What a shock Bangkok

Louise and I flew from Chiang Mai to Bangkok early in the morning. This meant we were still sane enough to tackle public transport to reach our hostel. Firstly, we took a bus from the airport to “Mo Chit” stop, which connects to the BTS (sky train). Next, we hopped onto a sky train to reach the closest station to our hostel: Wong wain yai. This took a bit longer but was such a cheap way of getting from the airport.

We arrived at “U-Baan” guest house and we were shown to our room. Shortly after the owner, Joy, encouraged Louise and I to “dress up cute and treat yourselves”. We changed out of what Joy called our pyjamas and headed off on foot towards the main city via a few parks, some temples and ending in China town. This first impression of Bangkok wasn’t great, the streets were dirty, there were loads of rundown shops and buildings, it was also very clear Louise and I were off the usual “tourist” track. I still felt safe as it was still light and the streets were busy but I wouldn’t say it was a pleasant atmosphere. We exhausted our exploring muscles and decided to head back towards our hostel to find food. Due to the lack of street food stalls, I opted for a stall inside a shopping mall but still ended up with a mystery meal as the vendor spoke no English. Whatever I had was lovely, that being said. When we returned to U-Baan we met two boys who we persuaded into coming to the notorious Khoa San road with us, not that they needed much temptation. After playing cards and drinking beers we grabbed a tuk-tuk to Khoa San (30min drive) and began to party. The streets were closed to cars but definitely open for dancing. People from each bar spilled out into the road where most of the dancing took place. We had a very fun night and it ended up being a rather late one!

Day two in Bangkok began around mid-day, after our rather late one the night before. Louise and I walked into the city with our first aim being the Grand Palace. However, apparently so had every other human in Bangkok, the palace was PACKED and charged a large entry fee so Louise and I scoped out what we could explore without paying. Afterwards, we headed onwards to Wat Pho, also known as the reclining Buddha. This on the other hand was stunning, the temple and all it’s grounds were serene, intricate and impressive. The buildings were so detailed but also on such a large scale, it’s tough to imagine how long the construction of temples like these took. Looking at temples is exhausting so next we wanted to head to some green space and see a different side to Bangkok. We got a taxi to Lumphini park where most of the Chinese New Years celebrations were talking place. There were rows and rows of food, craft and fashion stalls. They were all selling impressive collections of goods, surprisingly, a lot of which we’d never seen anything like previously on the trip.
Once it had begun to get dark we grabbed that sky train back to our hostel a nd had a really chilled evening in. Playing cards, chatting with our roommates and just generally
being.

For our third day in Bangkok, we had planned to go to one of Bangkok’s famous floating markets. We first spoke to Joy who highly recommended the Khlong Lat Mayom, a less popular market for tourists bus she insisted it was the best in Bangkok. Louise and I took Joys advice and decided to go to that market. On the way to get some food for breakfast we bumped into our friend, Mark, who also was keen to check out a floating market. So, now, as a team of three we got into a taxi and headed straight for the market. On arrival we were slightly underwhelmed as there was very few stands and not even one of them was floating. We skirted round the few stalls we could see but decided the best way to explore this would be a river taxi or long tail. Mark, Louise and I then took a boat tour of the area (still no more market to be seen). Don’t get me wrong the boat ride was fun and was interesting, especially seeing all the houses that backed onto the canal but we still hadn’t found quite what we’d expected.
Not wanting to be defeated, the three of us decided to go deeper and venture under the EXTREMELY low bridge to see what the other side held. We passed under the bridge and suddenly we were among 100’s of stalls. Selling food of all kind, jewellery, clothing and much more. From this point on our day became a walking food tour with Mark and I wanting to eat everything in sight. It was hard to resist temptation all the time meaning I had rosella juice, pork BBQ skewers, chicken skewers and a pancake like dessert thing. I was all so yummy and also incredibly cheap.

After we had eaten our way through the stalls we decided it was time to call it a day and head back to u-baan. Once we were back, Mark, Louise and I met two other Dutch boys and decided we would go for drinks in the highest open air sky bar in Thailand (and I think possibly Asia). This was surreal we were sipping ice cold beer, on the 47th floor as the sun set over Bangkok. That was a lovely way to end our time in Bangkok with a beautiful view and so great company.

Louise and I had an early flight the next day so opted for sleeping in the airport, so we had to skip going on to the next bar. This meant we could get to airport and settle down for the night before the sky train and busses stopped running.

Bangkok is definitely not my favourite nor is it on my MUST return list however I feel like we lucked out and found some proper gems in the otherwise rather smelly chaotic city.

 

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