Bangkok: Th Khao San Experience
Trip Start Jan 07, 2009
47Trip End Aug 04, 2009
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Where I stayed
10 hours at the Toronto airport
16 hour flight to Hong Kong
10 hours in Hong Kong (but that includes a night at the Marriot, so no complaints!)
3 hours to BKK...and finally, I am here!!!
Bangkok, Day 1
Everything went smoothly on arrival, and I arrived in the chaos of Khao San Rd and found my guesthouse, New Joe Guesthouse. I actually got decent sleep there, but it's just around the corner for the craziness of Khao San. I figured I had to experience the madness at least once! So many people say that they don't like Bangkok, but so far I really like it. There seems to be no end to the exploring you can do here!! I had aout 2 hours where I wasn't sure I liked it when I arrived: but once I got used to walking around all the cats and dogs, the fact that streets names are not always written, the fact that people are not generally very helpful, and got a decent map, I was ready to go!
I decided not to put too much sightseeing pressure into my first day, and just explored the Bamglamphu area, which turned out to be awesome! Once I wandered a bit further for the centre of it all, I found some really cute "sois" (sidestreets) to explore, and it was just wonderful! I had my first experience with the annoying friends of tuk tuk drivers who will mark all sorts of things on your map and keep talking to you until their friend drives by and won't leave you alone...for some reason they all want to get you to go to the "giant standing buddha". Anyway, I managed to get away from them.
Bangkok, Day 2
The next day I took off bright and early to do the typical backpacker thing, and visited Wat Phra Kaew and the Grand Palace. The photos say it all. :)
After that, I just wandered around the crazy busy streets of Bangkok, where on a Saturday you can hardly fit on the sidewalk OR in the streets because it's so full of...people, tuk tuks, street food, random stuff being sold, cats/dogs...and more. I think I almost got run over at least 5 times. Somehow this aimless wandering took me most of the afternoon, but it was great fun. I think it's great fun just wandering around looking at street food...half the time I have no idea what it is (except on Khao San Rd, where they mostly sells fruit, phad thai, and chocolate pancakes). This makes me look forward to the rest of this month in Thailand so much!!!!
Bangkok, Day 3
Bangkok is supposed to be all about great food and shopping, so that is what I did today. I set out bright and early to figure out how to get to Chatuchak (or Jatujak...there's always two spellings!) Market. Let me tell you, the bus is NOT obvious at all, but I made it in the end! Now this market is the craziest thing on earth: there's 15 000 stalls! I arrived around 9:30am and it was already busy enough, but by noon it was absolutely insane! I'm sure I only saw a small fraction of it. I did not visit it in any logical way, just weaved my way through the maze. This made it difficult to find my way back out. I found an exit but it was nowhere near where I had entered...so I went back in to try to retrace my steps (hah! yeah right!)...but I'm glad I did, because then I ended up in the section with crazy things like roosters and swords, and I wouldn't want to miss the roosters and the swords! :) After well over an hour, I found my way back out.
After this I decided to take the skytrain to Siam Square, where all the big shopping malls are. By this time I feet hurt and I was getting tired, but I still took a look around, and it was interesting to see the trendier side of Bangkok--very different from where I am right now!
Other than that, I'm getting eaten alive by mosquitoes. Yes, in Bangkok.
Well, this is basically the end of my time in Bangkok. There is still plenty to do on my next visit here: Wat Pho, Chinatown, Sukumwit, Silom...and much more. But even though there's so much exploring left to do, I certainly am looking forward to lying in a hammock next to the river in Kanchanaburi tomorrow. ah yes...