Bangkok | Chatuchak, Temples and KFC

After the worst bus journey of our lives (18 hours sat up through the night) followed by Jess throwing up over herself in the tuk-tuk ride to our hotel, we arrived in Bangkok, exhausted and smelling of warm sick. The hotel we arrived at was hidden away in the backstreets of Bangkok where we were shown to our room by someone who can only be compared to Hanson from Scary Movie 2. He insisted on dragging our 16 KG bags up 4 flights of stairs where we were introduced to the family we’d be spending the week with… a pack of rats living in the walls and baby cockroaches covering the floor.

The rodents did not stop Jess crashing for the rest of the day in the hotel room before complaining that we couldn’t stay there for our time we’d booked and then trying to find ourselves a nature free place to stay for the night. We decided to treat ourselves to a decent hotel with a pool for a few nights close to Chatuchak market. Our room was kitted out with a real life bath and fridge which we’d almost forgotten how to use. However  when someone put our bags on a trolley to take them to our room we thought that from then on we’d be settling for nothing less.  

Due to Sam still recovering from Dengue and Jess’s body also protesting, we spent the next few days living off KFC and doing little to nothing. We did visit Chatuchak briefly where you can buy anything from illegal animals to glass gardens. Chatuchak is famous for being the largest market in the world and home to more knock-offs than a Chinese workshop. Jess, despite being ill, couldn’t resist temptation and bought a Joy Division vest top. Sam, as much as the crocodile skin boots were calling thought better and settled to treat himself to a beer that evening. 

By the fourth day in Bangkok, it was time to retreat back to civilisation so we moved to a guesthouse close to Koh San Road and ferry port no.13. One of the best ways to travel around central Bangkok is by boat. There are ferry ports all along the Chao Phraya River which stop at all the local tourist destinations and local spots as well. The trick we found out early on was that there are two types of ferries, the red ticket ferries and the blue ticket ferries. If you get a blue ticket, you pay triple the price for a ‘tourist ferry’ whereas if you go and get a red ticket you are on a crowded boat with the locals but much more of an authentic experience. The first day exploring our new side of town took us to China Town, where we found more clothes and shoes than we knew what to do with! Sam bought a hat after we got lost wandering the side streets looking for food. Eventually, we made it out of the maze and to the local Tesco! This bizarre experience was even more confusing when we found that the labels on the products were the same as back home but the products themselves consisted of chicken feet and intestines. By this point we were starving, Sam found some BBQ meat that Jess said looked okay. It turned out to be chicken anus! The chewiest meat we’ve ever tried! After this, we found a pot of steamed sweet corn and headed back to our hotel. 

That evening we set out to see Koh San Road, the hedonistic road famed for its buckets of cheap alcohol and street food offerings of scorpions and spiders. It’s fair to say after the chicken anus neither of us were feeling that adventurous and we settled for an Indian restaurant. The food was delicious even though Sam had to send his Vindaloo back twice for being milder than Jess’ tika masala! 

For the next day and our last in Bangkok, we booked a bus to Siem Reap and went to see the reclining Buddha at Wat Pho and the impressive temples at Wat Arun. The boat dropped us at Wat Arun so we spent the next hour looking at all the details on the Stupors as well as seeing the grounds and monks housing that surrounds it. The grandeur of the central stupor was incredible, only missing the chance to see the inside too. We then found a cheap ice-cream and boarded the passenger ferry to Wat Pho. Here lies the reclining Buddha. This immense statue was completely overshadowed by the grounds that surround it. Wat Pho has much more to offer than just the Buddha it’s famous for. Everywhere you looked was a Buddha statue in a different position as well as the guards who protect them. These looked more like dogs with red lipstick than anything else.

Our day once leaving the temple was somewhat short with packing, picking up laundry and finding somewhere to eat. We knew the next day was going to be a long one with the bus picking us up at 7 AM and knowing we wouldnt arrive until evening even if the boarder crossing was easy.

Despite Bangkok’s reputation leaving us apprehensive as to what to expect, we loved it here! We can’t wait to be heading back in April for Songkran to see Sam’s mum and dad where we can catch up on the things we didn’t get to do this time – which is plenty!


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