Ok, so I’m just gonna start with the truth… Bangkok is not nice (Not the words I want to use but we will keep it PG). By that I do not mean the people, some of the friendliest people I have ever met, I will explain that later.
I am not going to dress it up, Bangkok is not a very clean city. It is very dirty, grimy and smelly. This sadly takes away from some of the sights of the city. The smells range from sewage to food being cooked in the street, unfortunately, sometimes next to each other. For this reason and for the sheer lack of what there is to see and do, two days at most is really enough for Bangkok.
Arrive at Bangkok and easily follow signs to the taxi point. Here that taxis are metered so they cant overcharge you. The only place that can overcharge you are the little kiosks that will shout “TAXI!!!?” at you as you walk past. The lady behind the counter tried to charge us 1300 baht, only £24 but when you take a metered taxi it only cost us 550 baht… £10. Unluckily most of the taxis we have taken do not seem to know the name of hotels so they drop you within a mile radius. Not great on your first night when we were both tired, hot, sweaty and lost! We eventually made it to the hostel and got settled.
We start the day off walking after seeing the first two temples we get into Tuk Tuk (Im fat, ok!!!!). This is basically a moped with a boot. Vey cheap to get around on but considering that we are not from Thailand then every price is north of 150 baht. as soon as you approach a Tuk-Tuk they see a farang (tourist)so the price is double or triple what a local pays. I quickly learned that ANY price ANYONE gives you for ANYTHING cut in half and enjoy. To the point where a fare went from 250 to 110. We then walk from the third temple to the last and decide we are all temple’d out. We then head for some food and head to the famous backpacker road of Khao san There are plenty of bars,pubs and street stalls to choose from all serving similar menus, and if you’re feeling adventurous even fried scorpions. We sit down for some traditional thai food and decide we would tour khao san road.
Now for those of you that have been to Bangkok you know exactly what this road is like. All counterfeit clothing and accessories for dirt cheap (Two pairs of “Raybans” were purchased for £4.53). But regardless of how cheap they are we learn that we can haggle anything down from the original price we were given. So if you ever are heading to Bangkok just bring one change of clothes, With £100 and an hour later you have a FULL new wardrobe. Obviously we are not stupid and we know that these items of clothing aren’t real but if you ask for a particular brand, lets say Calvin Klein, they will show you a counterfeit and say “this is same same… but different”. This is their favourite line for anything, even down to mosquito repellent. Due to all the packaging being written in thai I asked, “Is this mosquito and insect repellent?” to which I get a reply, after a long pause “yes yes, same same… but different” and walks off!! So I’m left confused, does this attract mosquitos? Does it repel other animals instead? I bite the bullet and buy it anyway.
Some of the nicest people I’ve met
Everyone here smiles at everyone!! We walk around Bangkok and we head towards the grand palace. We get lost en route and a very nice thai lady stops us and offers her help. She advises us that the palace is now closed and then proceeds to spend half an hour of her time giving us invaluable advice about how not to get ripped off, how to haggle, the price things SHOULD be and what scams to watch out for. She then mentions places that we should definitely visit in Thailand. Most of the places she mentioned we already had on our “to go list” but she mentions an elephant sanctuary in Chiang mai and tells us the best place for us to book this is through the tourist information office. We go in and in less than 45 mins, Cassie and I are booked on an over night sleeper train to Chiang mai for a 3 day, 2 night jungle trek and elephant ride!
So we are off to sleep in the Jungle and hangout with some elephants. See you on the other side!!