After a long but relatively smooth flight, we arrived in Bangkok fairly exhausted and jet lagged, but excited. First item of business, get to the city center. I had mapped out directions, but in typical fashion my phone wasn’t working so we were on our own! Through some serious gesturing with some nice Thai airport workers, we got a handle on the situation.
We took the airport train into the city center and then the BTS above ground subway system to the Chong Nonsi stop, and walked over to the W Hotel. We found out our regular room was upgraded to a suite, (SWOON) and it had the most amazing bathtub I had ever seen.
Two baths and one nap later, we woke up ready to hit the city. First we strolled around in our neighborhood (kinda the finance area) and had lunch at a yummy secret spot called Fueng Nara. After some delectable Thai food, (spicy for me, nonspicy for Jorge!)We started off by taking the subway over to the free ferry to take us to the Asiatique Market. It was clean and tourist centered, but we still loved walking around and seeing everything. We then got foot massages (30 min for about $3 each person) that were to die for, and headed back to the hotel.
Day 2 started with exploring the temples. It was about 100 degrees and excessively humid, and in out of respect for Mr. Buddha, you have to be wearing long pants and a shirt covering your shoulders to enter most temples, especially the Grand Palace. When we finally entered in the main temple, I was happy to sit down among the other tourists, locals and Buddhist monks praying. I stretched my tired legs out in front of me, only to immediately be reprimanded by a stern guard “don’t point legs towards Buddha. Shows disrespect”. Oops! A dumb American tourist error I suppose! I aint mean no disrespect Buddha!
Although I thought I might literally die of heat (this coming from a girl who sweats it out daily at Bikram yoga!) the temples were stunning. After the Grand Palace (and almost getting scammed by annoying tour guides outside the palace lying to us and telling us the palace was closed and we should go with them…we suck and weren’t prepared!), we headed over to the Reclining Buddha, which I actually liked even more. It’s a huge gold Buddha lying down, and it’s just so different from anything I have ever seen.
After sweating out literally my own body weight, we thought it was time to head back to the hotel and enjoy some pool time and a mini nap, which was marvelous after the hot day.
In the evening, we braved Chinatown and some street food (yes, still alive and so is my tummy-for now) which was rather dirty and overwhelming, but I am glad we experienced it. I was surprised that I didn’t see the typical fried bugs and stuff, it was really mostly noodles, rice and fried dishes. There were a lot of locals there and not as many tourists as I had expected.
Day three started off with lunch at a restaurant I had researched called “Tongue Thai”. I had spent some time searching online for the perfect lunch spot, and it certainty paid off. For the equivalent of about $8, Jorge and I shared some kind of fried noodle appetizer, followed by Pad Thai for him and some sort of Spicy lemon ginger chicken for me. Jorge got a coke, and I opted for freshly squeezed watermelon juice, which really hit the spot! Finally, fresh pineapple and watermelon for dessert ended the meal on a great note. The presentation was gorgeous and the waitress was super sweet–this place was an amazing find.
We then headed over to Khao San Road, the famous backpacker street, where Jorge and I used our freshly learned bargaining skills. We ended up getting 4 tank tops for about 8 euros. Not really sure if we got cheated or not, but it seemed a good price and it had started off much higher! We also enjoyed some more 30 min massages (this time only 2 euros each) and tried Thai beer-both Singha and Chang (I prefer Singha…lighter and crisper!). Here I got my wish, I was repeatedly haggled to buy friend scorpions, which I politely declined each time, but not before morbidly staring at the fried creatures.
Bangkok is a huge, dirty, crowded city…but I must say, I kinda loved it! I went with low expectations and ended up really enjoying it. The ferry boat service was super fun and cheap, and we ate amazing food for super cheap as well.
I wouldn’t hesitate to return to Bangkok again, especially if I needed a layover somewhere in Asia. It’s a great destination to visit for a few days.
Stay tuned for Cambodia!