Not booking a hostel? Think twice!
I arrived at the central bus station in Bangkok after a long bus ride (which went by way faster than I had expected) around 5.30am. I couldn’t find a taxi – long story short: I found myself on a scooter taxi heading downtown Bangkok with no helmet and my backpack on. After stopping for quite a while and letting about 40 tanks drive by I finally arrived on Khao San Road. You don’t want to be on that road so early in the morning: it was filled with drunk backpackers and locals trying to make money out of them. After two hours of desperately looking for wifi and a hostel I nearly gave up.
I ended up at the Niras Bankoc Cultural Hostel, where the staff was so friendly to let me into the common area to take a shower and leave my stuff for the day. The hostel itself was very clean, comfortable and modern. It’s also located behind a cute café where you can have a good cup of coffee and a nice breakfast.
Bangkok in a day: tourists, temples, backpackers and protests
I set off on food from the hostel, determined to discover the city on food. I walked to the giant swing, passed a small local food market and discovered the Wat Rajabopitsathitmahasimaram: the most beautiful temple I have seen up to now.
From there I walked towards the pier and through the amulet market.
I went back towards Khao San Road and strolled though a street filled with everything a backpackers heart can ask for: from cheap tshirts (with „same same“ & Chang prints) to buckets and street food. After a shot wifi-and-coffee-break I headed towards the democracy monument where the protest zone was located. I wanted to see the Loha Prasat and the Wat Saket (beautiful view over BKK) and the only way I could find went through the protest zone. It seemed very peaceful at the time, with old people playing cards and children playing in front of their tents.
I had seen plenty of Bangkok’s main tourists attractions and felt a little scared for the ongoing protests. Therefore I decided to leave Bangkok the next morning with an early flight to Krabi.
Valentines day: 6 girls, burgers & buckets!
At the hostels I met a nice group of girls and we headed towards a delicious burger place called Chomp. The vegi-burger (pumpkin-dried tomatoes-feta-peppers-cucomber-salad) was amazing! It was fun to spend a night out with girls only. We headed to Khao San Road for some drinks & party after dinner. Since it was Buddha day the bars couldn’t serve any alcoholic beverages (unless they were in coffee cups or buckets) – we managed to find a bar to have Soda-lime-Sang Som (Thai whiskey) buckets. A couple of buckets and a pink Chang crop top later we headed to The Club where we danced into the night.
The next morning I had to leave for the airport at 5.30am to catch my flight to Krabi. I woke up at 6.15am, rushed out the hostel and somehow still managed to catch my flight. It took me about 45 minutes by taxi to reach the airport. Note to self: no Sang Som less than 12h before traveling.
How to survive in Bangkok:
- Book a hostel in advance! (Please do! You don’t want to end up wandering around in the heat of BKK!)
- Make sure to wear comfortable shoes you can slip on and off easily & clothes that cover knees and shoulders (when entering temples)
- Go to Khao San for a night of buckets and backpackers – great place to meet other travelers!
- Be aware that you’ll spend way more than in Northern Thailand & Laos!
- Ask the locals how much they would spend for a certain route with a cab/ tuctuc and bargain!
- Scooter taxis are fun and the fastest way to get around – just make sure to ask for the helmet
Expenses Bangkok: more expensive than you think!
- transport: 30 – 250 B (shared tuc tuc – scooter ride from the bus station)
- hostel: 450B/ night
- food: 120 – 300B (breakfast – burger)
- attractions: 20 – 100 B
- souvenirs: 25 – 100 B (bracelet/ Chang tshirt)
- Flight BKK-Krabi-BKK (booked the night before): around 120 US$