Studying in Thailand — Episode 4

Since I had a plan to go sightseeing with my friends, I got up early this morning. I’ve been having cereal for breakfast as much as possible, in order to try to save money. I had suggested to my friends Susan and Tina that we go to see some of the sights in Chiangmai. Our dormitory is a little far from the city center, so we had to use what’s called a Red Car. Susan and Tina have been studying Thai language here for a month, so they are used to life in Chiangmai now. I noticed that they were really good at negotiating with the driver about the fare. On the way in the Red Car I asked them about how to use these cars, and they told me that you can usually use them to travel anywhere in Chiangmai city for 20 Baht. But if you talk to them in English, the drivers know right away that you are tourists. Some of them may then take advantage of you and charge you anywhere between 50 and 100 baht. So it’s best to tell them in Thai where you want to go and to ask them how much it will cost. Although I know how to do it now, I think it will take some time for me to be able to do it on my own. After a while we got to Tha Phae Gate, one of the main tourist attractions in Chiang Mai. Susan had bought some bread for breakfast before we set out, but unfortunately she left it in the car. It was because Susan had offered to come with me that I was able to come here. I wouldn’t have done it on my own. I was struck by the size of Tha Phae Gate. It is a very powerful and impressive sight, and attracts a large number of tourists. There were some Thai people selling food to give to the pigeons. They probably aren’t allowed to do this at other tourist sites, such as temples, where I assume it would be considered disrespectful. We wanted to ask someone to take a photo of us, and noticed that there was an old man who eagerly grabbed the camera of some tourists and started taking a lot of photos. I got the impression that he likes to take photos of tourists. He may be a perfectly nice guy, but I couldn’t help feeling put off by the way it was taking him so long to take just a single photo. So I avoided asking him, and instead asked some other tourists to take a photo of us.

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