It was typical that both of our flights were delayed for one reason or another, so instead of arriving into Thailand at 6pm we flew in at around 7.45. Factor in immigration, collecting baggage and a 40 minute taxi ride and before we knew it, it was 10pm by the time we settled into our hostel room.
When I was last in Bangkok, I stayed in a hostel right off Khao San Rd.; the Mecca for all backpackers or as I view it, an Asian version of Magaluf. This time however, we are staying in a small side street a couple of blocks away which suits me perfectly! We are still within walking distance of some of the main attractions that the Thai capital boasts, yet are away from the madness of drunken young adults (boring is know). The hostel that we are staying in is called Erawan House and we have a clean, relatively spacious double room with ensuite.
This morning we slept off our jet lag and went over the street to have breakfast, simultaneously planning our day ahead. We walked around some of the market stalls and then caught a taxi to the train station (I say taxi; I really mean taxis as the first decided to take us to some dodgy travel agency down an alley),so that we could buy our transfer to Chaing Mai for later on in the week.
We then got on a local free shuttle bus to The Grand Palace, where we were the only non-Thai nationals bar one. There was definitely a reason this was free as it did sound like it was going to break down at any second; but hey we got there safely so what do I know?!
We walked around the Grand Palace for nearly 2 hours, taking in all of the amazingly intricate temples, shines and buddhas. They have cordoned off a large section of the the surrounding roads and you now have to go through security checks to get to the perimeter of the Grand Palace; I can only assume that this, and the many many Thais dressed in black waiting to visit the royal complex means that the late King’s body is still on display. If anyone has any confirmation of this I would be grateful!
We then went onto Wat Pho, where the temple of the reclining Buddha resides. While I’ve visited both of these attractions before, it was great to show Matt them and also to take more time to really look. When I last visited it was with an organised tour and we were therefore given minimal time to explore!
We managed to walk back to the hostel from here (with the help of many friendly locals) and are now sat with the aircon on full to cool down from the days events. This evening we plan to grab a bite to eat and get an early night; the heat has really taken it out of us! All in all a good first day in Thailand!