Day 2, Exploring Bangkok
I awoke this morning to the chill of the air con and a gorgeous view over the city. A quick shower and we were ready to face the city we had heard so much about. A few things so far, we have been surprised how clean everything is, and how friendly the people are, not once have we felt like we are being taken advantage of and people will actively seek to help you even if you’re not buying their goods. Oh and we finally got a selfie stick something that just had to be done to complete our look of utter tourists.
We decided to head to Chinatown and a quick Google got us on a sky train headed to the river. From here we paid 40 baht for a one way trip on a boat up Chao Phraya. This was a lot of fun, so much so that we failed to realise that we had to go to the back of we wanted them to stop! So we sailed past No.5 dock and decided to get off at No.6.
This turned out to be a blessing in disguise as we wandered through the streets we started walking through some amazing markets, selling all sorts of vegetables, spices and flowers. The smells, the colours and the sounds were a sense overload but in the best way possible, it was overwhelming at times, our heads going side to side to take everything in.
I got a drink I thought I recognised as honey lemon I had the night before but it turned out to be a strange unpleasant flavour similar to stale pungent cake. Obviously I finished it though.
We headed out of the market and saw a park that looked nice from a distance, as we entered we soon realised that it looked a bit dodgy but as we turned back I saw what I though was the last part of a snake slither under a bin!
Obviously Liam headed towards it camera in hand like a young Attenborough. As he did though the real owner of the tail scuttled past, it was a huge lizard! Definitely the biggest I have seen in the wild. It was probably the size of a small cat. This was a reminder that we were going to see all sorts of creatures and was exciting, especially as we then saw something resembling a squirrel in the trees above us!
We headed out of the park and in the general direction we thought Chinatown should be. Wandering past various stalls and shops. It really is a wonder of anyone cooks at home at all the amount of mouth watering food on offer on every street. We also utilised 7/11s and malls to enjoy the air con and cool down
Eventually after asking we found Chinatown, we wandered through but after seeing markets all morning it didn’t have quite the same charm and I’m not sure if where we were was exactly the right part. Although we did get to see Buddhist monks walking through the streets!
So we jumped into our first tuk tuk to head over to the grand palace, what an experience, speeding through the traffic for around ten minutes was so fun. It also felt pretty safe which was a surprise after hearing about their notoriety.
When we got off their were some girls feeding pigeons who immediately tried to put corn in our hands, Leia and I just walked through but Liam managed to get given a bag and had to quickly give it back and run away. If we wanted to feed pigeons we would’ve stayed in Manchester.
Next up was a trip down Khao San Rd. Another notorious experience in Bangkok. However we went in the day and it didn’t seem like much was going on. It was the first place we had been that was filled with tourists and the first place with people really pushing to sell you stuff. We stopped for a beer and Leia had the first pad thai of the trip. Luckily the Arsenal v Bayern game was on from the night before so I got to watch that. Again we experienced the friendliness of Bangkok.
After wandering to the end of the street we headed back down towards the Grand Palace to Maharaj dock. On the way a man stopped me and tried to convince me to go to a giant buddha and a reclining buddha in a special taxi for 20 baht. I politely refused as I could smell a scam and it wouldn’t be the first time a random man on the street would offer this amazing deal. There’s part of me that wants to see scar happens but I’m not willing to part with hard earned baht to do it.
So we end up at the dock which was lovely, a very modern mini mall where I got an amazing custard crepe and Leia had a shaved ice thing with green tea flavours. After enjoying this we headed back to the hotel and the terrace pool.
I’ve talked a little about Sivatel but this pool was amazing, infinity over looking nearby buildings. It was a special moment and we took advantage of my underwater camera to take some funny pics. It was nice to relax after a day of walking round and we were still tired from the plane. As the sun went down lights came on in the pool which made it more beautiful and it was lovely and warm.
After relaxing we got ready and headed to a nearby roof bar called the Speakeasy, it was a 10 minute walk from our hotel in a lovely classic building, it made me think of Bangkok when Brits first came and brought their own luxuries with them. The bar was amazing. With views of Bangkok at night and a Michelin star chef menu to choose from. It was done up all 20s America with modern rap and RnB on which made for an interesting vibe.
After enjoying the food, drinks and dessert for Liam and Leia we went to find Sukhumvit as I had read that it had a vibrant and more up market red light type district than Nana. However after wandering through a middle eastern quarter and the rain starting to pour we realised it was back to Nana and this time we ended up in Bigdogs bar after finding ourselves in a dead end full of special “shows” and bars full of Thai girls and old western men. I think we all found it a bit of a shock to see how open everything was. It also made us feel bad for the girls, I guess I don’t know enough about it but some were very young and were leading or being led away by men easily in their 60s and 70s it was also crazy how many younger men were wandering around including what looked like a Dad and Son. I think I’d like to know more about it all after this experience. After a few beers and losing Liam to a European expat for an hour we headed back to the hotel.