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5 Days in Bangkok

If you follow me on Instagram you will have seen I have been away for the past three weeks travelling around Thailand. I had the most amazing time, Thailand is such a crazy place in so many awesome ways and I would thoroughly recommend a visit! I think Grant has named it his favourite place, ever! Statement.

So I know I'm no travel blogger, but I really found it useful reading other peoples blog posts about their visits through Thailand, and I really wanted to document my experience in a place where I can remember it all over again.. And what better place than my blog? So for the next three days, I'm going to be posting about my journey through Thailand.. Apologies if this has no interest to you, you can return next week for normal home-blogging!



DAY 1 // RIVERBOAT // WAT PHO // TERMINAL 21.

So, we started our backpacking adventure (or glam-packing, as Grant tells me!) in Bangkok where we had five full days to see the sights and explore. Our hotel was the Salil Hotel on Sukhumvit Soi 8. It wasn't particularly fancy or glamorous, but it was in a great location! I would certainly recommend staying along Sukhumvit, it just has a constant buzzy awesome vibe, with great street food and amazing night markets!

So, after a full nights sleep, we took the Skytrain down to Saphan Taskin where we caught a speed river taxi to Wat Pho. Word of caution: the speed taxi's are infinitely more pricey than the tourist boat. We took the speed taxi just the once for the experience, after all who could resist a ride on this:


Ridiculously fun! But after one trip (150baht per person one-way!), definitely get yourself on the tourist slow boat, which really isn't actually that slow and a very affordable 40baht per person.

Wat Pho itself was amazing; it cost only 100baht each to enter and wasn't too busy either. It had a kind of calming feel about it. There's lots of history to read up on, videos, old artefacts to see, plus the many many Buddha's and amazing architecture!



After a few hours exploring, we then took a walk down to the Flower Market nearby, Pak Klong Talad, which was very un-touristy, incredibly huge and generally a colourful wonder of delight! Sadly I forgot to pull out my camera!

In the evening, we popped down to Terminal 21, one of Bangkok's many malls, only a short walk from our hotel. This mall is a themed mall, with each floor representing a different country or American State. It was HUGE! And I mean, HUGE. Two entire floors are dedicated just to food. Seriously. And the top floor has a cinema where we watched the new Jurassic Park for just 100baht per person. Seriously, that's around £1.78 per person, get your head around that!


DAY 2 // FLOATING MARKET // LUMPINI PARK // SIAM PARAGON.

For our second day in Bangkok I had booked a half-day trip to the floating market at Damnoen Saduak. My research told me this was a must to visit, but that it had also become insanely tourist-y and not so authentic. This was definitely true. There were no locals to be seen, just camera after camera, and market vendors trying to get your attention at every angle you turn. We were one of the first tourists to arrive and within an hour the place was packed. You can ride down the river on a boat for a small cost, but we preferred to view it from above. After all, it soon became a river blockade....



It was definitely worth seeing, but don't have too many high hopes - the market is mostly souvenir heavy, although if you search hard enough you can find a few gems! But equally everything is hugely over-priced, so make sure you barter well! We bartered a number-plate down from 1500baht to just 300baht. That's £28 down to £6! As a whole, the floating market is actually quite small too, but never-the-less, a pleasant half-day out and worth a viewing.

We booked this tour here.

After heading back to Bangkok, we took a walk down to Lumpini Park. This place is huge and full of beauty. It had a lake where you can rent out a swan peddle boat (I thoroughly recommend, just for the views!) and in the evening it becomes a slightly comical running track, with locals in their thousands running through, before they congregate at the edge of the lake every 15minutes or so and begin a full aerobics class. It was slightly unusual, and comical, but extremely awesome! Why don't we have this in England?!



We then headed over to another mall: Siam Paragon. Here, you basically need a wad of cash to buy anything! Not only is this mall a designer's paradise, (seriously, people were queuing up outside Louis Vuitton!) it even had shops inside selling seriously high-priced cars (ahem, Bentley!) and a whole aquarium in the basement! Bonkers. Of course we didn't do any purchasing here, but we did enjoy our oh-so-affordable Krispy Kremes on the bottom floor. MmmMmm!


DAY 3 // AYUTTHAYA // KHAO SAN RD.

This was another booked tour day - this time a visit a join-in tour to the ruins outside of Bangkok at Ayutthaya. We visited five or so different locations (perhaps more) and each location was so different to the last. Our guide introduced us to each location and told us a bit of history before we were left to explore on our own. There was so much to photograph and so much beauty, this was certainly one of my favourite trips out! Don't worry, I'll keep the photos to a minimum...




We booked this tour here.

In the evening we had a quick flying visit to Khao San Road. Famous for becoming the 'backpackers ghetto'; it was of course just that: Super touristy. We didn't stay for the street parties that happen here at night (my partying days are long gone!) but it was good to get some quick pictures, eat heaps of street food, view the market stalls and be able to say we had taken a visit.


DAY 4 // CHATUCHAK WEEKEND MARKET.

This was a Saturday, which meant we could visit the Chatuchak weekend market! I had heard this place was big, but I wasn't prepared for just how big it was! It was a maze. Seriously, if you find something you want to buy, don't think about going back later because you will never find it again. We spent all day there and still didn't get around the whole lot. I think Grant read some fact that said if you spent 1 minute at every stall, it would take you 3 months to get around the entire place. Everything is very very cheap, and the market is split into several different sections: Antiques, Clothes, Homewares, Pets, Artwork, Food, etc. We did plenty of shopping here, but I'll save what we bought for another post :) I absolutely loved this place, it has everything you could ever hope to possibly find!


One thing I will say, is that the market is very enclosed and there are a lot of people too, so it can get quite claustrophobic and overwhelming after a few hours. Luckily there is park right next door to take some time out from the craziness and drink plenty of water. Just don't sit underneath the trees, or you might get excreted on by a pigeon...


DAY 5 // GRAND PALACE // SLEEPER TRAIN.

Our last and final day in Bangkok was spent at the Grand Palace. This was a fairly costly 500baht per person to enter, and the clothing regulations are very strict. Trousers must be below the knee, and shoulders covered up. This is probably the most visited tourist attraction in Bangkok, so again prepare for mobs of people. It wasn't as big as I had expected, although as we visited on a Sunday lots of areas were closed which was slightly disappointing. However, it was still very beautiful and extremely photo-friendly...



That evening was our last in Bangkok as we had booked a sleeper train from Hua Lamphong Station to Chiang Mai. It was a 14 hour train ride, but travelling through the night with convertible chair-beds which the train attendants made up for you, complete with bedding and pillows. It was surprisingly comfy actually.. I slept almost the entire journey! And once the sun pops up in the morning, the views are incredible! A definite recommendation for getting to Chiang Mai!



We booked our train tickets here.

Come back tomorrow for the next 5 days of our trip in Chiang Mai!

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