03.02.2017 - 06.02.2017 35 °C
So, we booked to stay in a hostel in Bangkok for three nights. This would give us enough time to see a few bits and plan our next move. Our hostel was called D Hostel and was just around the corner from Khao San Road. For those who have never heard of Khao San Road, it is famously referred to as "the centre of the backpacking universe" and consists of hostels, shops (mainly souvenir and clothes shops), bars, restaurants and travel agents. You will also find stools set up on the side of the street where food is prepared and many thai people walk up and down the street, selling anything from bracelets to scorpions to eat. Anyway, more about that later.
The hostel was the best we have stayed in yet during our trip. It was super clean, friendly staff, the bathrooms were separate for men and women, the location was walking distance to Koh San road and the Grand Palace. There where lots of good shops near by. (Loads of 7 eleven shops in thailand) the communal area was really good with free computers to use and a pool table, the beds were comfy with a curtain for privacy and a bedside light and power supply. The breakfast was even really good, with lots of variety.
We used Uber to get from the airport as its been really helpful during our trip, especially when we are arriving in a new country and dont want to get ripped off. Its just that bit of assurance which is nice. The driver took us straight to our hostel, without the usual stops made by taxi drivers at jewellery shops, suit shops, excursion shops and so on in Thailand. I remember from my previous trip to Bangkok a few years ago that we shouldn't really pay more than 500bht from suvarnabhumi airport to koh san road and its best to agree a price before getting in the taxi. Lots of taxi's will negotiate a cheaper ride if you stop at certain places on the way. We didnt want any of that. The taxi cost just shy of 400, so we were pretty pleased.
On our first day in Bangkok, we decided to visit the grand palace and see the emerald buddha. I (Melissa) have been waiting to see this for a long time as I didn't get chance last time I visited and so it was a bit of a big deal to me. We paid 500 baht each (about £10) to enter the grand palace. The queue was huge but went down pretty quickly. The weather was super hot! Especially as we were just getting used to the warm climate once again. Luckily, a near by charity was handing out free water bottles (sealed bottles of course). So that was handy 😁 we walked around the grand palace. The temples were super impressive and we got a few pics. 📸
When it came to the emerald buddha, we weren't allowed to take photos, but I didn't mind. I just wanted to see it. Well we got inside the temple and I had a good chuckle to myself. It was tinyyyyyy. I mean tiny! Like the size of Neil. It was also really high up and had a jacket thing around it for some reason. I couldn't believe it 😂 Paul was just like 'ah yeh 😒 that's nice'. Lol. But at least I saw it. I never would have known if I didn't.
Next we went on the Wat Pho to see the reclining buddha and surrounding temples. The cost there was only 100 baht and you got another free water bottle. Well, if I could advise anyone, skip the grand palace and go here instead. The surrounding grounds are really impressive and you get a great photo opportunity with the reclining buddha. (Even if he was having his feet worked on) I guess buddha has pedicures too.
After that we walked around for a bit and had a look around a bunch of travel agents down Khao San Road, where we bartered with them for the best price to get an overnight bus & ferry to Koh Phangan where the famous Full Moon party was coming up. We managed to get the price down from 800 to 650 each. (About £30 all together) which was pretty good considering, we wouldn't have to pay accommodation for one night. Anybody who has ever taken this trip knows that it is not as simple as one bus and one ferry, but I'll get in to the later.
So, we decided to go for drinks that night down Khao San Road ,starting pretty early 🙈. We sat down at a bar, pretty much half way down the road and ordered a jug of Tiger, started talking to the couple next to us, when a friend who we both have worked with for the previous year just plods over like 'Hello'! We always talk about how crazy it is to bump into to people you know on holiday, but we are usually referring to Europe. We did not expect to see somebody we knew in Thailand, expecially when it's somebody who we both more or less see 5 days a week back home. So anyway, she (Celina) joined us for a few and we caught up on what we had all been up to. It turned out that she was heading off that evening, but that she would be heading to Phi Phi island with her partner (Sam) around the same time as us, so we all planned to meet up later on in our trips. Happy days. We said our goodbyes for then and headed off to the next bar. Then the next, and the next. We indulged in our first bucket (alcoholice drink served in a bucket, guaranteed to get you messy) and both felt the need to eat scorpions, as you do. 🤔 apparently.
Not too sure what time we got back, but I know that we had a good night. We also picked up some food on the way home. Spring rolls with a kebab type thing and then also went to 7eleven and got ham and cheese toasties where they toast them for you. Little pigs we are 🐷🐷.
The next day we decided to visit the floating markets (famous in Bangkok and very popular with locals) we booked another Uber taxi to get there as it was a bit too far for a tuk tuk to take us. The floating market was huge! They sold pretty much everything. Most of all fish obviously. We werent too hungry, so we just got a little snack. It was basically a potato on a stick, fried and then had flavour put on. Totally random, it tasted like a big crisp. (Potato chip).
After a while, we headed back to the hostel and had a look at what to do later. We opted for a visit to Soi Cowboy (a famous red light district in Bangkok), where we could see a Ping Pong show. If you don't know what one of these is, as I told my mum when she asked, research it. I do not care to explain it. Anyway, we went, we saw things that we will never unsee and we ticked that off our list as another experience. 🤔😂 It was another random but funny night out.
The next day, feeling a little worse for wear, we checked out of our hostel, did a little shop around and left our bags at the travel agent, ready for pick up later at 6pm, when we would start our travel to Koh Phangan. Luckily, I happened to remember having time to kill before when I visited Bangkok and took Paul to a hotel where we pretended to be guests, went straight to the elevators and to the top floor where there was a lovely pool and a chill out area in the shade with chilled out spa music playing. It was just what we needed. We ended up chilling other there for hours until we went to the travel agents. From there, we set off for Koh Phangan.....