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I apologize for my unplanned hiatus the past few days… I found myself stranded in Vang Vieng, Laos with the worst internet connections I have ever encountered, when I could find them at all. So I tried to simply relax and enjoy being unplugged for a while. Now back to our regularly scheduled programming…

As many of you know I went home for the month of March for various reasons, many of which you’ll be reading about in the upcoming week. But before I could jet back to New York I had to stop over in Bangkok to buy a few souvenirs and more importantly add some pages to my well-worn passport at the US Embassy.

Rikka Inn, Bangkok

I used the brief trip as an excuse to splurge on a decent hotel. I booked myself into the Rikka Inn on Khao San Road for the sole reason that they have an amazing rooftop pool… but isn’t the room cute, as well?

Thai Food

I also made sure to enjoy my last taste for a month of the Thai food I have grown to love. Of course, Thai food is readily available in New York City but it’s hard to go from paying the equivalent of $3 for a delicious massaman curry to more than five times that for a stateside version.

Massaman Thai Curry

The uncontested highlight of my trip, however, was completely unexpected. It started as I walked away from Khao San road trying to find a cab that would take me to the US Embassy on the meter (not an easy task on Khao San, where the drivers would rather get a fresh-off-the-plane traveler to pay an inflated fixed rate!). As soon as someone stopped for me I stepped in and immediately started my usual hard-line demand for the meter but quickly tapered off when I looked around me and realized…

Bangkok Cab

I was in Thailand’s version of the Cash Cab! Well okay, there weren’t any hidden cameras and I wasn’t on a game show. But this seems pretty deserving of the title, don’t you think?

Bangkok Cash Cab

I was absolutely mesmerized and kicked myself for not carrying my big Canon DSLR that day. All these photos are taken with my dinky point and shoot, what a shame!

Bangkok Cash Cab
The driver told me all the different currencies came from his passengers- who clearly come from all over the world. This cab is a testament to the global city that Bangkok has become! I fished around in my wallet and managed to find a US penny which I handed over. Delighted, he grabbed some scissors and tape from the glove compartment and added the new coin to his collection on the dashboard.

Bangkok Cash Cab

I asked the driver if anyone ever tried to grab a fistful of notes and run- I was kind of serious but he responded with a hearty laugh and a shaken head.

Bangkok Cash Cab

I’ve been trying to get better at taking pictures of people so even though I didn’t have my big camera with me before getting out I shyly asked the driver if I could take his photo. What a character!

Bangkok Cash Cab

I’ve been back in Bangkok again twice since this and I always seem to keep an eye out for my cash cab…

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24 Comments...
  • Olivia
    May 4 2012

    How fun!

  • Vicky
    May 4 2012

    Haha that’s awesome! Hope to find that cab when I’m in Thailand!
    Vicky recently posted..Lentil Soup

    • Alex
      May 4 2012

      I keep looking for it! But then I also look for the game show Cash Cab every time I’m in NYC, hasn’t happened yet…

  • Kathryn
    May 4 2012

    So did he take you on the meter or is his cab so cool you paid the tourist rate?

    • Alex
      May 4 2012

      Puh-lease, you know I only go on the meter! Nothing can deter me! πŸ™‚

  • steve mckee
    May 4 2012

    If the hotel pool is so “amazing,” why no pic?

    • Alex
      May 4 2012

      I guess I’m a bad blogger… for once I was too busy enjoying to take a photo!

  • steve mckee
    May 4 2012

    anyone else notice the common artistic theme between hotel room and cab interior? Hmmmm…..

  • I love that cab! That’s what I call traveling in style!
    Steph (@ 20 Years Hence) recently posted..East or West, which is best?

  • Steffi
    May 4 2012

    Alex! I was thinking the same exact thing… ‘if anyone has ever tried to grab a fistful of cash off the ceiling and run!’ haha, is this our NYC mentality?! oh, silly americans….

    • Alex
      May 4 2012

      Yeah he really did not seem to take the gravity of my questions seriously. Us New Yorkers and our life of crime…

  • Betsy
    May 4 2012

    I love this post, Alex!

    I, too, was looking for a picture of the pool!

    Betsy

    • Alex
      May 4 2012

      Thanks Betsy! Sorry about the missing pool photos, I guess I will have to stay there again πŸ™‚

  • Coolest cab ever!!!!!!

  • Andrea
    May 4 2012

    Wow, what a cool idea! He seems like he enjoys his job too, which separates him from most other cab drivers around the world πŸ™‚
    Andrea recently posted..The 6 Best Things About the Real Portlandia

    • Alex
      May 4 2012

      Yes he certainly took a fun approach to it! He seemed actually amused by how amazed I was by the whole thing, which I thought was kind of a hilarious attitude to have.

  • Globetrottergirls
    May 5 2012

    What an awesome cab!! Thought Bangkok only had grumpy cab drivers but he seems to be an exception πŸ˜‰
    Globetrottergirls recently posted..Polaroid of the week: The most famous man in Melaka, Malaysia

    • Alex
      May 6 2012

      There are a few nice ones I’ve encountered over the years πŸ™‚ Usually the ones that are not near Khao San Road!

  • Dad
    May 5 2012

    This is a great story. Love it! …..and I knew you got the meter rate….you are a grinder

    • Alex
      May 6 2012

      My favorite nickname… “The Grinder”

  • Edna
    May 6 2012

    That’s awesome! I love little things like this that really brighten up your day.
    Edna recently posted..Foreign Elections: An expat’s first-hand lesson in politics

    • Alex
      May 6 2012

      Yes, it’s really these little moments, completely unplanned and unexpected, that make travel so amazing…

  • Idun
    May 7 2012

    That’s so cool! I’ve seen a hostel reception decorated like that, but not a cab..great idea!
    Idun recently posted..Isle of Iona

    • Alex
      May 7 2012

      I would love to see that hostel! Do you remember where it was?

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