Bangkok & all it’s Splendor.

13 Mar

One of the first lessons we learnt is do not judge a city based on others experiences. Learn for yourself.

Ok, I will be honest. We were half expecting to leave the solace of the airport and be smacked down by unbearable humidity and the gut wrenching stench only Bangkok can deliver. Once ripped off by the taxi driver, we would arrive at our hostel, only to be plagued with lady-boys and an array of sex crazed foreign men. But no – we arrived in a city that was filled with an enticing energy, a buzzing night life, humble food vendors and enthusiastic Thai musicians doing their best Hotel California cover – a visual depiction I would best describe as organized chaos.

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I left Cape Town with the nickname Princess. Friends and family find great amusement in teasing (what they believe) my inability to “rough it”. Any-who, we booked our first nights accommodation. Princess or not, just do it. Agoda makes it so simple. If, like us, you’re traveling for an unknown amount of time, your bag weighs 30kgs and you are not used to sticky, hair-frizzing heat – I suggest saving yourself the trouble when you arrive in a bewildered state, and book your first night before hand. Like it, stay. Don’t like it, go next door or move in the morning. We had a very pleasant stay at The Green House Hostel – one street away from Khoa San Road and perfect walking distance from the hype and craziness.

From me to you. Don’t book or plan your trip through any travel agent. We did. No matter how sussed you think you are – you are just another foreigner. That cute little Thai lady that stops you to show you around Bangkok – her husband is the tuk-tuk driver who has a deal with the shop owners whom he takes tourists too. Harmless, but naivety can be costly – which we learnt after booking a journey and weeks stay in Koh Samui for close to double the price. Interesting fact? The train station is across the road. Stroll over and book yourself…

Bangkok on a budget? We had a wonderful, jam packed 3 days in this city – spending 900 Baht a day (which included a Valentines Day dinner and massage, accommodation, travel, everything). Eat off the street in the evenings. Drink less beer and alcohol. Enjoy the coffee and fruit shakes from the street vendors (a perfect breakfast or snack). Do become familiar with 7/11. Start your day with no expectations and before you know it, you have seen the most incredible places.

Love it or hate it – Bangkok is a city which is bound to get you contemplating how exactly people remain so calm in traffic, how things can be so cheap and how it is possible for a city to exempt the extremes of both the developed and developing world. We enjoyed it, give it a try!

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