In the beginning there was Bangkok

Well first off, Qatar Airways was superb! Honestly, we don’t want to gush but there was ample legroom, the seats reclined to a comfy sleeping angle and the food was fantastic. So, apart from the 6 consecutive number-two-ers who made use of the facilities that were right behind us at the back of the plane as soon as they could undo their seatbelts (apparently doing one’s business at 3000m in a tiny awkward cubicle is far more rewarding than using the spacious ablutions in the airport – go figure), what we expected to be a gruelling 30hour journey turned out to be quite bearable.
After the heat we experienced in our thankfully brief transfer in Doha, we were met with a comparatively temperate 30degree evening in Bangkok. After many attempts at conversation with our taciturn taxi driver (who, to be fair, is probably sick to death of starry eyed foreigners asking him questions about the city and his background) we just sat back and enjoyed watching the city pass by.
Sam Sen Sam Place is the best value for money accommodation we’ve found in the Banglamphu area. It is clean, quiet , a short walk from the river ferry and the infamous Khao San Rd, and the staff/owners are incredibly friendly and helpful which is invaluable for newcomers such as ourselves. A substantial breakfast and wi-fi access are included in the 500 Bht/night fee (this is a reduced rate that they offer for bookings of four nights or more – another perk).  Following the advice of one of the aforementioned staffers, we headed down Th Samsen (Th = road) to Soi 2 (Soi = numbered side streets branching off of this road) to a really great, affordable restaurant – the name of which will remain a mystery as we could not decipher the Thai sign and the pronunciations we got were as varied as the menu, but there is a picture below (just in case you wind up in Samsen Soi 2 looking for a hearty meal and a cold beer). More effort will go into this kind of research in future, we promise, but one night’s grace is in order after a long flight. In short, it was the perfect meal to start our Thailand experience, and with a big bottle of Chang to wash it down, happiness abounded.
Today we took the bus(aircon- pleasant)  to Pan Tip Plaza – an outlandishly huge electronics centre. It was a great place to earn our haggling stripes, but this turns out be quite dangerous as the feeling of accomplishment that accompanies getting something for what is ostensibly a ‘bargain’  after some theatrical negotiations involving dismissive hand gestures, looks of outrage and feigned disinterest  is rather addictive.
With our not-much-cheaper-than-normal ‘bargains’ in hand, we headed back to Khao San road by bus (no aircon- hot, noisy but  very interesting ) and the conductor waved away our 7Bht with a smile after Joff gave his seat to an elderly lady, so our trip was free.  Khao San Rd is exactly what its reputation promises: touristy, busy, and quite pricey, but also exciting, atmospheric and energising. The afternoon downpour we found ourselves in was a perfect excuse to take shelter in one of the numerous bars and enjoy and over-priced beer. We will definately be heading back for some more serious explorations before we leave Bangkok on Monday.

About adayinthelifeofsomeoneelse

Preparing to travel South East Asia View all posts by adayinthelifeofsomeoneelse

4 responses to “In the beginning there was Bangkok

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