Around the world travel, Backpacking, Bangkok, Bucket List, Southeast Asia, Temples, Thailand, Travel

Temples and Temples and Ping Pong, Oh My?!

It turns out Friday was a national holiday in Thailand, and the government was promoting tourism, so we managed to get a tuk-tuk to take us around for 3 hours for about the price of $0.25. Imagine what you would pay for a 3-hour cab ride in NYC? We did have to stop off at a couple of tailor shops, as it seemed that’s who was providing the gas coupons to the tuk-tuk drivers. Who knows? That’s what we were told, but hey, we still got a $0.25 tuk tuk ride, whether it was truly a holiday or not. Doh, was our driver and he also rolled in a Thai language lesson into that bargain tuk-tuk drive. We now knew how to say “hello,” “thank you,” “goodbye,” and “good luck” by the end of the ride. Now, there are A LOT of temples in Bangkok, and after a couple, they do all start to look the same, but we wanted to make sure we saw the main ones. After about 3, we opted for a change of scenery. We grabbed some Thai food close to the hostel and began chatting with some people at the next table over (who we’d seen earlier on the temple circuit) who were making their way back to London via Tehran, after spending 8 days in Thailand. We decided to spend the afternoon on a long tail boat on the Chao Phraya River with them.


It was pretty eye-opening to hear their stories from the most recent election in Iran and the protests and violence that accompanied it. And again, it makes me realize that my travels will enable me to cross paths with people from all over the world from all different walks of life, which is what I love most about it all.

After our river cruise, we headed back to the hostel to gather ourselves and debate about the evening plans. For those of you who know Thailand, I can just say the words “ping-pong,” and you’ll know where this is going. For those of you who don’t, here’s some background. Bangkok is known for many things, one of them being sex tourism. Many people come here for this alone. There is one area specifically, Pat Pong Road, which is the equivalent of a “red light” district, where these “ping pong” shows are all the rage. Basically pair a strip show with a talent competition, the act being the most bizarre thing a woman can do with her “you know what”… To keep this PC, I won’t go into too much detail, but we did see ping pong balls being launched (yes, launched) from there, bottle caps being taken off of bottles, darts being launched at inflated balloons, and well, you get the picture. One of the last acts was a lady blowing out all of the candles on a birthday cake (No, I’m not kidding). We decided this was our cue that the party was over, and made a fast exit. And on the way home, I couldn’t help but think that I’ll never look at table tennis in quite the same way again.

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