Tuesday – Day 7
We got up around 5am to get ready for a day of site seeing. My wife had a few things planned out for the day, since this is her country I am letting her plan everything. After a quick breakfast we leave the hotel around 7am. We find a songtaew driver willing to hire out for the day for 1000 baht ($33.00). Not too bad really, we don’t pay for gas or anything else, just the $33 for all 3 of us and he will take us anywhere in the city for the whole day.
We had intended to go to the floating market (boats floating down a canal selling fruits, vegetables, etc… but when we got there we saw that it wasn’t open yet. We also thought that it looked a bit touristy and not at all like the real floating markets that they have in Bangkok and other areas so we decided to head out to Nong Nooch botanical garden which was about 45 min away.
Now I have not been to many places like this so I don’t have a lot to compare it to but I was very impressed with the place. It’s 500 baht ($16) per person for the day and the meals were only 50 baht ($1.25) each. The entire grounds is 600 acres (242 hectares) and has 12 different gardens to see and visit plus there is a skywalk so you can get a better view of the area and walk among the tree tops. In addition to this they have an elephant show were they play soccer (football), basketball and do paintings on t-shirts. All of this was well worth the money but they also have a cultural show which features traditional dancing, mauy thai fights and a mock battle of ancient fighters on the battle field. I could have stayed a little longer but after 6 ½ hrs my wife and her mom were ready to go.
I thought that we were going back to the hotel but Thana still wanted to work one more trip in today. We went to the Sanctuary of Truth which I thought was going to be great but turned out to be a big disappointment.
While it is in a nice setting (on the beach) and the temple itself is very ornate and beautiful it is still under construction and after you walk through it there is little else to do. There are other attractions such as speed boat rides, trail riding on quad-runners, horse drawn carriage rides, elephant rides, dinner shows but it is not included in the 500 baht admission. Each activity is an additional fee.
We stayed about an hour and half and then headed out to a restaurant where we had noodles, shrimp and vegetables and stopped at a street vendors to grabbed a banana roti on our way back to the room. Banana roti is a very thin fried pancake with sliced banana and egg in the middle then the pancake is folded over sprinkled with condensed milk and cut into sections. It’s a little bit oily for my taste but delicious none the less.