Bangkok is my first contact with Asia, it’s the city that received me with a big smile and opened my way to the Asian world.
How to get to Bangkok
We arrived in Bangkok for the second time and found it just as cheerful, warm and colorful. If on the first visit we had more contact with the spiritual life of this mega-city, taking the most of the touristic temples and architectural ensembles absolutely sensationally built, this time the human side asked for the tribute and propelled us directly in the middle of the agitated life of the known neighborhoods
We left behind Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia, where we spent 24 hours of intense time and in less than an hour we were in Thailand. We chose to fly with Air Asia, because they have direct frequent connections and the prices are quite low. Once at Bangkok’s Don Muang Airport, taken mostly by the fun of the next few days, we stood in a queue to get the entry visa into the country, and got us in a mess as big as us. Although we were not for the first time at this airport and should have known the visa procedures, overwhelmed by an enthusiasm that, take my word, did not know where it came from, we planted ourselves where we saw many passengers go. After almost an hour of waiting for us to come to the counter, we saw, as thru fogged air, that those who needed a visa, that were us, had to go to other counters before arriving here. So we got it over and, after an hour and a half, slightly nervous but with passport visas, we started to ask where our luggage would be. They were abandoned on the tape, only two, and they seemed sad at the time we went to claim them 🙂
We changed a small amount of euro in the baht (THB), just how much we needed to pay for a taxi to the city, we bought a SIM card for the Internet, then we went down to the first level of the airport, where the accredited taxis were, recived a receipt and, for a fixed amount of 50 THB, we have come to the heart of Bangkok’s agitation
Of course, there are many ways you can get to Bangkok by air, land, but also by water, depending on the area and the distance you come from. The best long-distance variant is, in my view, Qatar Airways, which has, many times, unremitting offers to Bangkok from anywhere in the world.
Where to stay in Bangkok
In Bangkok you can find accommodation for all tastes, starting at $10 a night but quite doubtful, up to several hundred dollars for 24 hours spent in a resort with many stars and claims. We’ve been oscillating a lot about staying in Khao San Road or Sukhumvit, two effervescent areas in Bangkok, but very different from each other. We chose the Icon Hotel for its nana Street area and the top-floor pool with a spectacular view over the city. The price we paid for 4 nights at this hotel was $ 320, pretty much, but we opted for a top floor room, the same with the pool, and the view left you breathless.
We arrived late at the hotel, so we ended up the night by the pool, accompanied by the discreet music echoing from the speakers and by a few Italian tourists, a little loud for the late hour. After a few minutes of splashing, we abandoned ourselves to a deep sleep, not before making plans (I) and accepting them (him) down for the next day.
What to do in Bangkok
- Visit Chatuchak market
Good morning, Bangkok! If I had been to my first visit to this city, I would have said that we went to discover the wonderful temples that spur the city. This time I structured our stay in Bangkok more for personal needs, my personal ones 🙂
Saturday, clear day, very hot, high humidity. It does not matter, perfect day for going to the weekend market, one of the largest markets in the world, Chatuchak market. You can get there by skytrain or subway, it is quite simple, and both have stations near the market. If you go with skytrain, you have to go down to Mo Chit Station, and if you come by subway you can get to Chatuchak Park or Kamphaeng Phet. We took a tuk-tuk from the hotel because we missed seeing the city from this local way of transportation 🙂
It’s a huge place where tens of thousands of people go out every weekend for various shopping at over 8,000 stalls or just for fun. If you have good negotiating skills, here is where you can abuse them. You can find everything you need, but traditional products, local souvenirs are very popular, which is why we have chosen to dedicate almost a whole day to this place.
Even though our program was pretty well established and I knew many days before we would come to this market, I was totally surprised when, as soon as I got in, Dan was looking for the exit 🙂 I do not exaggerate at all, I had a hard time convincing him that here you find the cheapest and best coconut oils, elephant bags and mango soaps. He succumbed, he had no other choice, and once entered there, the best thing he could do was to go to the labyrinth of stalls to make our market stay as easy as possible. For me, the one that was staring only on the shelves of oils, essences, shoes and handmade handbags, the orientation was as if it was nonexistent.
But what do you do when, because of the fatigue, not all the compasses in the world and the landmarks do not help you go back where you know you’ve found some great slippers with Mickey Mouse, with all the promises to bring me right there, I’ll buy later cause he knows where the store is located and will find it without a doubt? Forget about them! We’ll find others more beautiful, useless to say that now I still have moments when I remember about it.
With all the beauty of this place, I took a dupery here. In my searches among stalls and shelves full of anything, I saw a cream used to relieve muscle aches and I remembered that my mom had begged me to buy a few, because those bought two years ago were great. Said and done. I see some, quite a few, on a shelf, and I think that for how good they are, it was sold very quickly. Still, the picture on the tube looks a little like the one I knew, but the vendor tells me that the producer changed the package, but it’s the same composition. I bought some 20 boxes to reach 1-2 years 🙂 I only found out that there are creams against fleas pinches, so if you have problems of this kind, I have brought some boxes to remember that I was yawning :- )
- Visit Chinatown
It is an energetic place, with many shops, with various products that are sold directly on the sidewalk, but also with places specially designed for the sale of gold jewelery. Here too we arrived with a tuk-tuk, which left us on one of the streets near Chinatown, then we lost for a few hours among the stalls and hundreds of Chinese citizens. Not all the products I’ve seen at the shops there liked me, many are of poor quality, and the purpose we went for in that area was to satisfy our curiosity.
- Go to Khao San Road
Even from home, I wanted to get one night in Bangkok’s famous backpacker’s amusementplace. I had heard and read many stories about this place, so it was on the list of places not to be missed. This is how, after we tired our feet through Chinatown, we took another tuk-tuk to Khao San Road. That was happening around 4 PM, and the area starts vibrating with the darkness.
I did not ask too much for what to do, I let Dan rest his feet on a terrace with a cold beer in front on him, and I went into the first massage salon I found and, at that time, also had free places. I was extremely fortunate because as soon as my massage started, there were about 20 people who filled all the waiting places. It was a good massage that dropped right at the right time.
When I came out, the seemingly quiet street had become now crowded, the silent terraces so far have become very noisy, more colorful lights filling the main street in a mirage that continues to lure you to the most vibrant restaurants. Young people, sellers of everything, starting with insects, snakes, hammocks, elephant pants and silver jewelery, have emerged from everywhere.
We chose a very nice decorated terrace, with the tables placed on the stairs, and there we spent our time until midnight.
- Spend an evening in Nana Plaza
In Bangkok there would be no nightlife without Nana Street 🙂 This area is famous for the sparkling life she offers to men for money. Nana Plaza is full of transsexuals and bars where various sex shows are organized.
Obviously, there are also terraces where you can enjoy a cool drink and watch life as it happens amongst one-night pleasure lovers and beautiful Thai women who are actually men. Not to exaggerate, there are places with beautiful women in the area. We also went out to an ordinary patio, where we hardly found two free places. For several hours we have admired men of different nationalities, younger or older, with or without money, who were accompanied by lady boy, rarely women in the true sense of the word. Here people are natural, as they like to be, and life is spicy, just like the traditional dishes you find at any corner of the street.
In Nana Plaza I took the second Bangkok dupery 🙂 Captured by the tempting smells of the roasters that grazed the grills right under the terrace where we enjoyed a beer, we went down to choose something to eat and my first impulse was to ask if the skewers are chicken. The answer is yes, we bought 2 pieces, very good to taste, aromatic and spicy just as it was supposed to be. It was just the next day Dan told me that in fact I had been eating chicken bunks 🙂 I’m lucky to find out later 🙂
- Go to Asiatique The Riverfront
Asiatique is a complex set on the old docks, on the Chao Phraya River, which attracts as a magnet tourists from Bangkok. You can find here everything you need: restaurants, bars, more expensive shops, but also a kind of bazaar with all sorts of souvenirs. It was my second time here and I knew the entire complex was open at 17 o’clock, and that in just 10 minutes you could get there with a ship that provides free shuttle service from the Central Boat Station to Asiatique between 17 and 23. If it’s clear, you can enjoy a sensational sunset on the Chao Phraya River. That’s why I wanted to come back here again.
Personally, I think Asiatique prices are quite high and the quality of the products is not enough. I ended the river trip with a mango sticky rice, my favorite desert from Southeast Asia.
There is plenty to do and visit in Bangkok, it is a city that you fall in love with at first glance. If you get there for the first time, and you only have a few days left, your priorities will be different. I’ve seen a lot of the tourist attractions in the past years, but I’d love to know how you saw Bangkok and what you liked the most.
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