Bangkok, the capital city of Thailand, is one of our favourites cities in Asia. We love Bangkok. We’ve been here for a week now, which is much longer than we were ever expecting, and it’s been absolutely brilliant. It only took three hours to get here from Sri Lanka, but it’s a complete world away from anything else we have experienced on this trip. The weather, the people, the food, the traffic, the space, the noise, the smells, the beer, the language, the alphabet… the list goes on.
The kids have adjusted very quickly, and seem genuinely happy to get back to Bangkok as it’s the first place we’ve been to in the last four months that they’ve visited before. They’ve settled into the place, and treat it like home. They know how Bangkok works. As parents, we’ve clearly changed, as we remember the traffic here being utterly terrifying to negotiate with the kids back in 2014. It’s been less than two years, but we’ve got a lifetime of experience with all of us now, and crossing the road is a breeze.
I think that the biggest highlight has been meeting up with Uncle Adam for a day. We’ve all been suffering from a bit of home sickness since before Christmas, and seeing a friendly face from home has helped us all I reckon. The kids were beyond excited at having a fresh grown-up to play with. Adam took the kids for a foot massage and a Fanta for breakfast and that has firmly cemented his position as favourite uncle.
We’ve been busy doing tourist stuff in Bangkok. Despite this being our 5th or 6th visit to the city, we’ve found so much more than we ever knew existed. I’m not sure what we’ve been up to previously, but we’d barely scratched the surface of what’s going on within three miles of Khao San Road. There are some utterly mind-boggling temples within easy walking distance of tourist central that are pretty much deserted, and are completely free to visit.
We found a list of the “Eight Best Temples in Bangkok” and set out to find the ones we haven’t seen before. We’d been to the Grand Palace with Uncle Adam and it was packed full of tour groups, but these temples were all pleasantly tourist free (except for the Golden Mount which had free wifi at the top!). Such a brilliant day!
There are also some awesome parks and we visited several. Lumpini Park is full of wildlife, from massive monitor lizards and terrapins to tame egrets. It also has play grounds for the kids and tracks for walking or jogging. The lake in the middle is a lovely place to just chill and watch the world go by.
We had a long tail trip around the canals, which included a very cheeky tourist tatt seller who conned/charmed/forced us into buying a beer each and one for the driver. Very skillful!
We’ve used the river ferries, we’ve been to the library to do some schoolwork, we’ve eaten a lot of street food (including trying deep fried locust and scorpion) and we’ve spent an exciting couple of hours in a shopping centre. Here though, I’m disappointed to report that all of our good intentions to de-clutter our lives when we get home flew out of the window. When given the opportunity to buy “stuff” we’re still just as materialistic as we’ve ever been. Must try harder!
T he ancient capital of Ayutthaya is an easy day trip from Bangkok on a train. Check out Sam’s post about that. We hadn’t tried a day trip from Bangkok before but it worked well. Ayutthaya is fascinating and exceeded our expectations of it being a bit lame! It’s well worth a visit for a day.
We stayed on Rambrutti Road (the one next to Khao San Road) for this visit, mostly because that’s where Uncle Adam was staying. We would normally stay away from ‘party central’ but, actually, it has been good being so central while Uncle Adam has been with us. Rambrutti House is a clean, cheap hotel right in the middle of the tourist bars and restaurants. It’s a simple hotel. No bar or restaurant, no frills. But who needs that when there are bars and restaurants just outside the door? Importantly for us, the hotel has ensuite rooms with four beds, as well as the usual singles and doubles. This is very handy for families. If you’re looking for somewhere cheap, clean and central to the night-life, Rambrutti House is a good choice.
We’re going to be in Bangkok for a couple more days, and then we’re heading off to Kanchanaburi for a week or so before flying off to Myanmar. It’s going to be a blast.
Thailand has completely reinvigorated our travelling mojo, and we can’t wait to get on with it.