Arriving in Bangkok after two flights that expanded 14 hours was very much a culture shock for Steve and I. It didn’t get off to the best start on our arrival thanks to the overwhelming heat, lack of sleep, lack of food and a taxi ride to our hostel that lasted an hour and a half. I personally really struggled for that first day, feeling quite ill until I had a nap and some food. Steve fared a lot better than I did!
Luckily, the rest of our time here has been a positive one! The temperature here averages between 35 and 38 degrees, but it’s quite a sticky heat. For us British people,who’s summer temp rarely goes above the 25’s, this was something hard to get used to. We tend to avoid going out in the middle of the day if we can, preferring early morning or late afternoons when the temperature is slightly cooler.
Bangkok attacks your senses in a lot of different ways. It’s busy, crowded, hot, noisy and also quite smelly – thanks to the sewage system here. You can see why they say it’s a culture shock! Bangkok truly becomes alive at night time, when the street vendors are busy and the night markets line the streets – we first haggled at one of the night markets here, which was actually a lot of fun!
So, where did we stay? Steve and I stayed in three hostels during our five days here. Our first and second hostel were both very cool, modern and secure with a great atmosphere. If you ever stay in a hostel in Bangkok, you should stay in Bedstation! They only have dorms in Bedstation, but i personally felt very safe there and the common room was amazing! Our last hostel wasn’t quite the same, but I’ll talk about that another day.
Let’s talk about some of our highlights: haggling prices in markets and taxies is really fun! By far our favourite thing was walking around the walls of the Grand Palace at night. The roads around it were completely closed off (we’re guessing for an event or for cleaning as there were a lot of cleaning and police around) but after talking to the police at the barriers and showing our passports, we were allowed through. Obviously we couldn’t go in the temple, but walking around the empty roads and seeing the place lit up was a pretty spectacular sight!
We didn’t get to go and see many sights, thanks to an unfortunate encounter with a couple of Tuk Tuks (where we were almost scammed. Luckily we listened to our guts and didn’t go in the Tuk Tuk. At first I thought we were overreacting but after googling Tuk Tuk scams we came across a popular scenario that was very similar to ours!) This put a bit of a downer on our time there. Luckily, it was redeemed by an amazing meal at a hidden restaurant!
Steve has some family relatives in Thailand and we were lucky to be taken out for a meal by the lovely Tan. She took us to a restaurant which, from the outside, looked like a bunch of tin shacks. Going inside is a different story – it was like we were suddenly in a rainforest! We were so shocked! Tan and her partner ordered for us, so we got to try some amazing Thai food we never would’ve had if Tan hadn’t had took the lead on ordering our food. It was truly the best end to our few days there!
Although we have some amazing memories, I can’t help but feel a bit on edge in Bangkok and Steve has echoed this thought. We’re catching a train to Phetchaburi soon, which will be fun! We’re working our way down to Phuket, with a few stops for a couple of nights along the way!
Here’s to more adventures!