A city full of Toyotas

Day 2 in Bangkok

One strong advice for those who want to venture out from the hotel room in Bangkok – make sure you keep the address of the hotel written in Thai. You will never know that will come in handy when talking to a taxi driver.

We learned the hard way though. It is not easy to get the taxi to drive us back to the correct hotel especially if the driver does not know how to speak English. We had the full address of the hotel and still the driver had a hard time understanding the location. He could not speak English and the only English that he can speak is “I no no English”. Luckily my colleague had the sound mind of taking the name card of the hotel (which was written in Thai and had a location map on the map). We were saved!

* Driving back to the hotel with a very confused taxi driver – luckily a small thought of having the address in Thai saved the day. The number 39 that you see is the taxi charges which by the way only moves when the car moves (unlike in Malaysia where the meter is moving even when the taxi is caught in a traffic).

Our working area was right in the city center, so we had a slow crawl in the traffic from our hotel. Despite that, we were moving in comfort – our taxi was a sparkling new Toyota Altis. Moving in comfort yes but not at ease. The driver was speeding and had some close calls. Changing lane-using indicators was almost non-existence here. Any motorbike that was slowing him down was at a risk of being mown over by him. It was not an isolated case – other drivers (taxi or private) were doing the same too. Perhaps this is the way to move in the heavy and notorious traffic in Bangkok. Every taxi is a Toyotas model ranging from the old Corolla to Camry. I have yet to see any other model for taxi – at times, you only can see Toyotas as the eyes can see.

* We had our lunch at the McDonalds (we had to rush for lunch and fast food was the answer). As we walked back, this statue of an elephant caught my eyes – it stood still in the hustle bustle of the traffic. So calming and so serene.

Walking in the city center is safe – the crowd is there, so do the police and plenty of security guards. The street peddlers were busy too – the sale of the day was roses and heart-shaped toys. Food peddlers were plenty but we did not have the courage (yet) to taste the food.

* Does this look the same to you? It could have been a scene in downtown KL
(Filed under Del.icio.us Tag: Other Trips)

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