The trip of a lifetime begins…
After an exhausting 14 hour journey, functioning on very minimal amounts of sleep, we have arrived in Thailand’s capital, Bangkok! I must admit, my first impression of the city was slightly tarnished by my hangry state, but in some ways Bangkok was both everything I thought it would be whilst being not what I expected at all. There seemed to be a great buzz in the area, but I wasn’t a fan of the crazy amounts of traffic and quite pushy taxi and tuk-tuk drivers. Nevertheless, during our 3 days in Bangkok, we managed to pack quite a lot of exploring in!
Things To Do (and see!)
1. Khao San Road
When talking to fellow travellers about Khao San Road, we’ve noticed a Marmite reaction – people seem to either love it or hate it (we loved it!). This bustling place, with tons of stalls selling cheap food, clothing and souvenirs, was by far the highlight of our time in Bangkok.
We nibbled our way across Khao San Road, trying some vegetable Pad Thai for 30 Baht and incredible coconut ice cream served in a carved-out coconut (50 Baht).
If you’re a bit braver than I am, try some of the fried insects or scorpions – it’s on my to do list, but I am still building up the courage!
2. The Grand Palace and surrounding temples
The Grand Palace and the nearby temples (such as the Temple of the Emerald Buddha) are a must-see for anyone visiting Bangkok. The buildings are stunning, both inside and out, whilst intricate paintings adorn many of the walkways. Entrance into the Grand Palace is slightly more expensive than we had expected (500 Baht = roughly £16.70 each), but it was nice to tick this one off the list. Try to visit early in the day when it is cooler and less humid – we went at around lunchtime and the mix of huge crowds and sticky heat did not bode well for us or our sweating.
3. Wat Pho and the Reclining Buddha
Although we didn’t manage to make it to Wat Pho during our initial 3 days in Bangkok, we will be returning in a few months and it will be our first stop. The huge reclining Buddha is covered in gold leaf and is fifteen metres tall and forty-six metres long – good luck fitting that into a photograph! I have heard great reviews about the Reclining Buddha from other travellers, but I’ll let you know once I’ve seen it for myself!
One aspect of Bangkok that I really loved was the variety of cheap, delicious Thai food (and some Western food too!). Here are some restaurants/cafes that I enjoyed:
We stumbled across Patonggo Cafe whilst we were on our way to the Grand Palace and even early in the morning at 9am, the cafe was full to the brim with locals and tourists. I would recommend trying the signature Patonggo dish (a deep-fat fried dough, similar to a churro, which could be paired with sweet or savoury toppings). We had the strawberry Patonggo which was to die for and definitely gave us some energy before our walk to the Grand Palace.
2. Baan Thatien Cafe
As our days revolve around when/where we can eat, we made sure to factor in a pit stop after our visit to the Grand Palace and Baan Thatien was our choice of location. I was most excited about the prospect of a decent cappuccino (something I couldn’t seem to find beforehand) but I was soon even happier with the food itself. Freddie had Pad Thai and I had the red chicken curry. Our lunch was reasonably priced and very tasty!
Bangkok was unlike anywhere I had ever been before and although I enjoyed the surrounding attractions and the incredible food, I left Bangkok feeling exhausted from the noise, traffic and pollution. It’s all a matter of personal preference, but I am looking forward to moving on to a slightly more chilled out place!
For more posts on Thailand, click here.