July 12-14, 2015
I’d been to Thailand four years prior and was looking forward to walking the familiar streets of Bangkok with my friend, Marcus. Those few days were an endless stream of street eggrolls, pork, chicken, curry, and Chang beers. Sadly, Sukhumvit Soi 38 (my favorite) has been shut down as a street food area due to a property dispute.
Last time in Bangkok I stayed at Rambuttri Village Inn, which had very few amenities, was close to Khao San Road, and had a pool on the roof. The price is around $25 via Agoda. This time I was a bit further away from the partying in a nicer place called Bless Residence (around $60 on Agoda).
There’s a plethora of information online about fun things to do in Bangkok. Personally, I like making time to walk up to the Temple of the Golden Mount (Wat Saket) to read my fortune on a random piece of paper. It’s been pretty on point for me.
Then, on any free morning, go to the Grand Palace + Wat Phra Kaew and neighboring Wat Pho, home to the famous reclining Buddha and massage school. Next, head across the river to Wat Arun (Temple of the Dawn) and get stellar views of the city from atop the temple.
Be sure to wear clothes that cover your legs and shoulders as it’s considered disrespectful to wear revealing clothes at temples. If you don’t, you can rent pants or shirts.
Last time I was in Bangkok, I went to a floating market (good) and the Jeath War Museum + Kwae Yai River (good), had a painful Thai massage and was scammed by a tuk-tuk driver (bad), rode an elephant (bad), went to the Tiger Temple (bad), and traveled down to Had Yao beach, Koh Phangan (good).
It’s easy to forget -I know because I did- but ignore any “friendly” locals who tell you that an attraction is closed for a Buddhist holiday or for cleaning. These are scams for trips to a bogus gem sale or shopping at the overpriced tailor. Refuse any driver who quotes a flat taxi fare which will usually be three times more than the meter rate. Always head out to the street and flag a cab. And, if the driver “forgets” to turn on the meter, kindly remind them.