One thing was clear for the Valentine's Day trip with my girlfriend, and that was to try to fit as much as possible to our way of traveling. For this we discarded the idea of organizing the trip with an agency and began the odyssey of planning. The first thing to do was to choose the destination. I have always wanted to visit Bangkok in Thailand.
The reason was not very clear to me. Maybe because nature has always called me or perhaps because of friends who have visited it and told me about its contrasts. We decided to finish the trip with the best possible dessert with Maldives and its paradisiacal beaches!
The flight would leave in the morning at 10 o'clock. So we left the house with the intention of having breakfast at the airport to avoid possible complications on the way. We had 1 hour to eat something before catching the flight. According to what we calculated we would be fed at 11 o'clock on the flight so we fill our stomachs a bit.
With the emotion of the trip, time passes quickly, so fast that we are about to take off. The size of the plane is huge. So we look for our seats and prepare for the flight. The front space of the seats allowed to stretch the legs a little more than normal. Although the handicap of the three lines of seats on the sides was a real pain because we could not get up whenever we wanted.
The food was pretty good. The flight continued while we watched movies and we talked with those at home by whatsapp with the free megaphones. At about 1 we arrived at the airport. After going through immigration we get our passport stamped. No visa was required as in Thailand it is not necessary for vacations up to 30 days. With backpacks on our backs we went to change some money and take the train that would take us to the center.
Another thing that we should have done and did not do, was to take a sim card for our mobile phones at the airport. Our first hotel is in the Sathorn area so we had to make a little detour until we get to the city! The truth is that these airstrips are an experience, since they allow us to pass through the city and begin to glimpse what Bangkok was going to offer us!
In 30 minutes or so we reached the Phaya thai stop where there is take the elevator to go upstairs to get the BTS to our hotel. This is the best part of the journey since we pass near large shopping centers and enjoy the city from another perspective. So almost without realizing and without knowing very well where to get off we arrived at the skywalk that would take us to our first accommodation on the trip.
We crossed the BTS skywalk and finally we entered the hotel! It's 3 in the afternoon and it's been hours since we left our house and the body is tired! The BTS leaves us on the third floor from the hotel so we have to go down to the first one to check-in. The reception of it is incredible. We do all the paperwork of scanning the passport, payment and finally we are on our way to our room!
We have one located on the top floors of the hotel assuring us a good view of this area. We really wanted to take advantage of the afternoon especially to rest in the incredible infinity pool of the hotel. The hotel pool really is as they say, amazing especially when it is getting dark and the surrounding hotels are illuminated.
After resting we went to change with the intention of going to dinner and then take something in its terrace. We started with our famous tripadvisor searches of restaurants and decided to go to one that was a few meters away. As the temperature was good we decided to go walking so we would see the area.
As soon as we got out on the street we saw how it was impossible to pass through where supposedly marked the GPS, a road with two lanes per direction. So we went walking in search of an area where to cross the road. The walk lasted 3 minutes, until we saw that drops were beginning to fall and people were running. The flood was approaching.
We spent 30 minutes in the arcades of a store waiting to see if it would drain a little (we do not carry umbrellas). The truth is that it is amazing how quickly the weather changes in the city with the rain. Many motorists stopped to put on the raincoat and continue. Others waited until a family member came looking for them.
As it did not stop we decided to abort the mission of going to the terrace because it seemed crazy to risk paying for a beer with rain pouring on us. So back at the hotel we change clothes and look for a new restaurant to go to dinner. We found one 10 minutes from the hotel. We found a junction where there were no traffic lights or zebra crossing but that seemed safe enough to cross.
After saving the first stumbling block we found little streets that did not look good (later we discovered that they were paradises next to other streets in the city). Shortly we arrived at our restaurant. The truth is that the food and the treatment of the waiters was quite good. Although perhaps for our first experience in Bangkok we expected a much lower price.
We return to the room, open the curtains and the views are spectacular. As it was about 10 o'clock at night we decided to put a series on the tablet while we entered the dream. Fortunately I think we saw only the titles of the series. The more than 30 awake hours were taking their toll.
Our first day in Bangkok starts a little later than expected. The pillows have won the battle and at 10 o'clock in the morning we are still in bed. We change quickly. We remake the backpack (a constant throughout the trip) and we go to breakfast! What a surprise! It seems that we are in China and not in Thailand.
The hotel breakfast is amazing. There are pastries, dishes cooked at the time, fruit, and different drinks. We pick up the backpacks in the room, go down to reception to check-out. As we needed a taxi to go to Khao San Road we asked the same girl who was managing the departure.
We have not left through the door and our taxi is already waiting for us. It took us a while to get to Khao San, about 40 minutes since the traffic at 12 in the morning is very rush (and when not). Also, as we did not have any data, it still took us a while to find the hotel. We must admit that after having been in Kuta in Bali the Bangkok traffic did not seem half as hellish as there.
Here in Bangkok there were motorcycles but almost all cars were more or less organized but in Bali it was all chaos. Instead of entering through the front door we entered through the back parking lot. We accelerate to the reception desk because at the same time a German tourist group was arriving. As it was still early our room was not available but there was no problem. We left the backpacks and went to see the city.
The first objective immediately after leaving the hotel was to get a data card for the mobile. While we looked at a map, a lady from there approached us asking what we were looking for. The first impression was that she wanted to sell us something but the truth was that she was very nice and helped us to get oriented in the area.
We left the topic of 3G a little forgotten and a Cuban tourist recommended us to take a walk through the channels of the old Bangkok. These channels are called Klongs and from them we can see the humble life of the Thais in their houses on the banks of the river, which at the nerve center we could not have seen.
We rented a boat for the two of us. Surely we could have negotiated and lower something else but it was our first contact in the city and the truth is that it happened to us in Bali. The tour was entertaining. We went through a school, different shacks almost in ruins in which people lived. We saw giant lizards in the basement of the houses and crossings marked as roads.
The boat leave us next to the Royal Palace, a visit we had planned to make. We had plenty of time. With the map in hand, we enter a huge enclosure! The map also served as a fan because of the heat! I put on long trousers and short shirt. My girlfriend covered her legs with the sarong she had in her backpack, since her shoulders were already covered.
Just outside the palace there were some stalls that sold pants for those who did not know there was a code to follow. Here it was not like in Indonesia where in most places they left a pareo (sarong for them) for free. Inside we can see different temples, all very colorful. At the entrance, warriors guard it. Most have colored crystals embedded in the facade that we thought were very beautiful.
The truth is that the site is quite good but perhaps between the heat and the fatigue of the trip we did not enjoy it too much. We leave the palace and we go in search of a store to buy water. After freshening up a bit we continue our journey in search of Wat Pho, a temple well known for having the reclining Buddha. It is very easy to get to from the Royal Palace. All we have to do is skirt the palace and cross a couple of streets.
On the side of the Royal Palace we find a group of taxi drivers. As we imagined we were offered their services and one of them approached to chat a little about the typical questions to tourists, where are you from? where are we going? When we had already gained his trust and we told him that we were going to Wat Pho, he said Wat Pho is closed and he offered to show us the best shops in Bangkok.
Fortunately my girlfriend had read the scams about the closed temple business. We continue our way and in 5 minutes we were inside the temple. From the outside it looks like another temple but when we walk in it really impresses because of its size and because it is completely covered with gold leaf.
The temple has little else but my girlfriend wanted to perform a small traditional Thai ritual, the Seam-si. The ritual consists in taking a small cup in which inside there are different numbered sticks. The idea is to remove it until one falls to the ground. We pick up the stick and see what number it has.
Near there are some numbered drawers in which our future is written on a sheet. The next stop would be the Wat Arun. On the way to where we thought the pier was that would take us to it we could buy a SIM card with 3G to be able to guide us more easily. In theory and according to what we understood the saleswoman it was for 7 days but interestingly lasted much longer but at a slower speed.
With the GPS running we went to the Tha Thien pier to cross the Chao Phraya River and reach the aforementioned temple. It is a Buddhist temple that measures around 80 meters. It has a very nice view. We took a walk inside. The facade is more in line with what we had seen in the Royal Palace, with colored stones, and guardian figures. Some Buddhist monk walk inside.
We take the boat again and set off towards the hotel. We had a huge desire to take a shower and wander for a while in the pool before going to Khao San. We took a bath in the infinity pool and went upstairs to take a shower with my girlfriend.
We decided to give priority to the dinner and we booked a restaurant on the internet, a place to dine with local food in pure Thai style. We ordered several dishes including a crab with a spectacular sauce, the best we ate on the whole trip without a doubt.
We took a walk through Khao San Road and as good crayfish workers we fell for the temptation to give us the first massage! The truth is that we did not have to look much. In that street there are massage parlours at every two steps. The funny thing is that the foot massages are given in the middle of the street.
Finally after all the day walking in the city we decided that it is better to give each other a massage in the bed. And with a full belly and well-rested feet, we finished the day. The hotel was new, with good rooms, full breakfast and the best thing of all is that just by going out the door you were in the thick of it.
The street (Rambuttri Alley) is just the one behind Khao San Road. It was what we wanted to be in the street most famous for backpackers but at the same time be able to rest at night. It was possible since there was hardly any noise other than the one of my girlfriend only.