We have been travelling around Indonesia for a month now and I was not able to post anything for a while (there is no excuse for being an undedicated writer but on a serious note we were constantly moving from place to place, trying to see as much as possible, doing so many things – oh well I didn’t have that extra energy to actually sit and write).
Now let’s get back to the main topic of this post: BANGKOK!
Before visiting the city that never sleeps, I’ve been told that 2 days are more than enough to spend in Bangkok. An advice I shouldn’t have listened to! Bangkok is a whole another world and it deserves some more appreciation. It has this authenticity about itself that just takes you on a magical road. Yes it’s dirty, busy and crazy but funnily enough it’s all mixed in a way that you fall in love with it. I can’t imagine Bangkok any different, everything about it just adds to its uniqueness.
We went from Koh Tao to Surat Thani by ferry, then to Nakhon Si Thammarat by bus and from there with airplane to Bangkok. It was too long but we bought the airplane tickets in advance while we were still in London. And as I previously wrote, Koh Tao was a sudden decision 🙂
We checked in Cacha Hotel – my favourite boutique hotel so far! The design of it is pure art!
Even though we were so exhausted after the long day spent travelling, we decided to take a Tuk Tuk and go to Khao San Road. And wow – it looks exactly as it is shown in “The Beach” movie – the complete meaning of BUSY! You can find everything there for a cheap price, no wonder it’s the first choice of backpackers. We had a quick dinner and a drink and head to the hotel. The next day we spent on discovering the city on our own. We got lost in it and that was exactly our aim.
We also visited the Wat Pho which is the oldest temple complex in Bangkok. Everything looked beautiful. We also met few Thai groups that were studying English so we had conversations with them as a part of their practice and took some pictures together. After the temple we dedicated ourselves to a full local experience.
The only down side was when we decided to get back to the hotel. We didn’t really know where we were at that point so we had to take a Tuk Tuk or a Taxi. Since no taxi was willing to take us (apparently we were on the other side of the city and with the crazy traffic, the drivers preferred not to bother), our only option was Tuk Tuk. If you have already been to Bangkok, you know how they love overcharging tourists so when an old smiley driver suggested taking us to the hotel for free, we just said “Yes” without a second thought and jumped in the Tuk Tuk. Mum always says: “There’s no free lunch” but where are you, mum, to remind me this when I actually need to apply your advice?!
The good old man started telling us in a bad English that he would stop in 2 clothing stores and that we wouldn’t have to buy anything but we should bring him coupons and after that we would head to Cacha Hotel. All could have been handled better, if we could only understand each other correctly. I blame it on the miscommunication but that doesn’t change the fact that the man actually made us work for him J I am laughing now, but I clearly remember that I was extremely close to a nerve breakdown back then! In the first stop we spent 30 minutes talking to the salesperson, trying to look interested in buying suits and ties (while being sweaty and sticky in our shorts and T-Shirts). In the end we were given a card and set free. Well, we tasted the feeling of freedom for a good 30 seconds because there was our Tuk Tuk driver looking so disappointed that we managed to get a card and not a coupon. After that he took us to the second store and warned us approximately 100 times that we should stay longer and ask for a COUPON. This time we were better employees, spent 40 minutes talking to the most aggressive salesperson. It almost felt as if we didn’t buy anything, the world would have come to an end! We got out there with a coupon in our hands, the driver was happy and we thought that finally we are going to our hotel. Oh, how naive are we! The old man said: “You give me 1 coupon, 1 more store – 1 more coupon”. And that was it! Our patience was completely over, we just got out of the Tuk Tuk and started walking until we found a taxi. When we arrived in our room, we had only time for a quick shower as we already had promised a friend of Beyazit to meet her at Sky Bar.
Sky Bar has a stunning view from the 63rd floor, you can have a cocktail and watch the city from above. We had a nice conversation, we enjoyed what the rooftop bar had to offer and decided to continue in Khao San Road. We prefer more local vibe places than posh ones, but that is just a personal taste.
The next day we woke up with no plan and a hangover – not the best-case scenario. We wanted to see the elephants but we didn’t book a tour the day before so we had no other option but organize it all on our own. Beyazit found the place and I found how to get there. The only problem was that we had only 3 hours before it’s closed. So we literary ran from the hotel to the DLR, arrived at the bus station, took a bus to Kanchanaburi. We were already late for the place that we checked online but luckily we met a man who offered to take us somewhere else and bring us back before the last bus to Bangkok (we definitely had to come back on time as we had a flight the next day).
The ride itself was super fun and the place was at Khwae Noi River. We rode elephants and took a bath with them. They seemed happy and people were taking good care of them, at least this is what we saw and how we felt.
I guess we spent more time with them than we actually should have because the driver was rushing to get us back to the bus station on time. We literary arrived 1 minute before the last bus left!
Upon arrival in Bangkok we found ourselves in a huge local market where we were the only foreigners. We had our dinner there, bought some presents, fed little goats and when we realized that we spent more than 3 hours, we took a taxi and went back to the hotel.
The next day we took our flight to Phuket. When we arrived, we just picked a random taxi only to take us somewhere near as we had to return to the airport early next morning and fly back to London. A man would think that our adventure ended there but that’s never the case with us.
Since we didn’t book anything, we had to take the first available room we found. With such a limited choice we ended up in a room with all kind of insects, Beyazit said he saw bugs but to find a mouse in the bathroom was the last drop. I went to the receptionist and politely apologized that I won’t be able to sleep in the room. The sweet lady also apologized for the inconvenience and offered us to stay in a better room with door that we could actually lock, with air-conditioner and no mice inside.
The next morning we arranged the driver to pick us up at 7:15 as we thought our flight was at 9:00. Our initial thoughts were apparently completely wrong as we came to understand at the check-in desk. The woman told us that we are the last two passengers and we have to be at the gate in 15 minutes before it closes. We ran from there, other passengers were kind enough to let us go first through the passport check and the hand bag check. We made it on time, I was left with no breath and with my last energy I just throw the passports to the desk where a sweet woman with calm voice just told me: “Your flight has been delayed”. What a joke?! The funny part is that the airplane didn’t take off before 9:00 🙂