Ended up staying another few nights Chiang Mai because flights to Bangkok were cheaper on a Monday. Meant we had a couple more nights with our pal Boyd, didn’t do a whole lot with our time but we did visit a few more markets and even ate a grasshopper! After an emotional farewell to Boyd we were ready to see what the capital had to offer!
First impressions of Bangkok, there’s a lot of cars and traffic moves very slowly. Our hostel was a bit outside of the main touristy area and we’ve had to go for bunkbeds in a shared dorm, money’s tight you know! Location wise it was pretty out of it so we hopped on a bus to see what we could find. Two buses and a whole lot of traffic lights later we managed to find China town. Like China it was busy, colourful and had lots of food, we stopped for a street side tea before trying to navigate our way back. Had an absolute mare trying to get home, every bus conductor wanted to know the exact location that we were going and if it looked like it would be further than a five minute walk from their bus route they told us to get off and change buses. It took us 2 hours and 4 buses to get home and I swear I saw the first one we got go right past our street!
This was also the day that we stayed up in the hostel reception unill 4am to stream England vs Iceland on a 10 inch tablet but I think the less said about that the better. At least we didn’t waste taxi fare to town.
Day 2 in Bangkok saw us brave the buses again, this time to go shopping! The malls here are crazy, the first one we went in had a stream and trees in the lobby, it also had price tags higher than our entire traveling budget. Next up we went into the Siam discovery mall, a very quirky place with designs a little too abstract for me and Rod. It did have a rather funky exhibition though, you could put your name into a computer and then in the next room there were hundreds of TVs which showed your social media presence using Instagram, it was pretty cool to see everything I’d taken pictures of flashing across the room. Not sure what the point of it was but I liked it!
We hit the budget mall after that, the sort of place where all prices are negotiable, that’s our sort of shopping! We didn’t actually find anything that we wanted but we did find a cinema with English films, Now you see me 2 was on, job done!
We finished the day rubbing shoulders with the locals grabbing street food from one of the many vendors at the end of our street. Definitely the best thing about being away from the tourist traps, we both had a huge super tasty tea and we had change from a quid! Maybe Bangkok isn’t so bad after all.
Fully fed up with buses by day 3 led to the discovery of the water bus! Just 5 minutes from our hotel was the river and on the river are regular boats to all the best spots in Bangkok! Think the boats are just as crazy as the buses, you literally have 2 seconds to get on and off before they speed away but at least there’s no traffic! We rode to the Grand palace but bottled going in when we realised it was £20, we did get a nice photo from outside though!
After that we went to Khoa San road the hub of all things touristy to try and hire a couple of bikes. Already ready for a break from Bangkok and inspired by the lycra donning cyclists on our motorbike road trip, we (mainly me though) decided we would do our own cycling adventure! Our rough route will take us out of Bangkok on a 350km loop through Kanchanburi, Suphon Buri and Ayutthaya so decent gear is required! Failing to find anything decent we settled for a couple of mountain bikes with the brakes back to front. Spent the rest of the day trying to find some biking shorts which we finally located in an old sack in the final shop, picked ourselves up a bike pump and we’re good to go!