Hi! It’s me. And I’m in Bangkok now.
We arrived in here on Friday morning and went straight to our Airbnb, which was about an hour away from the airport. The train system in Bangkok is quite cheap and easy to use, so we used the train to get to our apartment. Once we had settled in, we decided to go to the Siam area to just look around. Siam is home to many important shopping malls, restaurants and cafes and it is one of the most popular shopping areas in Bangkok. But, once we got there, we didn’t get to look around much. After stepping into a few shops and grabbing a coffee at Starbucks, we realised that we were super tired and jetlagged from the flight. So, we headed back home and fell asleep almost immediately.
The next morning we went to the Chatuchak Weekend Market, which is the largest weekend market in the world. It has been running for over 70 years and more than 200,000 people visit the market every weekend. The market is huge, chaotic and you can buy almost anything there – food, clothes, antiques, plants, and anything else you can dream of. We only bought some coconut ice cream and passport covers, but it was still really interesting to walk around the market and look at all the different things people were selling.
Around midday, the market got really crowded and we left to go to the Jim Thompson House. It was the home of an American businessman and architect, who, after falling in love with Thailand, moved to Bangkok and then established the Thai Silk Company Limited. He also became a major collector of Southeast Asian art, so there were many interesting pieces of art in the house. All of his six houses were built and decorated in a traditional Thai style and he also had a very cosy and beautiful garden with a lot of trees and plants. A guided tour was included in the entrance ticket, which only cost 100 baht (2,5€). The guide gave us a lot of interesting information about the life and customs in Thailand, the silk industry and of course, Jim Thompson. Once the tour was over, we could also look around in the garden and take photos for however long we wanted. From the Jim Thompson House, we went to the MBK Center and ate noodles at a stall outside.
On Sunday, we visited Ayutthaya, the second capital of the Siamese Kingdom. Ayutthaya is about 1,5-2h from Bangkok and there are two main ways of getting there – a bus or a train. We chose the train since it is the cheaper and more scenic option of the two. The train tickets were only 15 baht each, but since we missed the earlier train, we had to wait an hour for another one. The train station was full of ‘helpful’ travel agents and tuk-tuk drivers, all trying to convince you that taking the train is a bad decision and you should definitely use their services instead. In that case, it is always better not to trust anyone who isn’t sitting behind the ticket counter.
Once we arrived in Ayutthaya, we crossed the river with a boat, rented bicycles from the other side of the river and spent the day touring the numerous temples of the historical park. There are a lot of huge ancient temples, which are now in ruins, as well as some newer and working temples. After biking around in the heat for 5 hours, we returned the bikes and headed back home.
Yesterday we finally got around to seeing some of the main sights of Bangkok. We bought a day pass for a boat and used it to move from one place to another. The first place we visited was Chinatown, where we also had lunch and saw the Wat Mangkon Kamalawat Chinese temple. Next, we visited two of the most famous temples in Bangkok – Wat Arun and Wat Pho, which are across the river from each other. Wat Arun is one of the most iconic landmarks of Bangkok and it’s colourfully decorated towers are quite impressing. Wat Pho is home to a huge golden reclining Buddha. We did skip the city’s most famous attraction, the Grand Palace, though. Since it closed already in the afternoon and the entrance tickets to the palace grounds are quite pricey, we decided not to go this time. We will have to come back to Bangkok at some point anyway
Today we haven’t really done anything because in the morning I had a headache and now Ken is asleep and completely unresponsive to my attempts to wake him. We might still go somewhere in the evening, but I doubt it will be anything interesting to write about. Tomorrow we are flying to Chiang Rai, so see you again in a few days!
(In the meantime, you can follow my Instagram @yo.han.na 😅)