Visiting Thailand had been on the top of my bucket list for ages and this summer I finally made it happen. After a month long internship in Bali (which you can read about here) I took the plane to Bangkok and spend a few days there before travelling to Phuket and then Koh Samui. As you already know I really enjoyed my stay on both islands, especially visiting the elephants in Phuket and snorkelling in Koh Samui. And then there was pad thai, do I need to say more? Anyway, I was debating whether I wanted to write a post about Bangkok because if I’m honest, it wasn’t for me. Although I loved the cultural side of it I mainly felt overwhelmed and these feelings were exacerbated by me losing my debit card and struggling not to get ripped of by taxi drivers. I’d also just come from a month of working in Bali and was in need for some peace and quiet so the timing wasn’t ideal. But like I said, there were some parts of my stay that I very much enjoyed and in an attempt not to see things as black or white I will share these with you. Enjoy reading. x
Arriving in Bangkok, I took a taxi to the hostel I was staying at. The journey was certainly interesting, the taxi driver did not speak any English so we communicated through Google Translate which worked surprisingly well – until my trip to Thailand I had never learned to appreciate this feature. So through typing we had a full on conversations about things to do in Bangkok and our families. And we had a bit of a Baby Shark singing session (don’t ask). The first evening in Bangkok, I explored the neighbourhood and had some pad thai and spring rolls. One thing I really liked about Bangkok was the food – there were loads of international as well as Thai restaurants and most of them were fairly cheap. Speaking of food – since leaving Thailand I have been craving green curry. I might have to try and make it some time (or find a good Thai restaurant in London because I’m not sure whether I should trust my cooking skills.) On my first proper day in Bangkok I explored the Grand Palace – the ticket was pretty expensive but certainly worth it, the palace was absolutely stunning. In an attempt to see all of it, I ended up staying for over 2 hours and probably walked around in a circle more than once. The weather did not work in my favour that day and about every half an hour it started chucking it down so me and the others rushed to hide under the roof of one of the buildings. Although the whole experience was really wet, the dark clouds did make for some great photos. Overall, the Grand Palace was very crowded which was a bit annoying but also understandable, given how beautiful it is. Leaving the Grand Palace, I went to visit the ‘Reclining Buddha’ at Wat Pho. The buddha wasn’t only golden but also very large, making it a challenge to even get a photo of the entire statue. By the time I left this temple, it was raining relentlessly and I decided to spend the rest of the afternoon at CentralWorld, a huge shopping centre in the north of Bangkok. There I also finally bought an umbrella.
The next day, I went to the famous Damnoen Saduak floating market which was about an hour away from Bangkok. I had originally planned to see a market in the city but learned that it was only taking place on weekends. The floating market I went to was a really interesting experience although part of it was already closed when I arrived. I didn’t buy anything apart from lunch (paid thai, what else) but spend a lot of time just walking around and getting fascinated by the concept. As visiting the market had taken up most of the day, I didn’t do much else – however, I did explore the Kaoh San Night Market and admittedly, did a bit of shopping there – how can you say no to a beautiful dress under 5 quid? I also had spaghetti (how every exotic) and decided to treat myself to a hot chocolate at Starbucks which is where I noticed I had lost my debit card, yay.
After overpriced taxi rides and losing my card I was pretty much ready for my next travel destination and tempted to spend the day just watched Netflix. But instead I tried to make the most of my last day in Bangkok and I am glad I did because it ended up being my favourite day for sure and changed my view of Bangkok for the better. In the morning I walked to Wat Saket, ‘The Golden Mount Temple’. You had to walk up quite a lot of steps to get to the top but despite that this temple turned out to be my favourite – not only was it surrounded by beautiful plants and statues, it also offered stunning views from the top. Another bonus was that it was considerably less crowded than the Grand Palace and I actually stayed up there for a while, just enjoying the scenery in peace. Next, I took a tuk-tuk to the flower market. In hindsight, I wish I would have used tuk-tuks from the beginning, they were much more fun than the taxis and you knew you have to bargain so there wasn’t the surprise of a taxi driver unwilling to turn on the taxi meter. Before I went to the flower market, I had an iced tea at a flower café which was basically any plant and tea lover’s dream. This place is going on my list of the prettiest cafés I have ever been to (living in London, this list is very long already). Visiting the actual flower market was really interesting – the market was located in a factory building and the surrounding formed a stark contrast to the beautiful flowers sold at every stall. If I’ll ever spend more time in Bangkok, I will make sure to actually pick up some flowers from this market. After lunch and a delicious Thai meal with a view of the river, I took the ferry across the water to visit Wat Arun, the Temple of Dawn. This temple was incredibly beautiful and painted in such rich detail. I also loved its architecture – the way it was laid out was incredible and I can only imagine how beautiful the scenery must be during sunrise.
Overall, Bangkok was an overwhelming yet fascinating experience and I know I will miss the stunning temples and the food (especially green curry). Have you ever visited Bangkok? x