Like I said in my last blog post, it took us 40 hours to travel from Peru to Bangkok and I arrived very confused, tired, excited and with very swollen ankles from spending 26 hours in the air and not being able to lie flat. Our first 8 hour flight from Lima to LAX was okay but the lights were off the whole time and I started to get cabin fever because I wanted daylight. LAX was bloody freezing. Our 14 hour flight from LAX to Taiwan was fine but no one needs a meal at 11pm American time/2am Peruvian time and the staff were pretty blunt. I did somehow manage 8-9 hours sleep on this flight which was impressive! Our final 4 hour flight from Taiwan to Bangkok was okay but so uncomfortable. I have had a lot of airplane food and watched a lot of films and even done some yoga…
Eventually we arrived at our hostel called Lub D and it’s so nice! Me and my cankles climbed straight into bed and it felt SO GOOD to finally lie down. We stayed in an all girls deluxe dorm so there were 4 rooms of 8 all together with a massive bathroom and lots of mirrors. It was all pretty clean and everyone was nice and friendly – the only thing this hostel lacks is a lift. Walking up 4 flights of stairs is not fun!
Needless to say we didn’t do much on the first day. We eventually made it out for a late lunch and had mixed tapas of quesadillas, calamari and stir fry. At this point, jet lag hit us hard and we needed to nap. To try and cure the jet lag we didn’t allow ourselves to stay asleep and went for a walk to the river and back. We also grabbed some snacks for if we wake up super early.
The next day, I was awake at 6 and Ammun managed to sleep until 10. It made me wish I was able to sleep in late but that’s never been my forté.
After doing some research on the best places for brunch in the city (there are a lot of awesome looking places!) we decided on Crepes and Co. and I had the most amazing breakfast pancake with ham, bacon, egg, cheese and mushrooms (I’m always so hungry that I’ve started eating and kinda enjoying mushrooms since being away).
As we wanted to go to the temples the next day, we headed for MBK which is a humongous shopping centre to get some clothes to cover us up. I did bring some cotton trousers with me but they’re a bit ugly and I wanted a nice skirt or sarong. We spent most of our afternoon there walking in and out of the 2,000 shops and walked out with a sarong for me and baggy trousers for Ammun.
Bangkok has a great collection of rooftop bars so we were desperate to watch the sunset from one. We decided on Zoom Bar which we thought opened at 6 (sunset was at 6.25). We arrived at bang on 6pm ready for a cocktail but were told that we weren’t allowed up to the rooftop bar as we weren’t dressed properly and we hadn’t made a Valentine’s Day reservation so we had to stay on the 38th floor. After a while staring at the expensive cocktail list and trying to find another bar we could get to within minutes, I remembered my sarong and asked if we could go up if I wore that. The woman then explain my rucksack was the issue and let us up dressed as we were (Ammun was already in a nice dress and I was in shorts). I left my bag behind the bar and then we went and joined the couples just as the sun had set. The view was still pretty good and the cocktails were amazing. Ammun had a passion fruit one and I had a sparkling white wine sangria with strawberries, pomegranate and a lychee in it.
On our way back to the hostel, we stopped and got some street food for dinner. Some advice on the Internet will tell you to stay clear of street food and I don’t blame them. It all looks so dodgy and makeshift and not a single bowl will match. However, when you see more locals than tourists eating here and it’s more than half the price of a meal in a restaurant, why would you never try it? The food we had was so good and for 40 baht (about £1.60) I was full!
After another jet lag forced nap, we got ready and headed to Bangkok’s most famous and craziest road: Khao San Road. We had a drink at the hostel first and played a game of uno that was so tense that we made a drunk guy nearly cry. (He came up to us the next morning and told us when he woke up, Google was open on his phone with “what are the rules of uno”). We got a taxi there about 1am with mixed expectations. We knew we weren’t going to have a crazy crazy night as we were so knackered but sadly, Khao San Road had already decided that for us. Instead of a busy, loud street filled with people drinking buckets of sangsom (Thai rum) and towers of Chang (Thai beer), it was like a street filled with bars and people having a nice drink and a few people playing live music. It was nice to see the infamous road but sadly, we left a little bit disappointed. Although I can check one thing off my bucket list: I ate a cricket! Surprisingly, not too bad! Not awful but not nice enough that I was tempted to try a cockroach or tarantula afterwards. We had one drink each and shared a pudding (because she wouldn’t serve us mozzarella sticks) and got to bed around 3am.
We had quite a slow morning the next morning and spent it doing some planning for the next 10 days in Cambodia. We went out for street food again the next day and again, we were very satisfied by our rice, noodles and mystery meat.
After a big faff with a tuk tuk driver and then a crowded taxi boat we arrived at one of the biggest attractions in Bangkok: Wat Phra Kaew and the grand temple. On this particular visit, we weren’t able to see the grand temple as the country is currently in a year of mourning for their late King who died in October 2016. There were a lot of people dressed in black queueing for something so I’m assuming they were going to pay their respects. As we arrived so late in the day, the emerald Buddha was also shut before we got round to it so it was quite an expensive ticket for what we saw but what we did see was incredible. Every single building and statue was covered in jewels or little mirrors that reflected the sun and every where you look, you see the most amazing architecture with such intricate decorations. Obviously I took a lot of photos but I was taking them knowing that a photo will never do this beautiful place justice. I wish we could have spent more time here because it is insane.
At 4.30, it all closed so we walked down the road to Wat Pho where the famous reclining Buddha is situated. After dodging all the many Thai people dressed in black but taking smiley group photos, we arrived at the temple and saw another one of Bangkok’s most famous sights. The only issue was, it was so hard to photograph because it’s so big!!
One Thai girl had a better idea than photographing the Buddha and wanted a selfie with me instead! Ammun then jumped on the bandwagon and the two of us got a selfie with her too.
We wandered around the complex but there wasn’t much going on and quite a few things were closed so we got some sunset snaps and left.
Another place that was high on my priority list was China Town. We got a tuk tuk there which at one point turned into a party tuk tuk with disco lights and everything! All the way down every street was Chinese street food and Ammun and I were in heaven. There was rice, noodles and most importantly: duck pancakes! We got one box to share with the intention of getting some noodles or something to go with it but they were so good we had to go back for a second box!
Bangkok has been good but I’ve left feeling a bit unsure on how I feel about it. Lonely Planet says in their book that he first time you go to Bangkok you hate it but he second time you love it. I didn’t hate it but I can imagine it would be better if I ever returned.
The next day we got an 8 hour bus to Cambodia where I am currently sat by a pool with old school bangers playing on the speakers. Life is good. (Apart from the 14+ mosquito bites on my legs!)