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Arrive in Bangkok

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Arriving in Bangkok was fairly painless. A airport bus service to Kao San dropped me right outside my hotel, that was pure luck but made the first night much easier to deal with. I have to say my first impressions were, what on earth am I doing here! Kao San road, for those of you who have not had the pleasure, is an experience. It's incredibly busy, and the smell hits you like a brick wall! It's take all of 5 seconds for me to be offered a tuktuk, a massage, and a lady.

Kao San road

Kao San road

I've not quite worked out the rules of the road yet, as every time I walk up it, it seems different. You can buy pretty much anything you can think of on the road and it's surrounding pathways. The road itself is usually pedestrian (but not all the time) and is full of temporary stands selling all sort amongst the permanent shops, bars, clubs, massage parlours and guesthouses.

Many of the stands are selling street food, which seems to be very important wherever you go in Bangkok, and you really can't go wrong with food here, you might have to leave any thoughts of health and hygiene behind, but it's worth it, everything I've tasted so far has been amazing.

On my first night I ventured the nightlife of Kao San road and end up in "The Roof Bar". This was on the top floor rather than the roof, but the place had a buzzing atmosphere, with a Thai chap in the corner playing any number of good old western rock songs on his guitar, proving very popular with his audience! I met an American guy there. In his late 40s he's been coming to South East Asia for the last 15 years to stock his jewellery business back in the states. By 6.30am we've gone to a couple of different bars and appear to be the last people still going. I walk along a now deserted Kao San road (it's hard to believe there was ever anything there!) and get back to my hotel to crash out.

The next day is a right off. I've no idea how much I had to drink the night before, but it's been a long time since I've felt that bad the day after! I have the familiar words "I'm never drinking again" ringing in my ears.

Giant Swing

Giant Swing

I couple of days later I go for a walkabout Bangkok. I have no particular destination in mind but end up bumping in to the 2 English lads who are the looking for the "Giant Swing". I'd seen this on the map myself the day before and was quite interested to find out what it was, so I join them. The swing is exactly what it says on the tin. Situated off a huge square just in front of a temple the swing was used to ward off the end of the world (at least that's what I think it said). After a little more walking round we end up back at my hotel for a meal and a few beers (what happened to the never drinking again?) I meet up with them again later to watch the Chelsea v Liverpool match, and then I take them to Kao San road which they've somehow managed to avoid while they've been here. It's Sunday, and it seems everywhere closes early, so we leave. I see this as good news as the club next door to my hotel has been keeping me awake the last few nights.

It's Monday the 7th Feb as I write this and I've had a heavy day of walking and riding a tukuk. I ventured in to the none tourist areas of the old town today and just can't get over how crazy this place gets. Food markets seem to line every street, I just don't understand how these people make a living. Although having seen how some of them seem to live, maybe they don't make a living.

I've still got a couple of days in Bangkok, and I have to admit I'm looking forward to getting out of here. There is a fascination with Bangkok, and maybe I'd enjoy it more if I was with friends, but it's a little too busy/crazy here, and I'm still not getting used to the smell, however, i suspect that won't get any better when i move on.

I was intending to go to a national park east of here before heading to Cambodia, but I've been told by a couple of locals that there is fighting between the Thai and Cambodian army on the border. One very nice chap who's brother is a chef at the Blue Elephant in Fulham tells me I'd be better off going round the other way, and then flying out of Cambodia. I've got a couple of days to thinking about, but I must admit the heading south to the white sandy beaches is sounding pretty appealing right now!

Posted by tmac77 01:25 Archived in Thailand Tagged san road bankok kao

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Those '2 English lads' sound great!? :)

by Freddie.Warner

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