Bangkok was an interesting city. Very busy with hints of modernisation but still full of culture and tradition.
We got there in the evening on a dreamliner, Boeing 787. First few minutes of the plane I was amused with the technology. Well mostly the window. There is no shutter, it’s a automated/button operated tint on the window. So cool! Plus the airline we flew does this rainbow lights thingy at landing. Very pretty.
After that the night was pretty much spent ooh-ing and ah-ing over the view from our room. We were staying at Baiyoke Sky at Pratunam. Our room was on the 73rd floor which gave us a beautiful view (below) of the bustling city. View and location were great, otherwise the hotel was just alright. But given how cheap it was, can’t really complain.
We ordered room service that night. I had Tom Yum Soup, which is probably my favourite Thai dish. I had it 3 times during the trip.
Day 2 we got up bright and early to visit the famed Chatuchak market. We ended up spending 6 hours there. Mostly because my travel buddy is a huge yet indecisive shopper. The place is a labyrinth, I suggest if you go there please print out a map.
They sell everything there. Clothes, souvenirs, food, pets, home wear, furniture. Even had lots of little Thai foot massage places. We stopped for one and I got a really strong transgender woman. I was sure my legs would not function after the massage based on the amount of force she was using but contrarily, I felt like I was walking on a cloud.
After a tiring day we decided to go have a nice slow relaxing night by the river at Asiatique. They have night markets there but I found more of a place for dinner and drinks. There’s Muay Thai exhibition match arena thingy there but we didn’t go for it, not really interested.
We had dinner in an upmarket seafood restaurant by the Chao Phraya River. Of course there was Tom Yum soup, the clear one this time. Don’t let the clarity fool you. It was spicy stuff. Thankfully I had a young coconut to cool everything down (plus a matcha mochi pop afterwards). Those things aren’t doughnuts by the way, they are Thai shrimp cakes. Yummy but ginormous. We walked around at night till it got dark. Very nice place, that used to be Danish docks in the 1800s.
The next morning was spent at the most famous temple in Bangkok. It’s where the royal family goes and coronation ceremonies are held. It’s called Wat Phra Kaew or Temple of the Emerald Buddha. It was beautiful all the intricacies and architecture.
There were also walls and walls of murals depicting in detail the famous battles and epics related to Buddhism. Even there though, amidst the stories of violent wars, I spotted the following. Argh couples *insert eye roll*. :D
I had to go rent (for free) a skirt because I was wearing three-quarter pants. It was really pretty I thought, but oh so hot to wear those over denim.
After the morning of exploring, we went in search of lunch. Ended up at a touristy restaurant called Once Upon A Time. It was a very unique (and dark) setting that’s popular with visitors. The food was good but a little pricey. We had Pad Thai and a side called golden bags. But the most impressive thing there was the napkin folding. I felt bad ruining it.
After a stop for pedicures and more massages, we hit the street food at Pratunam Market. It was glorious. Look at those tiger prawns, and they were grilled on the spot. And that bubbling soup, you guessed it Tom Yum. It was the yummiest one I had.
We truly had a visual and literal feast on that last night.
The final day was nothing very cultural. We went to a really nice diner that served the prettiest dessert I have ever seen, called strawberry in the clouds. It was a strawberry shortcake served with a humongous rainbow cotton candy cloud over it. The only negative was that I had to share it with my friend. She doesn’t even like strawberries.
We also went and got a head/hair treatment thingy which leads me to a travel tip for anyone with super curly hair. When in a country where people are only used to straight hair, do not ask them to blow dry your hair with a natural setting. I turned out looking like a very fluffy poodle. It was like the dome on my strawberry shortcake. The picture below is after I tamed it. When she was done (and I was too shocked to take a picture), my hair was 3 times the size. In retrospect I really wish I took a picture so I could put it side by side with the dome dessert I had for comparison.
After that we had some time to kill, so what did we do? Yet another foot massage. And then it was back home on a plane, we boarded using manual boarding passes (picture below). That was a first for me. In the 2 hour flight I think only 10 mins of it had no turbulence. They couldn’t even serve hot tea because of the turbulence. It was ridiculous. But the service was pretty great though. The captain profusely apologised for the turbulence even though it was not his fault.
Overall Bangkok, was a great vibrant but crowded city. Very friendly people that love their royal family, and place steeped in history and culture. It was worth the visit but I doubt I will visit again in the next few years unless its en route to Hua Hin. Off to other parts of Southeast Asia for me for now.