As i have mentioned before in previous blogs (see floating market for some more shenanigans), Bangkok is the gateway to South East-Asia. I think maybe its time i let you know what sort of random things you can get up to in this sprawling mega-city, and how the banana and chocolate pancakes are to die for.
I’m hungry, so i will start with the food. Be prepared for your taste buds to be dazzled, all from the side of the road. Street vendors are by far the cheapest place to get food in the city (not that it is incredibly expensive in most areas, but compared to the rest of Thailand there is obviously some inflation) and often some of the best. I personally kept coming back for more of their Pad Thai (a delicious stir fry noodle dish), khao moo daeng (red pork over rice), kuay jab (noodle rolls), khao ka moo (pork leg), and khao man gai (chicken rice).
There are plenty of places to try street vendors in Bangkok, so try to keep away from Khao San, as while this may be backpacker central it is also over-inflation central and the food is mediocre compared to other options, such as Sukhumvit Soi 38. Trust me, wander around Bangkok and you will be overwhelmed with delicious smells and tastes of street cuisine. Make sure you wash it down with a banana and chocolate pancake though, as they are whipped up right in front of you, warm, oozing chocolate and usually about 10 or 20p. Bargain.
You may also have noted the slightly unconventional travelling methods for getting around the city. While I was greatly enamoured with the vast colour combinations of the local taxi services (pink taxis… PINK!) Tuk Tuks are usually much cheaper and a great deal more fun. As always when it comes to new countries, make sure you agree a fare before you get into the vehicle, and don’t be afraid to bargain. One driver tried to make us pay for his fuel at the gas station, and another stopped on a random road and refused to go further until we paid him more. We refused, and the impasse was legendary. Our stubbornness and his desire for more customers meant that he eventually took us where we were meant to be going in the first place for the price we agreed. Don’t think that everyone is out to get you however, i have come across far more kind and generous people who have gone out of their way to help me and show me the sights than have tried to rip me off. You just have to keep on your toes and use your head.
Now the sites! While there are no beaches to top up your tan, and it will rain in the afternoon without fail, there are plenty of temples, museums, historic buildings and shops to whet your appetite. A few names to get you going would be Wat Saket, otherwise known as the Golden Mount, The Grand Palace, Wat Pho (the reclining buddha is enormous), plenty of shiny Golden Buddha’s and if you so desire, you can even visit the National Museum of Royal Barges. Basically, walk along a road and you’ll probably hit a tempe or a sightseeing spot. If not, join in with the morning or afternoon exercises down by the river, they have great music.
If that isn’t good enough for you, then the current offer by Qatar airlines may just sway it for you. Currently, you can get air travel for £349. If you don;t believe me, check it out here.
See you tomorrow!