In May 2015, I quit my stable government job and wanted to do something with the time in my hand. Without much planning, I bought myself a one-way ticket to Bangkok. A week after moving across Borneo, I took a plane to Kuala Lumpur and then off to Bangkok Don Muang(DMK) – the old terminal which is now used for budget airlines.
Prior to leaving I did some research on cheaper ways to get to the city which is via bus. However, once I landed and saw the crowd and traffic, my lazy old lady bones immediately took a white cab/taxi to take me to my hostel in Silam/Sathorn area with the agreed price of 700baht. Little did I know I that I could have gotten half the price had I taken the green/pink metered cabs. However, considering the peak traffic jam hour, a fixed price would have been better rather than having a meter running while you’re stuck on the road. Bangkok traffic jams aren’t a mild case either. (Tip: If you want to be comfortable and save a considerable amount of money on the fare, you can consider landing at a non-peak traffic hour.) I landed at 5.30pm and reached at around 7pm at WE Hostel which was located somewhere in Silam/Sathorn area.
The hostel was relatively quiet, with most people minding their own business. You might have to climb a few flights of staircase but if you don’t have arthritis, it should be okay. There are lockers outside the dorms you can use for free as long as you have your own padlock(Tip: ALWAYS take a padlock with you when you travel, just like the universal adapter. You will thank yourself and save the unnecessary cost of last min low quality stuff just ‘cos you want to save money.). The dorms are clean with basic bunk beds and air conditioning, own bedside lamp, own power source and AC. All of these will require your access card to function. The showers are not ensuite, but they have one each for the ladies and the boys on every floor. What I love about this hostel is how easy it is to grab tuk tuk/metered cabs here, right outside the lobby door and how you can easily walk to nice cafes, restaurants and 7Elevens yet the environment was safe and calm enough. They also have a nice rooftop with a bar. Unfortunately when I was there, it was not utilized. I still hung out to enjoy to view up there. Breakfast were not provided but you can always order them. I prefer checking out the nearby cafes(Rocket has an awesome selection of menu, nice vibe and a hot waitress) or just getting something cheap from 7Eleven. There were also Indian Muslim restaurants nearby. That first night I just walked around the area like I always do anywhere new, and got myself a really good Thai massage after dinner at one of the Indian restaurants.
I didn’t have much of a plan when I met this Dutch guy, Sebastiaan, at the hostel who happened to be interested in where I was going. We then took a tuk tuk from the hostel to get to see the Reclining Buddha(Wat Pho). The tuk tuk driver offered us a price which was around 70 baht cheaper then the regular price if we agreed for him to drop us at some garment store for a while so we did. He dropped us five mins into our trip at this expensive tailor made store. We browsed around at left as soon as we could. Good thing the tuk tuk drive kept his promise and he was waiting for us outside and took us straight to Wat Pho. On the way he tried to tell us more about the city but the language barrier made it difficult. I did understand the part where he told us we can get a fake Ray Ban for 100 baht at China Town. China town has its own array of shop and has a lively vibe to it which was interesting to watch.
On the way we also passed through the Flower Market which I was quite interested to see but apparently there wasn’t much to watch. When we finally got to Wat Pho, we immediately paid the entrance fee for 100 baht each which includes a complimentary bottled water. Do take your sweet time in Wat Pho as it is so huge and is filled with beautiful pagodas and even has elementary schools in the compound. I am thrilled about this because the school children are so adorable and I love how the children got the whole area as their learning ground . I tried taking pictures with some of the scout boys but he denied! 😦 We stayed there for about two hours taking pictures and soaking in sweat under the afternoon Thai sun.
There is a massage school near Wat Pho itself but I couldn’t locate it so we decided to ditch it. We were both so tired so we end up taking a metered cab to Bayoke Tower which is a hotel with a mini golf course on top. It was my first time playing mini golf, and must I say that I did quite well. The food and drinks weren’t bad and were affordable.
After Bayoke, we went to one of the larger malls in Bangkok because I needed a new pair of sunglasses. The mall is large and well, pricey but you could get almost everything foreign you might want there. They even had a Ferrari and Ducati on display in the building.
Later in the evening we went to Khao San road because that’s where every backpackers go right? I had a kebab and fruit from some stalls there for dinner. I didn’t really like Khao San as much because apparently it was only filled with drunk backpackers drinking cheap beer at the endless bars. If you don’t like the loud music and is tired of the crazy amount of people, go to the other street next to Khao San. It is probably an extension of Khao San but it was much quieter, had some stalls which were selling used books, lanterns and 100 baht fake Havaiianas(which I wore for the next 1 month) and restaurants which offered a bit more. We later went back to the hostel with a taxi.
Notice how I was always using the taxi? It’s because the metered ones are priced fairly! And they don’t rip you off like tuk tuk drivers tend too with the added benefits of privacy and AC and not having to hold your bag really tight afraid of the snatch thieves.
The post is getting lengthy and I am getting sleepy, so I will continue Day 2 in my next post ‘Bangkok – Part 2’. Stay tuned.
Meanwhile, Listen to White Iverson by Post Malone