01.04.2016 – 05.04.2016 and 26.04.2016 – 01.05.2016
We’ve stayed in Bangkok twice on our trip already, either side of our time in Myanmar, and we may stay there again! WE LOVE BANGKOK! On both occasions we stayed at the Red Planet Hotel on Surawong Road. This stands as the best accommodation we have had so far. Think soft, plush, luxurious beds, crisp linen, powerful hot showers, Foxtel Channels and a 7Eleven in the same building…. And the best thing is, it costs $30 a night! No need to ever leave the building. (It was also located near some other pretty cool things, like an awesome local food market, and the Patpong Night Markets) Enough to say we rarely left our room, other than to explore the city or get our Myanmar visa.
Just around the corner from the hotel was a great set of food markets and we both ended up finding our favourites that we went back for again and again. Bianca found some amazing Chicken Noodle Soup and Nathan became addicted to Pad Thai. It became our local lunch hangout for our time in Bangkok.
During our first time in Bangkok we got to see a lot of the city including the Grand Palace, Chatuchak Markets, Chinatown, Wat Pho (The Laying Buddha) and Siam Square. The rail and ferry network in Bangkok made it easy to get around, however buying a ticket for every journey became a bit onerous (Chong Nonsi, Sala Daeng). The Grand Palace is absolutely magnificent and not to be missed (see our Monday Moment for more information). The colours, history and grandeur of the buildings could not be captured by photos, we did our best though. Down the road is the Wat Pho or Laying Buddha. This is the second largest in the world, but at 70m long, it was quite a journey to circumnavigate the statue. The Wat Pho is the cheaper experience and just as worthwhile. Both of these could easily be conquered in a day with a walk or short taxi ride to Chinatown a great option.
Bangkok’s Chinatown is the most authentic in Asia. You really get a true sense of China with the street food and market atmosphere and the hundreds of gold jewellery stores. We found a soup restaurant and got a huge CRISPY pork belly noodle soup for $4AUD each. Super cheap and super amazing! (We also managed to find our favourite Thai crispy pancakes and Coconut Shakes…. Heaven…)
Finally, the Chatuchak Markets are phenomenal, so big they could be a wonder of the world themselves! If you want it these markets have it (see our Monday Moment for more information). We will be coming back here to buy some high quality art pieces, bathroom sinks (seriously…. amazing hand-painted sinks) and pet clothing )
Our second visit was a perfect change from the soaring heat of Myanmar. We spent more time back at the Red Planet! During the few days of our second time in Bangkok we totally changed our plan going forward and decided to head to Hong Kong and China and needed to move quickly to get our China visas in time. A slightly stressful experience at the Chinese Embassy, involving signing our souls to the Chinese Government.
We also ate lots of icecream!
OUR FAVOURITE BITS
- Chicken Noodle Soup and Pad Thai at the markets off Surawong Rd.
- Chatuchak Markets (at Mo Chit BTS station). The largest in the world. Some markets can be underwhelming or bland, but these markets are a must. You can spend hours looking at everything from ceramic sinks to local art.
- The Grand Palace. A place of true beauty. A great surprise.
- Explore Silom Road (street food) and Siam (shopping)
- A single day pass for the railway is a good idea, only if you plan on a big day. 140Baht goes further than you think.
- There are 2 international airports that are 45 minutes from each other. Make sure you go to the right one! We didn’t! Oops.
- Spend the money and get a Thai Massage. Worth it. We get a massage in almost every city, and Thailand has been the best so far…. And CHEAP!