No visit to Thailand is complete without visiting at least one of the amazing temples. Which is why our plan for Monday morning was to go temple hopping. I read a lot about the taxi drivers telling tourists that some of them are close and they then try to take you to an alternative temple where they make some extra money on the side. We decided to order our taxi from the hotel and even though, the driver started saying something about the Grand Palace being closed. In fact he still took us to the second place on my list Wat Pho – The Temple of The Reclining Buddha. The entrance fee was 100Baht which was well worth it, the temple was so beautiful.
After walking around Wat Pho for a while, we decided to find the Grand Palace. On our way when we stopped to look at the map, someone told us again that the temple was closed I was prepare for offering ride to different “temples” (aka small shops where they make custom suits) so I quickly walked away. When we got to our destination, I finally understood what everyone was talking about. The Grand Palace was closed due to some ceremony for the King who passed away last month. It made sense why even a taxi driver (who didn’t offer to take us anywhere) and a random guy on the street tried to inform us. I guess not everyone tries to scam you in Bangkok.
Luckily Wat Phra Kaew – The Temple of the Emerald Buddha, which is part of the Grand Palace was still open for tourist. It was even prettier than Wat Pho. Everything was covered in gold and jewels and it was breathtaking. The entrance was 500baht but in my opinion it was definitely worth it.
After exploring Wat Phra Kaew, we went down by the riverside to a little cafe called “Eat Sight Story”. It’s definitely one of the hidden gems of Bangkok, as it has a strange entrance. Basically you would never know it was there until you walk past all the loading docks and bays for the other businesses nearby. The reason I chose it was the amazing view across the river overlooking Wat Arun, the temple we decided to skip visiting as it was under construction. I was satisfied just seeing it from the distance plus the food was delicious.
In the evening we went again to Khao San Road with the friends we met previously. We also ventured into a smaller nightclub and left around 5am.
On Tuesday we woke up later and because of having a little headache we decided to have another lazy day by the pool. Normally I hate wasting time like that when I travel. However, I didn’t feel too annoyed because this was a holiday after all, so relaxing time was on the to-do list.
In the afternoon, we went for a walk in the inter alia Lumphini Park. There was a stunning view of the skyscrapers that encompassed the park and the light from the moon cast a great reflection in the pond.
For dinner we chose a place called Cabbage and Condoms. I wasn’t sure what to expect but it turned out being wonderful. The restaurant looked like a secret garden and the food was fabulous and cheap. We ordered vegetarian spring rolls, chicken satay, chicken dumplings, Tom Kha Gai soup, stir fried asparagus with shrimp, sweet and sour chicken served in a pineapple, beer, a mojito and two watermelon smoothies (which I fell in love with). I know that was a long list but the point is we got all of that for something like £35. I did not want to go back to the ridiculous prices in London that is for sure it was Amazing! To top it off, they also have somethings made from condoms by the entrance, plus a small gift shop.
After we ate we found another shopping center which was so cool. It was called Terminal 21 and like the other shopping centers it had so many floors. What’s cool about this one in particular is each floor is themed after a different city. You can find the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco streets, the London Underground or Double Decker bus, Champs Elysees from Paris or even the backstreets of Tokyo. We weren’t planning to do any shopping that day so we walked quickly around each floor and then went to explore Soy Cowboy.
For those of you who have never been to Bangkok, Soy Cowboy is the red light district of Bangkok. Essentially it’s a street filled with Go Go bars, and to be honest it made me so uncomfortable from the beginning. There were many girls standing on the street hoping to take some guy inside. I didn’t even want to stay in this area so we had quick beer and we headed back home.
For the last day in Bangkok, we planned: a little shopping, visiting Chinatown and the Sky Bar. For shopping we chose the biggest mall in the city and sixth largest complex in the world; why wouldn’t we? I got a few dresses, but in general I wasn’t too impressed with the mall. It’s exhausting walking so many miles just to find shops you like. Because of all the time spent at the mall we had to cross Chinatown off our list. While I heard it’s a great place to see, I have been to so many different Chinatowns in so many different cities I figured it was a place I could come back and visit in the future.
After shopping we headed back to the hotel to change and head over to the Sky Bar. As most of you may know it is the famous bar from Hangover 2, and probably one of the most expensive places to grab a drink in Bangkok. It has an absolutely amazing view of the city. It’s free to get in, but the dress code is very strict. Women don’t need to wear high heels but you have to look nice, basically smart casual, while men have to wear pants.
Some people say that a week in Bangkok is way too much, and I can agree with that. It’s an amazing city and it has so much to offer and to see, but it is possible to see everything in maybe 4 days. Either way I do not regret being in Bangkok for so long. I still had a fabulous time. I met great people. I ate so much Thai food. I’ve seen the craziest shopping centers and wonderful temples. I drank so many delicious fresh coconuts and watermelons shakes, and I rode in a lot of awesome tuk tuks.
Our adventure with Thailand didn’t end here, as the next and unfortunately my last stop in this beautiful country before heading home was Phuket.