So Bangkok was absolutely insane. My friend, Carley, and I arrived around 2am on November 19th to the Bangkok airport. We took a taxi to the hotel we had booked for our first night but the hotel looked quite sketchy and the taxi driver said it was a bad area of town. Not fully knowing what to do we ended up going to a different little hotel in one of the main areas of Bangkok. It was a pretty unsettling atmosphere as well and we ended up getting swindled out of more money than we would have liked.
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Later on that morning we looked into more hostels and ended up switching to Pridi Hostel. If you’re ever in Bangkok go stay at Pridi Hostel. The staff were super friendly and helpful and the rooms and bathrooms were gorgeous. It ended up being cheaper than the sketchy hotel we stayed in the first night too.
November 19 was Carley’s birthday and being in a new huge city with copious amounts of jet-lag we weren’t really sure what to do with ourselves. We decided that we were not going to nap that day no matter how much we wanted to so that our bodies could adjust to the massive time difference between British Columbia, Canada and Thailand (about 15 hours). The exhaustion came in waves but we managed to visit one of the biggest malls I have ever seen in my life. It was called Siam Place and there were about four different mall buildings with small markets running up and down the streets around them as well. We ended up eating a Japanese lunch and taking pictures with dinosaur, chihuahua and penguin statues in between the malls. We celebrated Carley’s birthday with Thai beer at the Bangkok Hard Rock Cafe and later on with cupcakes as well.
In the evening we met up with Carley’s brother-in-law, Abe, who is a lawyer in Bangkok. He took us out to a beautiful Thai restaurant called Monsoon. I don’t remember what all the foods we ate were called but we had a salmon curry that was delicious and some other Thai noodle dishes and salads that were terrific as well.
The second day in Bangkok we decided to visit the King’s Palace. For some reason I thought it would be this one big and beautiful building but I was wrong. It was dozens of huge and gorgeous buildings all glittering with gold and colorful flowers and statues. Everything was so extremely detailed and painted so ornately that it was a bit overwhelming. It was also super crowded there as it has become a massive tourist attraction. The thing with tourist attractions like the King’s Palace is that even though it’s so crowded it’s still definitely worth seeing.
Now there’s one thing I haven’t mentioned about Bangkok yet and that is the traffic and transportation. In just two days Carley and I were able to somewhat master Bangkok’s transit system. Of course we had a lot of help from the staff at Pridi Hostel and also from Abe but still… I’m kind of proud of us. In the two days we stayed in Bangkok we managed to take taxis, open air mini-buses, the sky train, tuk tuks, river boats and motorcycle taxis.
The first time we took motorcycle taxis was when we met up with Abe for dinner. We got off the sky train and he was waiting for us on his motorcycle. Since we couldn’t fit three people on one motorcycle, Carley rode on the back of his and he called a motorcycle taxi for me. Basically you just find these men wearing orange vests on motorcycles and tell them where you want to go. Then you hop on the back of their motorcycle and head out. Motorcycle taxis get you where you’re going quickly because they weave in and out of traffic like maniacs.
This can be good and bad. At first it was really fun but by our third motorcycle ride a car hit Carley’s motorcycle taxi. Don’t worry – she was totally fine – just a scraped up and bruised ankle which we were able to take care of. Anyway we decided to only take motorcycle taxis when it is not rush hour after that…
We were a bit worried that we wouldn’t make it to the train station in time due to Carley’s accident. Luckily Nalin (the lady who runs Pridi Hostel) helped us flag down a taxi to get there on time. Earlier in the day, before visiting the King’s Palace we had purchased train tickets to Chaing Mai. We only just made the train on time. Hopefully we will be able to come back to Bangkok later on. For now I’m just excited for the adventures ahead.
April is the founder and main author for Just Leaving Footprints. She has written for numerous blogs and publications such as Explore Magazine and Snow Pak. April loves writing about sustainable tourism, and promoting other sustainable travelers on her Facebook Group and Instagram Community, Ladies Leaving Footprints. Currently, April is living and teaching English in Mexico City with her husband Arturo and they don’t plan on stopping their travels anytime soon.
Just over two years ago I spent a month in Thailand with my best friend…February 1, 2018