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.
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?
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.
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…
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?
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!
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.
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.
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!
I’ve been back in Bangkok again twice since this and I always seem to keep an eye out for my cash cab…
Haha that’s awesome! Hope to find that cab when I’m in Thailand!
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…
So did he take you on the meter or is his cab so cool you paid the tourist rate?
Puh-lease, you know I only go on the meter! Nothing can deter me! 🙂
If the hotel pool is so “amazing,” why no pic?
I guess I’m a bad blogger… for once I was too busy enjoying to take a photo!
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!
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….
Yeah he really did not seem to take the gravity of my questions seriously. Us New Yorkers and our life of crime…
I love this post, Alex!
I, too, was looking for a picture of the pool!
Thanks Betsy! Sorry about the missing pool photos, I guess I will have to stay there again 🙂
Coolest cab ever!!!!!!
Wow, what a cool idea! He seems like he enjoys his job too, which separates him from most other cab drivers around the world 🙂
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.
What an awesome cab!! Thought Bangkok only had grumpy cab drivers but he seems to be an exception 😉
There are a few nice ones I’ve encountered over the years 🙂 Usually the ones that are not near Khao San Road!
This is a great story. Love it! …..and I knew you got the meter rate….you are a grinder
My favorite nickname… “The Grinder”
That’s awesome! I love little things like this that really brighten up your day.
Yes, it’s really these little moments, completely unplanned and unexpected, that make travel so amazing…
That’s so cool! I’ve seen a hostel reception decorated like that, but not a cab..great idea!
I would love to see that hostel! Do you remember where it was?