Spent the morning trying to figure out my tickets again - I called the Emirates office, but there had been no response from Sydney, so they sent the message again and promised to call me when they heard back. Then I spent some time on email until the power for the neighborhood failed. Stacy and I hung out at the Shanti with several other tourist just talking about places (the Peace Corps, Egypt, Thailand, etc). I went by a nearby travel agent to look into flying to Siem Reap (Angkor Wat) in Cambodia with my parents. Tickets are available I just need to check with my parents to make sure I have the dates right. Walked into the city, stopping to turn in a couple rolls of film - including our underwater pictures from our final canyon dive in Dahab, and to make a call home to ask about the Cambodia dates (I was right). Wandered down through the streets stopping for some street food (incredible fried chicked!). Explored the shopping stalls (mostly counterfits) of Khao San Road then realized we were running out of time if we wanted to see any of the wats (temples).
Caught a taxi to Wat Traimit, the "Golden Buddha" It's a smaller complex, but the main attraction is a seven tonn solid gold buddha. The gold had been hidden under stucco to hide it from some invading army in the distant past and it wasn't discovered until 1955 when the buddha was accidentaly dropped while being moved to it's current location - some of the plaster chipped off revealing the golden image underneath. The buddha image is pretty garish, but at the same time does seem to glow with an inner fire. I was more impressed with the prayer machines outside the temple doors. They look like slot machines - you insert a coin and the lights spin, electric incence burns, and your prayers are answered - or something like that.
From Wat Traimit (Chinatown) we walked across town to Siam square. Some of the neighborhoods were a little ragged, but it was a pleasant glimps into one of the more local real of the city. Siam Square was definitely not an authentic experience. We walked in to a huge modern shopping mall (multiple Mc Donald's and every other fast food chain) and saw the new Harrison Ford movie What Lies beneath - I didn't like it. After the moview we found my holly grail - a Starbucks! We tried to figure out a bus home, but couldn't find one that would get us where near the guesthouse, so we ended up taking a taxi.
Back at the lodge one of the staff told me that there was a call from the airlines for me, but she didn't have a message so I'll have to call back in the morning. We sat in the bar area and had a beer while we tried to research where we should go. We've decided we're definitely getting out of Bangkok tomorrow but the question is where. Right now Nkhon Pathom and Kanchanaburi (where the bridge over the River Kwai is) are looking like the plan, but I could wake up with a need to go to the beach.