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Our first stop on The Big Trip was Bangkok, Thailand. This was my second trip to the city but as the first time was 10 years ago I felt like this was a perfect time to explore the place again. Here is how we spent five days in Bangkok:
We flew into Bangkok via Zurich from London with Swiss and Thai Airways, both of which were great airlines. We took a day flight which is new to me on long-haul as I am usually a fan of a night flight however it didn’t work out too bad and at least meant I didn’t have to try sleep on a flight which never really happens anyway!
On arrival into BKK we opted for the 60 baht (approx. £1.60) S1 bus which dropped us around the corner from the road we’d be staying on. This took 90 minutes due to the morning rush hour but at that price you can’t complain, and a plus was we got to see a lot of Bangkok as we drove in to the city.
It took us a while to settle on accommodation in Bangkok and we initially had a few places booked via booking.com but in the end we settled on Lamphu House, which is where I stayed 10 years ago! This friendly hotel is on Rambuttri Road, about a 5min walk from the notorious Khao San Road. We didn’t want to be right in the action, as we value our sleep (!) but the Phra Nakhon District is where we wanted to be based for ease of local sights and day trip pickups.
The hotel itself has a selection of rooms from dorms through to double ensuite rooms which is what we went for. There is a coffee bar, restaurant, travel agency and with a large outside seating area on site, and step five metres outside the premises and you’ll find yourself a 7-Eleven plus a plethora of street stalls for both clothing and food.
There is SO much to do in Bangkok and knowing where to start was probably the toughest bit so we grabbed our trusty guide book: Lonely Planet’s Southeast Asia on a Shoestring and roughly planned out our days.
Day one was our arrival day as we landed early morning so spent most of the day adjusting to the heat and time difference. We did a lot of wandering around the local area to get our bearings and grabbed a bite to eat on Rambrutti at Madame Musur and a refreshing mango smoothie from Gecko.
We were able to check in a couple of hours early so following an afternoon nap (jet-lag, urgh) we were geared up and ready for a Pad Thai and a Chang at Tim Kin Kan on Rambrutti before a wander down Khao San Road where I thought a foot massage at Khao San Spa was in order.
Day two was very much a sightseeing day as we planned to visit Wat Phra Kaew and Grand Palace, and Wat Pho. Both were stunning but I’d say Wat Pho was my favourite and we spent a good couple of hours wandering around the site. Wat Pho houses one of the largest reclining buddha images in Thailand.
In the evening we wanted to explore the Silom area so took the local boat to Sathorn before jumping on the skytrain to Surasak where we opted to try out vegetarian southern Indian restaurant Chennai Kitchen. This restaurant may look a little basic, but trust me the banana-leaf thali (set meal) was delicious.
To walk off dinner we headed to Patpong Night Market but ended up just walking from one end to the other trying to dodge the promoters trying to get us into the local ‘pingpong’ before retreating for ice cream at I-Berry!
Day three took us on a half day tour of Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, pre-booked via our hotel travel agency. It’s pretty geared up for tourists but it was pretty cool to see and the two boat rides we took during the morning trip were good fun.
After being dropped back we grabbed lunch at Gecko Bar before attempting to do the Yaowarat Road food tour that I’d gifted CLB for this birthday months before. Due to a slight issue with public transport we made it too late to Chinatown to do the tour but were luckily able to re-book for a couple nights later. Instead we found a nice little backstreet food stall to enjoy some fried rice and noodles and took a wander around Chinatown by ourselves.
Day four meant our five days in Bangkok were nearly done but before we departed we had to see Ayuttaya and luckily we’d booked on a full day your to do just that. We were picked up from our hotel in the morning, and headed north to Ayuttaya where we looked around three sites in the morning, stopped for lunch, then two more sites in the afternoon before headed back to Bangkok. It was a brilliant day and the ruins were stunning.
As we’d enjoyed the Pad Thai dinner so much that we’d had on the first night we decided to head back there for another before hitting the hay after a busy day.
Day five was check out day (sad face) and we had one more temple to visit. Wat Arun was across the water so we got the local boat there and back.
Finally in the evening we got to go on the Yaowarat Street Food Tour we’d missed a couple nights previous, and it was excellent. Our guide Lily from Bangkok Food Tours really knew her stuff and led us around seven different stops to taste some of the most delicious Chinese food.
From the tour we headed straight to Hua Lamphong Railway Station to get the sleeper train to Chiang Mai.
We had the best five days in Bangkok and it was the perfect place to start our five month trip, and I just know we’ll go back there someday.