My second South East Asian stop, Thailand. Infamous for being that party capital, and after 2 hours of landing in Bangkok, that is exactly what I ended up doing.
Khao San Road (Wayyyy up!
I was able to find a cheap and comfortable hostel just around the corner from Khao San Road. There are many to chose from which cost anywhere from $10 – $12 a night. By no means are they he most luxurious at the price but you can find something very comfortable with all the amenities you are looking for. I just needed a bed, a clean bathroom, internet and a locked door. Check out sites like Agoda.com & HostelWorld.com to get insight.
A good friend of mine from university had been living in Bangkok for a couple months so that was my direct link into what to do and where to go. I dropped my bags off then we met up on the party street and were instantly able to make new friends (whom I am still in touch with to this day) and have a good time. The street is crowded with travelers and locals who are all enjoying the cheap drinks and loud music . Its like carnival. Pro tip: keep an eye out for the overly drunk foreigners as I found that they tend to get a bit more rowdy than others. Although I did feel very safe and never witnessed any problems myself there is potential for it. Believe the rumors you may have heard, Bangkok is full of ladyboys (they often refer to themselves by this term). Males are often solicited, so if you don’t swing that way be prepared to deal with it. They are respectful generally and once you give the signal that you’re not interested they will leave you alone. I would definitely recommend visiting this place. It is quite the experience.
Khao San is also the tourist central. You can find souvenir shops and cheap food everywhere and can also book tours to various locations around Thailand and even make arrangement to visit neighboring countries like Cambodia and Laus.
The Grand Palace
A must see. This palace is huge! You’re guaranteed to get a tan just walking around as the sun is reflected off of the gold you’re surrounded by. The crowded are sort of annoying if you are trying to capture some pictures. Visit early in the day. Wear long pants and sleeves. This is the dress code, if you are not in proper attire to enter they will direct you to a little store where you can buy pants for cheap.
Inside there is a Buddhist shrine and you can light candles and see locals and travelers participating in a type of ritual that I was sort of ignorant about to be honest. I did see however a monk using a smart phone! I never thought that that was a thing.
I think he was checking his facebook…
You can get to the Palace very easily from Khao San. The sites aren’t bad, but damn, it is hot as hell.
Going on a tour is fairly cheap also. For no more than $50 I think, I got on a bus which took me a couple hours outside of Bangkok where I got to visit Errawan Falls. This was along a trail where the further up you walk you will see a different waterfall. It was awesome and the trail was very peaceful. I went alone and felt alright with it and even went for a swim. This is a place where locals will also frequent with their families.
The best part of this tour was the elephants!!
Muy Thai Boxing
If you ever visit Bangkok, make sure to make time to go see a Muy Thai Boxing event. The energy is incredible, especially if you can score ringside tickets! Some hostels or guest houses will sell you tickets or provide you with the information to get them. You can also buy them at the door.
Naturally, padthai with a side of Chang beer and coconut ice cream is a way of life. There are lots of food options and I do encourage to try them. If you are brave enough I dare you to try the scorpion. It is sold on the streets and the locals will insist you have some – I didn’t.
You can get a taxi from the airport very easily when you get out of immigration. Ignore anyone who tries to give you a ride otherwise.
When you land make sure to purchase a SIM card from the stores there. It will provide you with enough data that you don’t need to run up your phone bill or rely on wifi.
If you move into your hostel and not feeling it then don’t worry, there are a lot of options and once you are there you can walk in and get a room on the spot.
DO NOT SEARCH FOR, OR ACCEPT DRUGS. I do not advise you try doing this as it is very illegal and there are cops who go undercover to catch people – especially foreigners.
Have fun! But be mindful. Be safe. I always tell people, when they travel, don’t stand out or attract attention to yourself. I never wear anything flashy, even my watch I take off. If you ever find yourself lost, try your best to not look it. Always walk through the area like you belong there. Doing this you are able to protect yourself from people who may try to take advantage of you as a tourist. This applies to just about anywhere you visit.
Overall, I would go back to Thailand. I think it is a great place and the social culture there is very interesting. I will save that for another post. Stay tuned!