The Hotel, and our first day in Bangkok
Arriving at the Sivatel Hotel on the very efficient skytrain was fun even with our packs, we were so glad we had brought only 30L backpacks. I’ll probably discuss the pros and cons of packing light later in our journey.
Sivatel Hotel was incredible. We booked it around May this year after deciding we wanted to have a luxurious couple of nights before we became smelly, sweaty backpackers. Boy did it deliver! 5* service when we arrived, and the rooms were amazing. We booked a two bedroom suite for £300 for two nights. We got two king size beds, showers and baths big enough for four people and all the mod cons. The three of us were jumping around the rooms with excitement despite the lack of sleep. I think it’s important to try and enjoy yourself as much as possible regardless of how you’re feeling in these situations. We knew it would be an early night so we had an hours power nap and got ready to hit Bangkok at 6pm.
True to form we left the hotel not really knowing where we were going or what we were doing. We headed down past Ploen Chit sky train and had our first ‘we’re in Asia’ moment. Crossing an old abandoned train track in the middle of skyscrapers with stalls selling all sorts of meats and fruit, looking down these tracks we could see lights and stalls all the way round. It was incredible. After waiting for Liam to take some pictures with his mega camera we carried on down the road, seeing an interesting road we headed off down it.
The first thing we see? A lovely lady selling bugs! Before we left Leia and I agreed we would try things like this no matter what. So for 30 baht we got a bagful of crickets and found a quiet spot to try them. I would probably say they aren’t going to be a popular snack on the journey but they were nice enough, crunchy, bbq-y but it’s hard to shake that though of what you’re eating.
As we continued down the road I started to notice the wealth of western men in the bars and no western women. We spotted a bar with cheap Chang and headed in to be confronted with three Thai girls dressed up in anime/maid in the midwest style clothes who excitedly ushered us to a table and got us drinks. I’m not the best at not making eye contact and soon had two Thai women asking me to play pool with them, however it was at this point we realised we had made it to Nana and it’s red light district. It was fun though and brought up a bit of conversation on what the Bangkok sex trade is like.
After one beer we went on the hunt for food, Liam found a chicken thigh cooked on hot coals in front of us and Leia went for some fresh watermelon. We skytrained it over to Siam and found a food court type place where we had tom yum, tofu, boiled chicken, fried pork and rice. The food was amazing and we had our first experience with live bugs crawling around the place. It didn’t actually bother us and as Leia remarked, we were eating bugs the night before so couldn’t really be grossed out.
After filling up on food we headed through the extensive markets through Siam to the national stadium where everything was so cheap it helped justify our decision to pack light. It was also interesting to see how little attention the locals paid us as we walked past each stall.
Being 28 and 30 and old beyond our years we were at this point haggard, limping and ready for bed so we headed back to the hotel and dozed off ready to rejuvenate and see more of Bangkok in the morning.