Here are my initial thoughts of Bangkok although I have only spent a week there, so maybe that’s not enough time to judge it properly, but I’ll do my best.
First impression of Bangkok was on the BTS skytrain, which is super simple to use, cheap and it has air con (which at the time I didn’t realise how much I would long for it) we got to see some nice sights on the train ride into the city. After getting off the train my thoughts were “holy shit, this is hotter than anything I’ve ever experienced” I was a hot sweaty mess, scouting for the nearest building that looked like it may have AirCon. I was also taken back by the sheer amount of traffic.
while we were waiting for our check in time, we went into an Irish bar over the road, called the Drunken leprechaun, and they actually had a Thai Dwarf working there dressed in a green suit… Not sure how I felt about this, he didn’t look too happy, and he had to take peoples orders but then get someone else to pour the drinks.
Our first few nights accommodation were booked using Airbnb so we were in a very nice apartment with a roof top swimming pool which probably again wasn’t the most Bangkok
experience to have, we also happened to be staying in a quite a western area. But anyway it was nice experiencing some Thai night life, the night markets and the ladies of the night, plus Thai food, which is amazing.
The next day we decided to take a canal taxi into the centre, which was super cheap, and very convenient. We almost got scammed a couple of times when we arrived in the centre. You will have Tuk Tuk drivers come up to you and ask how you are, where you are travelling next etc, then they will tell you it’s a public holiday and that for today only you can get super cheap Tuk Tuk. If you decide to go along with it, they will take you round all the sights and then take you to their friends shops. It’s not worth the saving of about 20 pence. Also it may be hot, but you can walk around most of the temples if you want it’s really not too far, and although the Tuk Tuk dudes are trying to scam you, they will still tell you where things are, so you can always try and get some info from them.
The Grand Palace in Bangkok is very nice to look at, however it is quite expensive I think either £10 or £20 (can’t quite remember) and it is so full of other people, that you don’t really get to enjoy it properly. My favourite temples so far were the ones that didn’t cost us any money and they had so few people there! these temples had a really nice atmosphere to them.
Koh San Road was a pretty big let down, I basically only seen western folk, it was over priced and just not very exciting, I could see why it would be fun if you were here to party, but we
My Biggest disappointment by far though was Temple of Dawn, I was so excited about it, we jumped on another river taxi and head up to it, only to find it was covered in scaffolding! It’s
been under construction since february last year, this meant that you were not able to climb to the top of it, which actually made me kind of sad!
I loved the food in Bangkok it was so cheap, and insanely tasty, with a lot of choice too.
Another thing worth checking out, which sounds odd, but the shopping malls are very good here, Terminal 21 (you can get the sky train to it) is quite large, and each floor is based around a different country. Then at the top you have a huge food court, you simply top up the food card, and buy whatever you fancy, so much choice, I highly recommend the coconut Ice cream! it was delicious.
Things to note
- Don’t be afraid of using the water taxi’s they are super cheap (20 Bhat ish), just don’t jump onto the tourist express taxi, which is 150 Bhat each way.
- Find a food market, most dishes will be around 50 Bhat each.
- Use the Sky Train if you want some Air con transport.
- Don’t fool for the Tuk Tuk scams, unless you want to see what happens.
- Go to Temple of Dawn, but be disappointed.
- Go to Wat Intharawihan just north of Koh San Road, it has a cool towering Buddah statue.