Published: July 14th 2012July 14th 2012
We arrived in Bangkok in the early hours of the morning after our first ‘night bus’ experience. Unfortunately it wasn’t one of the best experiences – no one got enough sleep. So walking around trying to find somewhere to stay proved difficult but when we did we all got a few hours sleep before hitting the streets of Bangkok.
I should say now that we came armed with the knowledge that we shouldn’t believe anyone on the streets of Bangkok and that if anyone tries telling us that something is closed, they are definitely lying. This is why it comes as a great surprise that the first thing that happened to us was a nice friendly Thai guy asked us where we were going. To which we replied “The tourist information centre” of course. It came to light that the tourist information centre we pointed out to him on his very conveniently placed map (stuck to a lamppost) was in fact undergoing refurbs so he advised we go to the main tourist info in the centre. He called a tuk tuk driver over and said that he will take us there for an amazing 10baht (20p) each. All sounded fine
to us. We ended up at a commission based trip organizing company. Sweet. Anyway our lesson was learned much quicker than we could have ever imagined. We later found out that the tuk tuk drivers get 5litres of gas for bringing customers to their shop so it wasn’t all bad.
Nevertheless we were still somewhere in the massive city of Bangkok so we started walking around and found some wholesale markets, an art and culture centre and the electronics mall. Later we plunged ourselves straight into the craziness of Khao San Road for the Murray-Tsonga match. Alcohol.
The next day was Saturday so we’d already decided to get up early and go to the famous Weekend Markets since we heard it was a full day jobby. That it was. Biggest market you’ve ever seen. Well, biggest market we’ve ever seen. It was huuuuuuge. It has maps all over the place showing where you are. Rows of everything from really nice paintings to little puppies. Obviously a lot of clothes which was what we were there for. Everyone got a nice few items and we left at closing time. We must have been there for 6 hours and saw
maybe a quarter of the stalls.
The next day we hopped on a longtail boat which took us down the Chao Phraya River and then turned off down a smaller river where we stopped to watch an old lady row over to us with her kayak full of bits and bobs. She wanted us to buy something from her and to be honest now that I’m writing this I do feel a little guilty for not buying anything. But we were on our way to the floating markets which weren't actually floating. Well a little bit of it was. A lot of it was on concrete but a bit of it was floating so that’s clearly where the name comes from. It was nice, they were selling food and plants and there was a lot of huge fish with big wide mouths in the water feeding on all the bread people were throwing in. Then back on our boat and back out onto the Chao Phraya with the view of the Grand Palace straight in front of us.
Which takes me swiftly on to our next day which is when we had our next slight nightmare. We turned
up to Grand Palace once again armed with some great advice - to wear clothes covering your knees and shoulders. Louise and I were fine but the two Dave’s had their knees out. We still had another day so we could save the Grand Palace for the next day. Not to mention (well they’re about to get mentioned) the hangovers that were on show from the Murray-Federer match the night before. So we ended up having a pretty chilled day and watched the movies our guesthouse was showing that evening. Our friend Jamie who we’d met a few times along the way was back in Bangkok too so it was really nice to see him again.
The next day we went to the Grand Palace with all our knees and shoulders covered. We lost Dave Smith as soon as we entered the place and didn’t see him again until we were back at the hotel. But the place was amazing. It was so big and so intricate and so colourful dominated by the colour gold of course. They love gold over here and they really do love their King. Everything was decorated with shiny coloured mosaic. We saw the
emerald Buddha and sat down while people prayed and then dabbed our heads with the water as we left. We posed with the guards who were stood with guns, sweat dripping from their chins. We checked out the weapons museum. Then we went back very quickly as it was 430pm by this point and we'd not eaten since breakfast.
And I think that wraps up Bangkok.
There are more photos below