Bangkok, it’s always been sort of a Love / Hate relationship. And this time it hasn’t been any different. I made it safely to Suvarnabhumi Airport and decided to this time take the train and a connecting bus into the district of Banglamphu. No overpriced taxi this time. At the train station one of these great traveler moments happened. I met Jeroen from Holland (why I always meet friendly Dutch people when abroad is yet another story), who also wanted to go into town but hadn’t booked his guesthouse yet. We talked a lot and got off at the bus terminal. Jeroen decided to come along so we shared a tuk tuk and made it to the always friendly New Siam. So good to start with someone on your side – makes the adaption a lot easier.
Kao San, River Boats and the first coconut
Right after checking in we went out to check out the area and see if and how it changed. Jeroen also had been to Thailand a few years before, so we are both second offenders. I have to say that Banglamphu and Kao San actually haven’t changed that much. It all seems more crowded though. It’s still a good place to base yourself while in the city. After our stroll along Kao San Road and our first coconut (oh, we had our first Chang Beer right before), we got some delicious street food and then hopped on one of the taxi boats down the Chao Praya. We finished our little trip at Lumphini Park where we discovered the coolest outdoor gym ever. Lot’s of iron, self made machines and beefed up Thai guys lifting weights. I wondered why we don’t have that sort of gym in Germany. I’d definitely use it.
On the way back by ferry, we got rewarded by a beautiful sunset along the river. This is actually a rare sensation since the city is usually filled with fog. That just topped off the day and we finished with Thai noodle soup and a few more beers…this time Singha.
Useless tuk tuk ride, canal tour and a great photo session
Today didn’t start to well. I woke up feeling sicker than before. The infect I brought with me is really persistent. Right after breakfast I made my way to the nearest pharmacy to have the pharmacist recommend me antibiotics right away. Good to know but thanks: I will just go with the strepcils for now.
Then Jeroen and I got a tuk tuk driver to show us around for supposedly 30 Baht. Apart from some mediocre attractions, lots of noise and the humidity, he also brought us to two tourist traps. Thanks for that…in the end we somehow didn’t have to pay those 30 Baht because our driver disappeared during our last stop. From there we took a canal boat to MBK, the infamous and huge shopping mall. We actually just wanted to look for a few things but the noise and massive amount of people in there was just unbearable. We just wanted out as fast as we came in. I have to say, that the canal boat ride was fun though. Getting to see the dwellers along the canal is a striking contrast to the glitter of the malls.
After we made our way back and being slightly pissed off by how the day went until this point, I decided to ride the ferry down to a lookout by myself. I wanted to take some pictures of the Wat Arun by sunset and night. That was by far the best decision on that day. It was a nice atmosphere there, lot of people just enjoying the view and lots of funny Asians with the latest and biggest camera equipment I have ever seen. I think 80% of them must be professional. I got a few good pics and now another Singha to finish off the day.
Last thoughts .
What can I say about those first two days? Bangkok is a true love / hate relationship. In a way it’s a great and exciting city. It’s great to come here, to see the backpacker life in Kao San and the hustle and bustle of one of Asia’s biggest metropolises. But then, it is also always good to get the hell out again. The city can treat you good and bad and that within a very short timeframe. This kind exemplifies travelling or backpacking in general. You always experience good things and also some bad things. It’s part of the trip and part of the game. No need to freak out. You have to learn to accept and it will all fall into place.
Alright, probably one more day in BKK tomorrow and then off to Kanchanaburi to check out the River Kwai Bridge. Stay tuned ….