Friday, 11 October 2013

Thailand - Bangkok

Bangkok, Thailand

Hi everyone!

It has been an unbelievably long time since I last posted, I had really hoped I could have posted a couple of things before I left the UK but unfortunately I was incredibly tight for time trying to get loose ends tied before leaving.

We flew out to Bangkok, our first destination, on the 6th July with a 2.5 hour stopover in New Delhi before arriving to Bangkok on the evening of the 7th. We hopped in a taxi and about 30-40 minutes later we were in front of our hotel in Chinatown. When we booked our flights and first couple of nights of accommodation we decided to treat ourselves and not dive straight into budget accommodation. We spent our first three nights at the Shanghai Mansion which is an absolutely lovely hotel with lovely staff. It was a nice way to ease our way into Bangkok. The first evening we just collapsed after a lot of flying.

Wat Pho Bangkok
Wat Pho (Reclining Buddha)
The following day we ventured out with the aim of seeing the Grand Palace and Reclining Buddha, that didn't quite happen and instead we ended up going to the MBK mall to check it out - pretty impressive and very manic, I expected it to be more like Westfields in layout but it was quite cramped and like a little maze. We decided to try the Skytrain to get back to our hotel and we were pretty successful, although we got a little disorientated walking back from the station and stumbled across a nice temple (of which there are many in Bangkok).

Throughout our time in Bangkok we ended up seeing the Grand Palace, Wat Pho, Wat Arun, Vimanmek and the Throne Hall. It was all suitably impressive. 

You can climb up Wat Arun from the outside as it has steps leading up to various levels - these steps are incredibly steep and I almost didn't climb up to the highest point as they were so steep going up looked like a mission - however I did it which I regretted later. Now I'm not generally scared of heights, but when you're faced with incredibly steep steps down to the next level - verging on vertical - I was quite nervous. In the end my legs tensed and were shaking so much I actually pulled a muscle in my thigh and was hobbling around a bit for a couple of days afterwards.

Bangkok, Thailand
Wat Pho
After our three nights in the lovely Shanghai Mansion (which incidentally make the nicest (Strawberry) Mojitos I've had since being in SE Asia) we moved onto a hotel called Buddy Boutique Inn which is pretty much in the 'backpacker' area of Bangkok - Khao San Road which essentially is akin to a 'strip' you'd see in any European party resort - think Kavos, Magaluf etc. It was a change to what was in Chinatown and things seemed a bit more 'familiar' on KSR but I don't think we'll stay there again, maybe to visit though. 

Our initial thoughts on Bangkok are a little indifferent - we were quite happy to see the back of it and from people I know who have been I get the impression it is a bit of a 'marmite' city. We'll be going back there in before heading on down to the Islands so maybe by giving Bangkok a second chance, we'll be pleasantly surprised. 

Kate x
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(This entry was written while I was still travelling around Asia, just in case the last bit confuses anyone!)

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