Day 1 we finally arrived in Bangkok after a very long 17 hour journey. On leaving the airport, it became apparent that it would be very easy to get a taxi seeing as there is a taxi rank system set up there! Much easier than flagging down a taxi at home - all you have to do press a button and it gives you a ticket with the number of the associated taxi that pulls up a few moment later.
In the taxi, we came across our first experience of a taxi scam! The driver quoted 700baht to our Hostel (Khao San Road, 60 minutes) , in which we politely declined and asked him to put the meter on instead. Up came the cloth that was sneakily covering the meter and the fare started from the airport instead. Upon arriving the fare came to 520 Thai Baht, which included the price of the 2 tolls at 20 Baht and 50 Baht. Luckily, Jac had read about this scam before so we saved a bit of money by running it on the meter.
After dropping our bags into the hostel, we headed out to Khao San Road for the obligatory first night out on the town! It’s true what they say about Bangkok Nightlife, the road was absolutely booming and every bar and restaurant was overflowing with tourists and locals (mostly tourists who resembled the cast of the inbetweeners in most cases). In between every bar were different stalls ran by locals selling goods such as clothes, seafood, smoothies and even a whole range of fried insects to eat! We had a go at the fried scorpion which tasted exactly how you think it would and surprisingly not “like chicken” at all! We managed to get 2 for 120Baht (£3) which was a discount from some of the other stalls selling them at 400Baht for 2.
The bars were really good, we particularly liked Bar 9 because they had a tech house DJ all night! However, one thing you have to look out for is the deals. We went in as it was 2 for 1 on buckets, although didn’t realise that their buckets were just twice as expensive as every other bar at around 360 Thai Baht for 1. Therefore, it’s a good idea to have a look at the actual drinks menu before they sit you down and ask for your order!
Day 2 we had a lazy morning (jet lag/ hangover) and ventured out for lunch at around 1pm. We walked about 20 minutes from our hostel to Nang Loeng Market where there were no tourists. We stopped for some food at an amazing little street food cafe which was hidden down an alley that was next to the market. It was full of locals, so that’s always a good sign that the food is good! We both had duck noodle soup which came in at 100 Baht in total (£2.29).
If you want to head to the same restaurant I’ve included the google search below.
“ตลาดนางเลิ้ง ถนน นครสวรรค์, Pom Prap, Khet Pom Prap Sattru Phai, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10100, Thailand”
From here, still feeling a bit hungover, we decided to chill back at the hostel for the rest of the day. However, this went straight out of the window when we were stopped by a local who sent us on our travels around Bangkok via Tuk Tuk! Yes... you guessed it. We got well and truly scammed! For more info, head over to our YouTube channel and watch the video on the Tuk Tuk Scam in Bangkok! It’s absolutely hilarious looking back now and whilst feeling a little bit humiliated, we’ve definitely learn a lesson from it on a whole! One big lesson being that if you get a random Thai person stop you in the street and they start being nice to you... it’s most probably a scam!!
We ended up doing some sight seeing over the course of the day, which included a river tour of Bangkok recommended by our at first lovely (not so lovely now) Tuk Tuk driver. We’re not going to lie... we must have looked like we were fresh off the clueless tourist boat as they made us pay an extortionate 1000 Thai Baht each (£22 each). The tour wasn’t great and mostly featured a load of old houses and restaurants located along the river! To make matters worse, we were dropped off at another tourist location and made to pay 30 Baht to get off the boat we’d just paid £22 to get on! Starting to feel as though we might get charged to breathe at this point, we decided to walk half an hour to get home from here with a stop-off at Khao San Road to grab some dinner.
We ate at a restaurant on Soi Ram Butri which runs parallel to Khao San Road. We can honestly say that street food is by far our preferred option. We ordered a sea bass, a Masaman curry and 2 sides which were spring rolls and shredded beef. All items came except for Jac’s curry which was disappointing so we told them to leave it off the bill and went somewhere else for his meal. The 3 dishes came to 540Baht (£12.38) altogether, which is expensive considering that Jac’s street food cost only 70Baht (£1.60) after and looked much nicer! We got this from a street food stand at the bottom of the same road by the roundabout. It was overflowing with locals buying food, so we are guessing it’s not a secret that the street food here is great!
Day 3 we went for a Thai Massage which was recommended by a couple we met the night before. It was 250Baht (£5.70) each for 60 minutes, which is amazing considering that a 60 min massage would come in at around £35-40 in the UK. It was absolutely amazing and Jac and I found we could click in places we didn’t even know we had! Would recommend going in as a couple as well if you want a laugh! At one point I had a quick peak at Jac and and saw a tiny Thai man throwing him around like a big Tattoo’d rag doll. Five minutes later, I see Jac being cradled in his lap having his head slapped. It goes without saying we couldn’t hold back a fit of giggles at this point.
That night, we went to the Ratchadamnoen stadium to watch a Muay Thai fight. Jac used to compete semi-pro in Muay Thai, therefore it was on his bucket list to watch the sport where it actually originated! The tickets cost around 1600Baht (£36 each) for seated tickets. The view was amazing with our seats, however on looking at the cheaper tickets options view on the other side of the stadium, there really wasn't much of difference. Worth going for the standing tickets if you are looking to go, as with these seats you get to sit down on the stands anyway.
The first 4 fights were young fighters age 12-16. These fights were really good but we were literally praying for the adults to come on after the 4th! Finally, fights 5 through to 8 were adults, although it took us nearly the whole 5th fight to work this out as Thai men are all quite short and just do not age at all! (Lucky Devils). The last fight was a child's fight again, so we started to pack our things at this point. Upon leaving, we saw that the child fighting was literally covered in Tattoo's! It was mental to see, he had two full sleeves!
Overall, we think watching a Muay Thai fight in Thailand is a must do, however we were a little disappointed with this night as it was mostly all westerners watching the fights (which were all a bit soft). We'd recommend finding yourself a back street gym with raw fighters instead at a fraction of the price!
Day 4 we went to the Powerhouse gym in the morning. As fitness addicts, we were both getting itchy feet not training whilst being away, therefore we did some research and found a gym! It was around a 30 minute uber driver which cost 250Baht. The gym was so good and had some wicked equipment, however... It was 300Baht each! This equates to around £6.50, which is so expensive considering a day pass for our gym at home is only £5. We were so happy afterwards though as they sold chicken portions for 50Baht each! We sunk two of these each and headed downstairs to check out the rest of the MBK Centre. We found an actual supermarket downstairs that sold our long lost friend... vegetables! We've found it difficult to get enough veg when traveling as the meals often feature it... but it's fried and of little quantity.
Day 5 we ventured out to a little island in the middle of Bangkok called Ko Kret. Yep, you heard right. It's an island in the middle of Bangkok! You can get there by a boat across the water, where you will be greeted by the locals that live there. It's a self-sustaining island, which means the community. The locals build their own houses, live off the land and are amazing in their own little bubble away from the hustle and bustle that is downtown Bangkok. We rented bikes out for 30Baht each and cycled all the way round the island (around 5km). There's not much more I can write about this beautiful little island as it's just so much better to see it for yourself (See our YouTube Vlog - adventures in Bangkok - Ko Kret)
Day 6 we explored an absolutely incredible Airplane Graveyard. We'd heard about it from a man in a bar the night before. He explained what it was and we literally thought it sounded too good to be true! I've written a more detailed blog post on this experience which is featured on the page Adventures in Bangkok with an additional Vlog. Click <here> to head straight there!
This was the day that we also decided to get completely and utterly lost. After our Uber driver could not find us we gave up and decided to jump on a random bus and see where it took us. When I say bus, it was more like a truck that you see in the movies carrying sheep. We squeezed on with a few other people and after about 500m, google maps told us we were going the total wrong direction. So, we jumped off and resorted to what we knew best. We Google maps’ed our way back in the direction home, which was only a cheeky 25km walk. We managed to navigate onto the river side and after seeing so many go past us, we soon realised that Bangkok has water buses. So, we got on (at this point - we’d actually ticked off about 5km by now, chatting with locals, trying random food and laughing at how lost we were. Jac even joined in fishing with a random local along the river). Water buses - if you’ve never been on one, do it - they are an absolute must but the noisiest thing we’ve ever been on! We worked out using google maps where we needed to change and even befriended a local who was going the same way as us. He was one of the nicest people we’d met so far in Bangkok!! He even walked us back to our hostel. I know what you’re thinking… these two tits are about to get scammed again. But no, he was just a nice guy (thank God)! By the way, an entire single journey on the water bus, as long as you don’t lose your ticket, was 19 Baht each!!! Not even £1 for both of us and it included 3 water buses in total!! Best thing ever.
Day 7 we went to Lumphini Park and Bugeketti Park (both sporting the good old ‘cheap, horrible cocktails on Khaosan Road' sore head) and they were both literally incredible! I know parks aren't often described as the word 'incredible' but just check our vlog post to see what we mean! Lumphini Park had some sort of food and music festival on that day (or it might be like that everyday), which was amazing seeing as food is the ultimate cure for any hangover. We tried loads of Thai food from the stalls such as crispy pork pieces, fried Tofu and Taro and even tried grilled squid eggs (We would take this action back if we could - yuck!!) There were amazing live dancers and the atmosphere was booming all day.
We decided to take a walk to Benjakitti Park before it closed. We walked all the way along a green footpath that starts just outside of Lumphini park. It's around a 2km walk and is absolutely stunning (if you Google maps one to the other, you can’t not go this way). You see the beautiful backstreets of Bangkok, from makeshift houses suspended along the river to street stalls selling anything and everything.
Benjakitti Park was stunning in itself. We sat and worked on a blog post near the waters edge for around 2 hours, people watching on the hundreds of runners who had flocked there after work. We were lucky enough to join in as the whole park stood up up and stood still as the national anthem was played through speakers in every direction of the Park. We loved these parks so much we even did a Vlog post: <Exploring Lumpini Park>
Overall, we absolutely loved Bangkok. We had so many people say to us before that they could never spend seven days here as its too busy and doesn't seem to sleep. However, these are the things we grew to love and couldn't recommend it more. Make it your own, get off the beaten track and dive into some adventures, don't just spend your time in Khoasan Road and then think you know Bangkok. It really is poor representation of what the centre of Thailand is really like. Above are just a few things you can do (we still wish we had more time to spend there). If you have any more adventures to add then please do leave them in the comments section, we'd love to hear what we've missed!