First impressions of Bangkok -2015

Not the best start to my trip…

Now I did actually have a really good journey, with everything connecting smoothly and due to walking or getting the internal trains to the departure gates, I didn’t have to wait more than 50 mins in any one lounge or seating area.

What was annoying was that I left my new (secondhand) Barbour hat in the overhead locker on the first flight (Gatwick to Dubai). So annoyed! I realised just as I was boarding the second flight. I am kicking myself.

Anyway I text Mum and she emailed Emirates but they couldn’t find it. Now I am doubting my memory and wondering if I left it on a seat in Dubai airport but they will let me know if nothing is handed in. Really annoyed.

Whew, anyhow, good things about the flight. I took my own water bottle (Water to go) which has a filter and filled it up in the bathroom, so I kept hydrated during the flight, so no headache. Normally I would be like ‘yay’ but I am still annoyed about my hat so it is just murh.

Some things my Dad would like; there was a great entertainment system and two cameras which allowed you to see underneath the plane and ahead during the whole flight which was interesting.

I watched three & 1/2 movies; Chappie, which I wanted to see in the cinema, Spare Parts, which was probably the best of the lot and based on a true story and Project Almanac, which was about time travel! The fourth was called Robot Overlords which was not that great so I didn’t finish it.

I met a British man on the second flight who said he is married to a Thai girl and spends six weeks in North Thailand and four in England. He told me some useful things. One of which (I will double check of course) that in order to extend your visa (mine is currently sixty days) it is best to cross the border and then come back in which will give you another thirty days. He mentioned the friendship bridge to Laos which I am going to look up.

At the airport I met a German girl called Maren who is traveling for four weeks in Thailand backpacking. We shared a taxi to the Khao San Road and found her a hostel and I then I walked to mine.

The taxi cost 665 baht which was metered and includes standing fee of 75 baht and we split it. It worked out good value if you convert it to GBP but I’m not sure if we paid too much in Thailand terms but it got us there.

We met up later and walked around the general street stalls etc and I bought a hat and flip flops. We popped into a 7eleven and I can confidently say that if you are planing a trip here you don’t need to pack any toiletries (I had to clear bag mine through the airport) or clothes. Just take one set and buy when you get there. I don’t mind too much but I can’t buy any clothes because I have no room for any more and I don’t want to leave behind what I have brought with me.

We got a tuktuk round to two temples (he wanted to take us further but we were very hot by that time and went back to our hotels) the Wat Intharawihan and the Hall of the Lucky Buddha and the Temple Library.  The temples were lovely, lots of gold and mirror tiles, but I’m not sure what to make of Bangkok as a place yet. It is a very strange mixture of old and new, rundown and well kept. One moment you could be in an air conditioned pharmacy just like a Boots in the UK and the next minute looking at people sitting on the street on cardboard with a metal pot, or in a shop made of cardboard and tape covered with graffiti. It is nothing like Africa (the only only other eastern country I have to compare with, sorry geography buffs I know they are completely differently places). In Tanzania everything was in the same state of repair with the exception of a couple of huge buildings owned by Coke Cola or the like.

Luang Pho To Buddha at Wat Intharawihan

So the tuktuk ride only cost us 20 baht, the deal being that he takes you to some tourist centre in the hope you will book something. We took a card and said we would ‘call and book later’ but it was a bit awkward. Apparently the tourist centre pays for gasoline for the tuktuk drivers, so they do tours and hope you will tip them well and then that’s 100% profit as they have no petrol costs. We were mean and only payed the 20 baht originally requested. Apparently this is a well know ‘scam’ but I would not use the word scam as it is a bit harsh, he didn’t force us to buy anything only that we go into this tourist centre and we were not pressured to buy anything. I have looked it up online and they are apparently very inflated tourist prices. Worked out cheap for us though and we got to try a tuktuk ride and see two temples that we would have died if we had tried to walk there in the heat.

It seems everyone is working for this tourism place? But they can’t all be on commission? Random Thai people recommended it to us constantly? Strange.

Anyway here are a few of my close up pics that I liked. There were some lovey detailed statues.

My room is very posh, I think five star Thai equivalent for £30 GBP a night, expensive by Thai standards, I hope to stay in much cheaper hostels for the rest of my stay here.  I am really staying at the Nova City hotel for convenience as my Geckos tour goes from here on Sunday. Tomorrow we are off to see the Temple of the Emerald Budda which we couldn’t do today beause we were in shorts and its long trousers only there.

Ah I have just found an appropriate quote online: ‘As the political, economic, cultural, culinary, and spiritual capital of Thailand, Bangkok features both old-world charm and modern convenience, at times served up in an apparently chaotic manner, but always with a gracious smile.’

Oh and all the toilets have this hose pipe thing attached? Do any seasoned Thailand travelers want to enlighten me as what this is for?

Next up: days two and three in Thailand

Previously: packing light for Thailand

2 thoughts on “First impressions of Bangkok -2015

  1. Pingback: Days two and three in Thailand – 2015 | williamstoneupcycledgoods

  2. Pingback: Packing light for Thailand – 7kg into a 35 litre pack. | williamstoneupcycledgoods

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