I cannot believe we fell for this.
I had chuckled at every fellow who told us yesterday and the day before that the Jim Thompson house was closed.. the Wat Po was closed, blah blah blah, knowing it was the first step in dragging you off somewhere you didn't want to be!
All Bangkok regulars know the rest of this story, and I did, too, until today, when I sincerely thought the uniformed, badged, hatted " guard" at one gate and the two "official looking tour guides" at the other all told us and other tourists that they were sorry but this morning and tomorrow morning are "Buddha" days..holidays, and the Grand Palace was only open after 1 pm. We even peered inside from a distance and we did not see much movement around there.
So, believing them, we take on a plan B: to continue seeing a few Wats and then come back at 1-2 pm.
So, a tuk tuk, with the help of the "tour guide", figure out a good route . The tuk tuk driver offered us for a pittance, 30 THB, to take us to three Wats.( In the end he only took us to two). Once we were in the vehicle, then he insisted we go to see a couple shops "for him, please" they give him "gasoline vouchers"..
I then realized the scam but figured OK.. OK. poor guy.
Well.. in between he did take us to one WAT, ( the marble way) then a few MORE shops , while the whole time we were not believing this and starting to get angry, but still feeling so sorry for him even having to do this to get money.
We kept telling him "no more shopping"..but he kept pleading.."just two more.. very quick. very quick". We did get to the second Wat also.. the Golden Mount. My husband kept saying "this is a "secuestro". (kidnapping)
I said "be glad we aren't on our way to the Cambodian border in some shared van where they take you to the wrong town where yo have to get yet another one!"
Our son then realized why I had insisted on flying. (He had wanted to do the adventuresome route but is stuck with us.. so has to go conventionally!)
We could have just abandoned the tuk tuk and paid him part of his fee but our son was actually enjoying the hair-raising ride along numerous streets and bordering a nice canal or two.
To make a V-E-R-Y long story short.. we ended up seeing SEVEN disgusting shops but finally made it back to the Grand Palace in time for an English tour and had a good laugh with some of the other tourists whom we kept running into all day at the shops' parking lots.
Even so, it has been a fun day! Always lots of stories to tell..
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I cannot believe we fell for this.