Our Trip to Bangkok
Back when we were planning our Thailand trip we originally packed in lots of destinations to keep us busy, but we soon realised while traveling that busy quick traveling is not for us. So we actually changed our Thailand trip while we were in Malaysia and ended up staying in the capital Bangkok for 4 nights then another 2 nights later on. So this would actually be one of our longer stays for the whole trip so far. We hopped on to a plane to the capital from Phuket which would have been quick if it was on time, but alas it was delayed. The flight was easy and not crowded so we had a spare seat next to us, great for Sassi and her leg.
While in Thailand we found out that we would be in Bangkok exactly on the day the Late King will be cremated, which meant the city was completely different to any other time of the year, there were masses of people traveling to the city to pay their respects, nearly every flight from Phuket was going to Bangkok many dressed in black. Once we landed in Bangkok we took an Uber to our airbnb room, this proved to be a long journey due to the heavy amount of traffic.
Once we arrived we were awe struck by the amazing view we had from the room, we originally planned to go to a roof top bar but decided we did not need to bother as this view was just as good! Instead we got into a Grab car and made our way to the night market in Ratchada. This market was full of people and we made our way round to find some food, we sat down at one place and ordered, unfortunately the food was horrible, we or shall I say Sassi ordered something that we both hated, this meant a struggle to finish and then we just had to give up and pay the bill and find something else. We had no idea what it was but think it might of been Papaya seafood salad.
The next day was the Late Kings funeral, and shops were only open until 2pm so we had to make sure we had food and drink for the whole day beforehand. Sassi messaged a Palfish English tutor (Palfish is a English tutoring app we both work on more so Sassi) this guy lives in Bangkok and said he would be happy to meet up and go for a wander. We took an Uber to Silom road and it was very quick. The streets and roads were empty which was very unlike the normal Bangkok most people come across. We met up with the guy and one of his friends he also teaches English in the city. We spent the next hour or so walking around the empty street taking photos, videos and chatting. It was nice to be able to meet up with someone that we have a slight connection with, well we all work on the same English teaching platform.
Out of respect we decided to stay away from the areas where people were mourning, and after awhile of walking we decided to go back to the room and spend the night just gazing out of the window at the very quiet city.
The next morning things were more or less back to normal, and we went out to the same streets to see the difference. The streets were busy again and thriving with people all over the place and traffic everywhere. We had a chilled and easy day but then later on we went to check out one of the sky bars, this roof top bar was called Above Eleven. It was in the city centre and had awesome views of the city. The view from the toilet was simply amazing, I have never been in a toilet with such a nice view, full glass windows surrounded the room, something interesting to keep you occupied while you…well you know what.
Sassi knew another guy from one of the English teaching platforms, and he joined us at the bar. This gave us the chance to meet someone else and talk about what it is like to live in the city while teaching English online. Something I noticed about Bangkok was that they seem to actually like to save power by not having every light on in the buildings which is a good thing, cut pollution etc, but for photos not quite as good, as the city becomes very dark. Photographer world problems…
We actually left Bangkok to go to Kanchanaburi but then came back to the city for two more nights, when we came back to the city we decided to go visit the Grand Palace, we took an uber to the palace. When we arrived the police pulled over the car nearby and it turned out that ubers are not allowed to be near the palace, and they issued a ticket to the driver. This meant we had to get out and walk to the gates but once we arrived we were told all foreigners needed to have passports to enter which we did not have with us at the time. We tried to walk around to see if we could get some exterior photos of the palace but it was simply too far away if you don’t enter. All the walking was a little too much for Sassi and all the tuk tuk’s wanted an over inflated fee to drive anywhere. In the end we just took some photos of the outside of Wat Pho and ordered a taxi to make our way back to the room.
The hotel we were staying in was more central but then the downside it was hard to find which meant every taxi and uber driver had issues finding it which became quite stressful when we needed to be at places at certain times. The street layout meant it was actually a long walk to the main street through all the alleys.
We went to a Christian charity that helps with girls trapped in prostitution called Rahab Ministries. They are based in a small office/ shop in the Pat Pong area, which is notorious for brothels. They gave us a presentation about what they do and how they help the girls who work in the bars. It was great to see this as it shows a different perspective on what it is like in Bangkok and how tourism creates this huge market for prostitution. You can read more about this here.
Our last night before we left we went to Bencharsiri park, we took an Uber and the driver was new according to the profile, this was no issue, we got into his car and he couldn’t speak English and didn’t seem to know how to use the navigation on the app. I explained that the park was near, and after that he kept talking to himself and shouting the metro station name and laughing. This was a little unnerving as he just kept saying Phrom Phong and laughing, it was kind of funny but also very strange.
The reason we went to the park was to see the Loy Krathong festival which is a time when people come together to light candles on their floating basket and let them float on the water. It takes place on the evening of the full moon of the 12th month in the traditional Thai lunar calendar. It was a lovely experience to see, with lots of people surrounding the water in the park with many floating baskets. We bought our own basket, there were so many people selling them outside of the park. We lit the candle and let it go with a prayer, float away into the distance.
The next morning we had the same issue of Ubers not finding us and one uber purposely driving in the opposite direction telling us we had to cancel (You get charged a fee if the cancellation is over a certain time it seemed like he was just trying to get free money). Well he certainly got reported and didn’t get extra money from us. In the end we gave up and took a tuk tuk to the main road and got picked up by an uber. We then ventured off to the eastern bus station to take a bus to Pattaya city.
Overall our time spent in Bangkok was great, we got to meet new people, relax a little more with our extended stay, and experience a quieter city on one of the days. We were also able to learn more about the darker sides to the city, which is very noticeable as you walk around at night.