Sunday, 4 August 2013

Thailand: Bangkok

The last place we went on our little adventure around Thailand was Bangkok.

Out of the whole of our trip, this was the place that I'd researched and looked into the least. I have no idea why- I was excited to go to Bangkok, of course- but for some reason, I just didn't think to research it at all.

Fortunately, M had been a bit more organised than me, and with the help of her trusty Lonely Planet Guide (which was our saviour throughout the whole trip. Get a copy of this before you go!), we had a pretty awesome two and a half days there.

We arrived in Bangkok around lunchtime, and decided to be wimps and taxi into the city, rather than trying to get a bus. It took us about 30-40 minutes to get from Don Meung to our hotel, Sabye Bangkok. We loved our hotel- it was tucked away at the bottom of Samsen Soi 6, and felt like the fanciest of the places we stayed. It was also only about a five minute walk from the Khao San Road, which meant it was in a pretty awesome location- we'd definitely recommend this place as a base while you're in Bangkok.

Knowing we only had a little bit of time in Bangkok, we dropped our stuff off and headed straight back out. We found a tuktuk pretty quickly, and zoomed off to the Golden Mount- a man made hill in the centre of Bangkok, which gives you pretty cracking views over the city from the top. Beware though- it can get pretty breezy up there. Which is great if it's a hot, humid day, but less so if you're wearing a flippy dress.

I swear to god, this picture was in no way staged.
We then headed for a mooch around Chinatown, where M bought some beautiful Chinese bowls and we nosed around looking like massive tourists, before heading back to the hotel to clean up before supper.

If you're staying around the Khao San Road area, there are a LOT of places to eat- but I would seriously recommend heading to Samsen Soi 2. Here, there is a "restaurant" which essentially sets up camp in the middle of the road, with a brilliant proprietor who essentially accosts people trying to get them to come and eat at his establishment. Go with it- grab a table, write down what you want to eat (they make you do this), but choose the chicken and cashew nuts, and the morning glory if you're in need of veg. The sweet and sour was also amazing.

The following day, we got up and headed for the Grand Palace- only to be told by numerous Thai people on our way that it was some sort of holy day, and it was all closed to tourists until 1pm. Oh joy. Instead we went for a long wander and went and sat in a park which had enormous iguana type things roaming around, rather than your average gecko. While sat in this park, M and I had a long discussion on our lives, and where we wanted to go- which resulted in me sobbing over the idea of coming back to find life the way it was before. After I'd managed to get over myself, we wandered to Little India before heading back to the Grand Palace- where we decided we were not prepared to pay the 500 baht entry fee and headed to Wat Pho to see the enormous reclining buddha instead.

That evening, we headed back to the hotel and went around the corner to an amazing massage place for foot and shoulder massages, and then fancied ourselves up for an evening at Distil, otherwise known as the Sky Bar, which is featured in The Hangover 2 (apparently). The cocktails here are amazing, and the view over the city lights is just wonderful. Make sure you do dress up if you're going though- we saw a few traveller types being turned away at the lifts, which made us feel pretty fancy.

The party tuktuk we got back from Distil...!
 Our last day in Bangkok was one of the hottest. We walked the 5km from our hotel to the Jim Thompson House learning about silk imports and looking at beautiful Asian antique artifacts before getting a tuktuk back to the Khao San Road and having a big mooch up it- checking out the market stalls and buying "Longchamp" bags. After a little bit of chilling in the hotel room (it was that hot), we headed out for really intense full body massages (there were moments when I genuinely thought she might break my arm/ leg/ spine), before heading back to the great place on Samsen Soi 2 for our last supper in Bangkok.

So there you have it! Our trip to Thailand in three easy posts. Seriously- I can't recommend Thailand enough. While I'm not 100% certain that I'd go back (I'm not the sort of person who goes back to places), it was an amazing amazing trip, and I'd genuinely suggest going.

If you are planning on going, do feel free to give me a shout- I'd love to natter about it more, but I think this post is plenty long enough as it is.

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