How long was your stay?
How did you travel?
Tell us why you traveled to this destination.
I fell in love with Bangkok when I was 22. Me and my former spouse, Aigerim went for a trip to Burma through this wonderful city. It was our honeymoon trip and Aigerim was a bit scared of going to Burma and what is known as the Golden Triangle. She was dreaming of the Maldives. Nevertheless, she agreed to go to Burma through BKK, and guess what she fell in love with it too. Now she is one of the most ardent lovers of Thailand and BKK
What was your itinerary?
Day 2: Explore the Bangkok River City.
Day 3: Went to Food streets.
Day 4: Visited the Charoen Krung.
Day 5: Exploring Famous Burning temples.
Give us all the details! Tell us where you went and what you did on your trip.
I came back to BKK to see its flower market again, hunt for books in its libraries and department stores, and hang out with fellow travel aficionados on Khao San Road, as tourism bounces back. Give us all the details! Tell us where you went and what you did on your trip I arrived at Suvarnabhumi airport on a flight from Helsinki. It was straightforward and even though I had to apply for a Thai travel pass, the trip felt super chilled. I just uploaded my vaccine pass, a photo of my two main passport pages, and the insurance, covering Covid-19, and got my Thai travel pass in a jiffy.
Next, I boarded the plane, drank a glass of wine, and woke up in BKK. I got my passport stamped without queuing, took a train to Makkasan, transferred on another one to Silom, and then trundled to my hostel, Tiny Taladnoy, located in China Town.
Day 1 I feel so relieved upon my coming to Thailand. You can feel the convivial atmosphere right on your train ride from Suvarnabhumi, where people from all over the world share their happiness at being in Thailand. I arrived in Chinatown and started doing what I love the most: walking. First I walked to Si Lom Road and bought a True data plan enabling me to have one month of unlimited data to use all the super apps like Grab. I called my friends and family back home. Then I proceeded to Lumpini Park, where you can meet athletic locals doing exercises and jogging, with water monitors crawling in the shade and bird songs making you ever more happy and serene. I walked around and even did some yoga exercises.
I then made my way to Siam Paragon, one of BKK’s largest shopping malls and after a brief stroll around Kinokuniya, my favorite bookstore, I met Sarah, my ex-wife’s friend. She took me to a great Rammenery, also situated in Siam Paragon, where we had ambrosial Japanese ramen. Then a friend of hers joined us. Both Sarah and Joe work on yachts as yacht attendants. They took me for a stroll around the city’s downtown and we even dropped by a scenic Chinese shrine, enshrouded in the fragrant bloom of the blossoming jasmine flowers. We then took 1h of Thai massage and went for a beer at a restaurant in Silom. Sadly, it was Election Day so all alcohol sales were banned, but we had nice snacks and washed them down with delectable Thai milk tea, one of the Thai specialties you really must try on your trip to Thailand.
Day 2 The following day Sarah invited me for tea at Baan Rim Bar, a somewhat pricey yet splendid bar, on the riverfront close to Bangkok River City. Then after a glass of Japanese iced tea and a relaxing cava session, we managed to spend hours gazing at the tranquil flow of the Chao Phraya. Afterward, we went for a walk around one of River City’s stunning art venues, with art so engrossing that we stayed there till the closing hours. Following that, we set out on a nonchalant stroll through Chinatown past all the incense-burning temples glowing red and great street food stalls luring with the subtle yet potent aromas of the mouthwatering Satay and Pad Thai. Our goal was to reach the Khao San Road area, so we walked all the way down Charoen Krung, one of Bangkok’s main arteries, which I usually walk at night. It was still evening so stalls were up and people were selling rare artworks and all kinds of Thai local wares and not your usual Thai memorabilia. It felt so different at twilight… We eventually made it to Khao San and here day two began for real.
First, we went to a hostel and met a bunch of backpackers. They were gap year students and the like, a diverse bunch that had done Nepal, Cambodia, and other countries that as early as last year seemed firmly in the grip of the coronavirus pandemic. I got two bottles of rice spirit and they seemed so happy about it. They never thought you could buy something as good at a Seven Eleven for just $2… Then we walked around, swinging by some seedy-looking bars, and proceeded to my new hotel, where I rented a private room for just $15; Khaosan Palace featuring a spacious rooftop terrace and rooftop pool. After the hostel folks, Sara and I parted, I was walking around Bangkok hunting for more ambrosial noodles and soups and seeing real architectural gems like King’s Palace and the area near Khao San in a blend of Thai and colonial architecture, crisscrossed with canals.
Then, I finally made my way to Bangkok’s most beautiful landmark, its flower market where the sweet yet not cloying fragrance of the flower seemed to transfer you to a universe of bliss, whose air is also tinged with the luring smell of algae emanating from the Chao Phraya. My being somewhat tipsy greatly helped this teleporting. The rest of my sojourn I spent my midday hours writing and reading Joseph Conrad, fragments of whose books are set in BKK, and after whose hero, Lord Jim, a bar in Mandarin Oriental BKK has been named, and whose suit there is still available. Just like the Pole I stayed away from cocktails, so dear to Somerset Maugham, another famous British author, and stuck to strong spirits, so tempting to the seafaring Pole. In the evening I would stroll to the riverside, drop by the flower market, think of pleasant walks I had there with my friends, and then head to Khao San to gaze at the constant flow of travelers and cheerful locals, one of the few things that seem to show that Thailand is back for good in 2022.
Would you recommend this trip to a friend?
What was the highlight of your trip?
The highlight of the trip was meeting people and talking to other backpackers, even dining with them!
If you were to take this trip again, is there anything you would add or do differently?
I would not do it again in January and even if I do, I will wear proper boots. Since I went to the mountain and to many cold places, sneakers were a bad idea. I would also not bring as many things as I did this time. My heavy backpack was full of things I didn’t use at all.
Instagram: Ivan Ivoylov
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