We underestimated Bangkok. Avoiding all the scams and distractions turned into a day’s work. We spent the morning trying to get to the Grand Palace; in theory a tuktuk to the ferry stop and a short boat trip. We thought we’d be there in an hour.
Today is Chinese New Year in Thailand and Chinatown was the first barrier between us and the river. This proved to be a worthwhile distraction, with temples and candles and golden Buddhas, mixed with Chinese dragons and street food. Pork with satay sauce and egg & banana pancakes were both hits. The only barrier to taking photos around temples is the wall of Thai’s with selfie-sticks catching themselves making their offering.
Our first tuktuk tuktuked us to the wrong ferry dock. We effortlessly dodged the tout offering us a one-hour river tour and walked off in search of the real ferry dock, apparently 100 yards up the street. A convivial and helpful Thai took us aside and before we knew it he’d planned the days itinerary and booked another tuktuk for us. 40 baht (80 pence) for 2 hours. Bargain. In we jumped, what could we lose? Sure enough temple number one appeared and we were shown-in by the driver. We happened upon another laid-back Thai who explained the place and then back to our ride. Off to The Factory…hold-on, what was this tour? In desperate need of a loo stop we stuck it out until The Factory and then paid our driver off. We’d been smoothly scammed and were further from our goal than ever.
We decided to walk for a bit as that seemed the fastest mode of transport given the reliability of the locals. Fried quail eggs and an ice coffee lifted our spirits enough to begin our journey again.