My first stop in Asia and the beginning of our trip began in Bangkok, Thailand. Although I had heard that the city could be overwhelming, crowded and dirty my experience of Bangkok was none of these things. Overwhelming? Ok I lie, maybe this part of the warning had been slightly true but it was nothing compared to other places as we continued the trip.
From Suvarnabhumi airport we grabbed the sky train into Bangkok city which cost maybe £1 to get straight into the city. We then grabbed a taxi from the train station and headed to our hostel. Expecting chaos and difficulties I was pleasantly surprised by how the journey went. Our hostel, Samsen 360 was down a little side street of a another side street which made things confusing but we found it and crashed out on their sofas in the lobby whilst we waited for our room to be ready. Our friend Becca, who travelled from Malaysia met us about 45 minutes later and we were then able to go into our rooms and have a quick nap. Samsen 360 was the perfect hostel to start our trip in Bangkok. Whilst it was around a 10 minute walk to Khao San Road and the backpackers district it was also quiet and not too crazy which helped the jet lag considerably. We headed out for some lunch and experienced the more of Bangkok. In the backpacker district on Samsen road there are hundreds of street stalls selling everything from mango juices to roasted scorpions. The smells were amazing if not overwhelming. We also took advantage of the super cheap prices and bought a LOT for the first day. I think Bangkok was one of the cheapest places I went to and therefore in hindsight I wish I had bought even more whilst I was there.
We went for a walk around the other nearby areas including the parliament buildings, got lost and then headed back to the hostel for the evening.
The next day we did a lot of the tourist attractions. We visited the King's Palace which was crowded but beautiful, went on a river boat ride around the suburbs of Bangkok which allowed us to have a look at what it was really like to live in the city and visited other monuments and shrines. We did all this self-guided but by the end of the day we were happy with what we had gotten to see. I'm glad we didn't choose to spend an extra day there as planned as I think we would have run out of things to do and with such a jam packed schedule we would have been restless to move on.
That evening with some others from our hostel we headed to Khao San road. There I realised that my year in America had made me a slight light weight and that one Thai bucket got me very drunk. We started off in this cute bar on the strip where we sat upstairs cross legged on the floor playing 4 connect, and we ended dancing on the street watching a man dressed like Jesus dance on the tables. The vibe on Khao San road is so fun and I would recommend spending a night there for the experience. There's shopping to be done as well as loads of street food and drinking, just be careful of your buckets although I never had a problem.
The next morning we slowly woke up and packed ready to move onto our next destination Hua Hin. After a Tuk Tuk driver told us we wouldn't be able to board a train on the day without a pre-booked ticket we chose to ignore him and got him to take us to the train station. Of course like we predicted, it was no problem getting a ticket on the day although we were in 2nd class. This meant we had a fan carriage and were sitting predominantly with the locals. It was hot and sweaty but definitely an experience! As well as being cheap!
Next post will be about Hua Hin and the Wildlife Friends Foundation that we visited whilst were there!