In Tips , Travel

Travel Journal: Thailand – Third Stop: Bangkok

Travel Journal: Thailand – Third Stop: Bangkok

“My name is Adriana. So what else do you need to know? Stuff about my family, or where I’m from? None of that matters. Not once you cross the ocean and cut yourself loose, looking for something more beautiful, something more exciting and yes, I admit, something more dangerous. So after a night in the hospital interned for poisoning, a couple of hours by ferry from Phi Phi to Krabi, to be marked with stickers on the chest so as not to get lost between our transports, one hour in van with mainly European travelers, one hour and some flight from Krabi airport, without eating anything and just a bottle of cheap water, we finally landed in Bangkok “

📽Extract and modification of Richard’s first lines in the movie “The Beach”.

Bangkok. Massive, noisy, extremely hot, thousands and thousands of lights, hundreds and hundreds of travellers with their backpacks lying, temples and more temples … “miss! Miss”! (when they wanted to sell me something in the street … which was all the time …)

From somewhere in Bangkok

Khao San Road 

Since we stepped on the capital of Thailand everything was (how could I define it?): Unexpected.

Bangkok was our fifth stop after having toured Singapore, Malaysia, Phuket and Phi Phi Island during the months of January and February of 2018.

But first some recommendations you need to know about this city:

👉🏻🇹🇭Bangkok is the capital of Thailand and also the most crowded (by 2016 its approximate population was just over 8 million people).

👉🏻🇹🇭Its population is really cosmopolitan.

👉🏻🇹🇭It was founded as the capital of the country on April 21, 1782. Before it was Ayutthaya.

👉🏻🇹🇭The full ceremonial name of Bangkok is:

“Krungthepmahanakhon Amonrattanakosin Mahintharayutthaya Mahadilokphop Noppharatratchathaniburirom Udomratchaniwetmahasathan Amonphimanawatansathit Sakkathattiyawitsanukamprasit”

Which means “City of angels, the great city, the city of eternal jewel, the impenetrable city of the god Indra, the magnificent capital of the world endowed with nine precious gems, the happy city, which abounds in a colossal Royal Palace that resembles the divine abode where the reincarnated gods reign, a city offered by Indra and built by Vishnukam “

BEST TIME TO TRAVEL:

✈️ The best months to travel to Bangkok between November and March are considered.

COST PER DAY:

💵 ~ ฿ 977 – 818.91 baht ($ 30 – 35USD) for two (depends on activities, accommodation and food).

Getting to Bangkok was not easy. No dude.

We landed after 10 o’clock at night. I remember that the airport was giant, not as giant as the one in Singapore, but big, after all. Getting out of there took us more than an hour …

We were tired, we had practically travelled half the day after having spent one night in the hospital, so a lot of energy didn’t exist at that minute.

Bangkok airport

When leaving the airport, we call an Uber (in Thailand there is already Uber and it is incredibly cheap). When our transport arrived we approached him and at the same time a couple of Germans did the same, but they arrived extremely aggressively and threw us out of the car when we hadn’t even set foot inside him … and at that precise moment it was when everything became “a shit” 🤦🏼‍♀️

As we never knew their names we will call them “the hyperventilate” (her) and “the passive-aggressive”.

Then the scene developed like this:

  • The “passive-aggressive” said that was the car he had called.
  • David argued that it wasn’t like that.
  • “The hyperventilate” began to shout from inside the car in English and German greatly altered throwing us from the place.
  • I was standing without doing anything. In mute.
  • David and “the passive-aggressive” were still discussing who the car was.
  • The Thai driver didn’t understand anything because he didn’t speak English and it was his first outing in Uber 🤦🏼
  • At the same time occurred a traffic jam of those behind us. People began to approach curiously to see that scandal.
  • In that, David shows the cell phone to “the passive-aggressive”, he realizes that was a mistake it. He assumes his mistake and asks David if we can share (all 4) the car.
  • David responds that ‘No’, arguing that they were very aggressive and violent with us.
  • “The hysterical” gets out of the car (not understanding anything) insisting that the car is hers treating us as “fucking people”.
  • That’s when I intervene and she poked me with her finger while pushing me at the same time.

… and dude … literally a big fight.

Insults were everywhere … ‘fuck you’! ‘fuck you’! for here … while with David we took the bags of the Germans from the trunk to put ours and the driver of the car was covering the face of the scare I think (poor thing …)

Running we all got into the car at the same time (the driver, David and I) while the couple was with bags on the floor, in the middle of the street, fighting between them, and us three lifting the middle finger from the window leading us away as victors of a very, very poor fight …

We were all three in shock. The man who didn’t speaks English to the gesture with the hand of ‘are all crazy’ laughing at the same time laughing. And that’s when we all started laughing at the ridiculous and uncomfortable situation of the airport and at the same time, we realized that the driver had no idea how to get to our hostel. David had to teach him how to use the app and we went to our destination.

After almost an hour we reached Khao San Road. The street of the doom of Bangkok. The street made for the tourist (as they say). The street that sleeps very late at the end of the day and gets up very early to start the next.

Khao San Road is a tourist avenue full of people, where the stalls of street food and sales of all kinds predominate. Where many smells, sounds, people and, why not, situations are mixed. We walked for a couple of blocks and they offered us the unexpected during our short, but an intense journey. The softest were worms, beetles and fried cockroaches as appetizers. ‘Delicious! Delicious’! The lady told me when I was astonished in front of her, looking at what I knew they were going to offer me at some point during this trip. Impacted to see it really.

Cheap! Cheap Price! On the other hand, while a guy offered us different shirt designs.

Khao San Road (early in the morning)

Khao San Road

Khao San Road

Finally, we arrive at our hostel in the heart of this main street. Bad idea. Bad selection. Close to everything (good!), but terrible, after all. The hostel we booked through Booking.com wasn’t bad, it was quite comfortable and included a quite abundant breakfast, the fact is that it was so in the heart of everything that the street noise came to disturb our thoughts. In addition, next to this there was a metal music bar where every night for long hours, the band killed a cat while they sang … sorry, the band sang for long hours. Atrocious the noise. Horrible.

We were about a week in Bangkok. I have to say that it was not optimal, but at that time was enough. I think visiting and deciding the number of days depends on the traveller and obviously what he wants to do since this city is quite large and has many things to offer.

The next day we got up when we had already spent the breakfast hours of our accommodation so we had to find where to eat something. We ended up having breakfast at a bar, yes at a bar on Khao San Road. The street was still quite passable and without that nocturnal and noisy conglomeration, but it was a hell of a heat. Wet and disturbing.

Khao San Road

We decided to visit the Grand Palace (Phra Borom Maha Ratcha Wang) which is located within a complex of historical buildings created in 1782 under the reign of Rama I and were part of the royal residence for more than 150 years consecutively. This emblematic set is considered the most important in Bangkok and throughout Thailand.

Grand Palace

👉🏻TIP: It is advisable to go as early as possible to see this place. There are many people lining up at the entrance to visit it. We arrived before they opened the doors and there were already people waiting for quite some time apparently.

Grand Palace

Grand Palace

Grand Palace

Grand Palace

The entrance ticket has a value of ฿ 492 ~ 15 USD which can visit the Emerald Temple, Grand Palace and the gardens of the enclosure.

 Emerald Temple

The Emerald Temple “Wat Phra Sri Rattana Satsadaram” is considered the most important Buddhist temple in the country. Inside it is the Emerald Buddha (Phra Putta Maha Mani Ratana Patimakorn) which is an image much venerated by thai people and meticulously carved in a single block of jade.

This sector is the most visited in Bangkok. It is always full of people and the day we visited was no exception. For those who love photography, I recommend arriving very, very early to be among the first to enter and avoid the fatal conglomeration of tourists that will inevitably arrive.

Grand Palace

Grand Palace

Grand Palace

Personally, I was struck by the crowd of people I had and sometimes I felt like part of cattle, even for several moments I could not move, I had to keep up with the mass of people and don’t talk about trying to make a good photographic shot. It was impossible.

👉🏻TIP:  Remember that this sector is quite important and respectful, so I recommend you go with the right clothes. Women with covered shoulders and no shorts or skirts over the knees. Men, not sweatshirts. Also bring sandals or comfortable shoes to take and put, since each temple must enter barefoot (this advice is valid for all temples in Thailand).

Grand Palace

After knowing this wonder we climbed a tuk-tuk to go to the Big Buddha (Wat Pho) (which is almost next door). This is the Reclining Buddha and is the largest in the country (46 meters long and 15 meters high) and is completely bathed in gold. This place is also one of the most visited in Bangkok.

The ticket to visit Wat Pho has a value of ฿ 98 ~ 3 USD and can be visited between 8 in the morning and 5 in the afternoon.

Wat Pho

Wat Pho

👀: Beware of the tuk-tuk issue. Thailand is full of this type of typical transport, but often the values are incredibly inflated for the tourist, so I recommend not taking the first option (if they want to save money, of course). Try to negotiate what you can most to find a fair price for both. If you want to move in larger distances I recommend Uber. It is incredibly cheap

The following days consisted of touring what we could most of the city. We visited the Wat Arun. This temple is located on the west bank of the Chao Phraya river. To get there, you must cross a river by boat from the Sapphan Taksin pier. The transfer cost will only be ฿ 3 ~ 20 cents (USD). The temple is open every day from 08:30 to 17:30 and the value of the ticket ฿ 100 ~ 3 USD.

Wat Arun

Wat Arun

Wat Arun

Wat Arun

We also visited the Wat Mahathat. This is where the largest collection of Buddhas in the world is concentrated, it is also the seat of the largest monastic order in Thailand and has the Vipassana meditation centre (Meditation Insight), which is considered one of the most important centres for the study of Buddhism and meditation.

Wat Mahathat

Wat Mahathat

Another of the temples we saw in this city was the Wat Benjamabhopit (Wat Benja), also called “The Temple of Marble” since all its external walls are covered with marble imported from Italy.

Other of the temples we visited were:

📿Wat Bowonniwetwihan which is located northeast of Rattanakosin Island. This temple is open to the public from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.

📿Wat Chanasongkram which is near Khao San Road. This temple is open to the public from 6 am to 6 pm.

During one afternoon we were in one of the most important markets of Bangkok, the Rot Fai Market, Srinakarin. It is giant and like everything in Thailand, it is also very full. Here you can find everything, but everything! Clothing, souvenirs, food, drinks, personal accessories, decoration elements of all kinds and vintage things … there are for all options and prices. Beware that bargaining is essential, so you must be fully prepared to make good deals. I left in a certain way satisfied, but I felt that I lack more to go. I was impressed by how big that market is. The truth is quite impressive. Free admission and opening hours are from 5 pm to midnight.

We walked through various sectors of the city. We saw the river that crosses it. We allow ourselves to be enveloped by its environment, we live the kindness of its people, we observe the madness of other travellers and we allow ourselves to be impressed until our heart almost went out. I even tattooed an aeroplane on my wrist which was what inspired the name of this page and the desire to tell these stories that I share now with you.

It was definitely an experience.

I would go back a thousand times! 🤩

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