At Bangkok airport, we were closer to lunch. We had to get to our hotel in the historic city center. I was also checking the route from home and found out that we couldn’t get from the airport to the old city center without connections, and the subway wasn’t in the right place either. It was decided to go in two stages – by land train to the final and then take a bus.
The first stage of the journey did not cause any difficulties. We were accommodated in a clean, modern air-conditioned car with large windows and began our acquaintance with the surroundings of Bangkok and the locals inside the train. The youth here were the same as everywhere else, strange hairstyles, long nails (some even on their feet), fashionable clothes, in general, nothing in their appearance spoke about the severity of local culture. Older generation was dressed quite European, but later, already in the old center, the clothing of the locals has ceased to resemble European.
On the way, we saw colorful highways, and clean but rather boring surroundings. That’s how it was until we got off at the end of the train, where the real Bangkok started. Noisy narrow streets, dirty littering alleys, chaotic traffic.
For about 20 minutes we were trying to find the Google bus that was supposed to take us to the hotel. We were looking for any hints of a stop, schedule or signpost. But everything was in vain, the inquiries of the locals also failed. We were sent in different directions, if not surprised by the eyes. By the time we were tired of flying for many hours, we no longer felt destiny and took a taxi. Having joyfully jumped in, we were already looking forward to jumping in the shower and changing into everything clean, but we did not yet know that two hours of traditional Bangkok traffic jams were ahead of us.
Finally, the path is over and we went out near our hotel. To be honest, the building I saw did not give me optimism, I was wondering with fear what was waiting for us inside. Strange as it may seem, when we got to our room everything was much better – clean room, bed with a clean bed, refrigerator and shower in the room, all my basic requirements were met, so I was satisfied.
Then we set out to explore the surrounding area. At first it was scary to go far from the hotel – all the surrounding streets seemed similar to one another, and turning the corner was difficult to figure out how to go back. However, a pre-downloaded offline google map helped you get used to the area. It was now possible to build routes.
The first thing that struck us in the old town was the life of the locals. It seemed that all they did from morning to evening was cook, if they cooked again and ate again. And the amount of food we consumed was unfamiliar to us. Smells of spices were coming from every doorway, something was interfering in big frying pans around every corner, immediately if the tables were not very presentable and clean or just on the ground. Next is the number of people in the streets. People go in continuous streams in several rows on the sidewalks, as well as cross the street. The traffic lights cannot cope with so many people, so local policemen come to their aid and try to regulate the traffic manually, and people with bandages on their hands come to their aid and indicate that they are authorized to do so.
Despite all this abundance of regulators, untrained people are still better off holding hands.
Stuff you must have in Bangkok.
Having absorbed the first impressions we found out that it is almost day if nothing, hunger began to pester, but there was nothing around not to instill fear of upset stomach. Even the fruit in the trolleys was cleaned and sliced. It was hard to imagine with which hands they were cleaned and sliced, and when I imagined hunger would retreat. We had only eaten in the deep evening, on Kohasan tourist street, when the fear of the unknown had receded. What was it – a victorious famine or an abundance of foreign tourists like us, who were happy to eat dishes cooked on a mobile shopping cart.
Kohasan Street is a place where you can meet tourists from all over the world, they take a leisurely walk, drink cocktails with buckets (and it’s not a joke, cocktails are really served in plastic buckets) in cafes along the street, eating Thai food from poppies. There are many inexpensive hotels, cafes and souvenir shops. Thai exotics and scorpions on a stick are offered here. In general, you won’t be bored, and the first to try the local food somehow calmer with tourists like you.
The next day we dedicated a visit to the temples. There are a lot of them in Bangkok, but we chose a few, in our view, the most interesting ones for visiting. The first is the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, which is in the current royal palace, the second is Wat Pho (the Temple of the Reclining Buddha), and the third is the Temple of Dawn Wat Arun.
Thanks to the location of our hotel, almost all this was within walking distance. First of all, we went to the Royal Palace. On the way, the local kickshaws insistently offered us a knock-knock trip for funny money, but we wanted to enjoy a walking tour. We were not afraid of the scorching sun, not of the heat, but of those who endure the heat badly knock-knock will become an indispensable friend in moving between local attractions. The road took only a short time and here we are at the walls of the palace and see its roofs. For a first-time visitor to Thailand, this is an unforgettable experience. The rooftops shine in the sun like dragon scales – from red through gold to green. I try to catch these shades with my camera, but everything is in vain – no photo, no video will convey the beauty of the shades, only with my own eyes.
What a disappointment it was when we realized we couldn’t get in. We chose a festive day to visit the palace ourselves, too. The sea of locals filled the streets, long lines to the entrance, metal frames … wandering around the entrance and admiring from a distance we decided not to lose and went further.
Wat Pho (the Temple of the Reclining Buddha)
The next one on our way was the Temple of the Reclining Buddha. In fact, it is not a single free-standing temple, but a whole temple complex, where to find a temple of lying Buddha is a quest. We went around several others before entering the building we needed. However, they are all beautiful in their own way, so we did not regret anything.
When we entered the right temple, it was impossible to understand. Almost at the entrance we were met by a huge gilded head, which was signed by no smaller size gilded hand. Further we saw the laying – the whole length of the temple stretched a huge golden body, which ends with massive feet lined with nacre. The spectacle of course is grandiose. For those who want to make a wish behind the Buddha, there are 108 monastic gift bowls in a row. You can change coins at once. Passing along the bowls to each of them you have to put down one coin and then the wish will come true. However, in reality it is not so easy, already on half of the bowl begin to get confused in the eyes and it is no longer clear whether you threw a coin in this bowl or not.
Wat Arun (the Temple of Dawn)
Then we headed to the morning dawn temple of Wat Arun (a very beautiful name, you can even say romantic, like the temple itself). It is located on the banks of the Chao Phraya River and we had to get to the other side to get there. We decided to do it by ferry. The small ship with two rows of longitudinal benches was filled with people in a matter of minutes. already from it one could distinguish the outlines of the temple to which our way lay. 5 baht for the ticket and 5 minutes to the road and here we are at the entrance to the palace complex built around the temple itself, named after the Indian god of dawn Arun, also his name from Sanskrit translated as pink. In my opinion, this is the most beautiful temple in Bangkok. Its mosaic frame makes it unlike any other, and the gentle melody of bells banding the temple creates a truly fabulous impression. It is a must-see place in Bangkok. You will not forget the charm of this temple.
This is still an amazing nature that you can enjoy traveling with a tent and staying at the campsite. Here is a list of places where you can reserve your seats and stay. Here you can choose the best camping tent for this trip.