes, we run out of new songs, so we keep on repeating Knocking of Heaven’s Door, We are the champions, and other stuffs. I reach my bed at 9am.

Itthi and a bunny friend of him.

Food to some, insects to many. I walked past the same place half an hour later on only to see a “Photo 10 bahts” signs topping the stall. Thais learn fast.

DJ as trendy as can be at Route 66, a hip hop venue in RCA.

Two British girls drunk on Evian in Bangkok.

Be an a**hole – and proud of it ! That’s what the local police teaches you.

Bangkok culture regarding gender and sexual identity is rather complicated. Many transvestites, operated ladyboys and other transgender people. Gay – but not pornographic – DVDs below – Right By Me and Silom Soi 2. Silom is the Redlight district. A Soi is a small street.

Cross-cultural experience at the movie theater. As unstable as the politics of the country may be (the government changes as the wind),   the king is widely revered, without contest. Before any movie starts, there is short music clip glorifying the King, showing him shaking hands, walking in the forest and staring at the sky with inspiration, meanwhile, everybody in the theater – including I – is standing up. Interesting communion, as the country is torn by partisan struggles.

Bottle service in a club in Bangkok can be quite different from what we are used to. in Europe  Missing room, the bottle is set behind the bar counter. And the Redbull is, to say the least, special. Hard to sleep for hours after having drunk some. Thank g.od – and me – I do not drink that much.

Ricardo, a Spanish dude, left with the hat. Then, it’s Claire, a long lost college friend. For a short time, I had a not-so-secret crush on her, but she always seemed to have a boyfriend. Cannot blame her – she was young and clueless. She now works in Singapore, came for the weekend to Bangkok.

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