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Loving Bangkok All Over Again Feb 22-26, 2016

Loving Bangkok All Over Again

Location: Bangkok, Thailand

Point of Entry
My purpose in coming to Thailand was to teach English in Pak Chong, about 3.5 hours by van northeast of Bangkok. With Bangkok being my landing point, I thought it best to stay for 4 days and explore the city all over again.

Adventure Hostel BangkokAdventure Hostel
Normally, I arrive at a place with no booking and see if I can make barter deals with a hotel owner - free stay in exchange for internet work. But to lessen my mental baggage, I opted to pre-book through Agoda. Luckily, I chanced on Adventure Hostel. Being right smack on the N7 BTS Train line, I could travel by train with considerable ease around the city. The hostel is new, clean, safe and reasonably priced beginning at B350 for a dorm bed in an aircon room. Breakfast is included, free wifi all over, open roof deck, keycard convenience, CCTV security, etc. - the essential amenities were there. The staff were friendly and resourceful - if they didn't know the answer, they look it up and get back to you. Perhaps the best of all, I met the amiable hands-on owner who liked my business proposal. We shook hands on a deal, effectively making the rest of my stay for free. This omen is a sign of good things to come. I like having this account because they do a great job. I would recommend this place even without that deal.


Roaming Around
Last time in Bangkok, I stayed at the popular backpacker section, Khao San Road. Now at Adventure Hostel, located in a different part of town, the neighborhood scene is entirely new - it's like being in a new destination altogether! I would walk around the inner streets until they become narrower and narrower, until the local people begin to stare at me, knowing I'm not from the neighborhood. But they were just curious. Sometimes, I just find myself on a river bank where I end up taking a ferry not knowing where it will take me. All good. I actually look forward to being lost!

Food Experience
Perhaps the single most attraction for me about Bangkok is the food. There is a reason Thai food is world famous. Given my budget, I limit my meals to street food and 'carinderia' style eating places - but that alone is inexhaustible. Bangkok has these sumptuous hawker-style eatery on every street corner. The food is cheap, delicious, accessible and safe (I never had any tummy issues!). For the most part, I would simply walk around the city and eat whatever I see interesting along the way. A decent meal will only run you Baht 40. That sums up Bangkok for me.

Given the short 4 days and the logistical preparation for Pak Chong, I didn't have ample time to really interact at length with people around me. But I met a few interesting people at the hostel. Moreover, I got to hook up with Ksenia, my Vipassana sis whom I've met at the center in Cambodia last year. I likewise met her affable husband, Sergei. My local Thai friend, Kansuda, was able to squeeze time to meet me at the sprawling Mega Bangna Mall. I would have loved to call up my cousin, a few locals I met last year, etc. - but squeezed-out of time.

Ending Thoughts
Bangkok is one place you keep going back to. No wonder it's the default hub of travelers doing the Southeast Asian route. The hustle and bustle, the high energy, the constant infrastructure expansion, the diversity, all overwhelms the senses. Bangkok food is to die for, the ever-growing malls rival the density of Singapore, ease of transport is there by tuk-tuk, bus, river boat or train, and the culture lends itself to foreign presence. Bangkok is perfect! Well, if only they speak English :)

--- TheLoneRider

Next stop: Pak Chong, Thailand

arriving at Suk Airport, Bangkok taking the BTS train to my hotel, Adventure Hostel having checked-in at my hotel, I started exploring Bangkok on foot almost like a sweet crispy mini crepe, 10 Baht/5 pieces
roadsides are lined up with eating places this is the less glamorized part of backpacking...the laundry it's a different food scene at night street pad thai, 40 Baht
street coffee, 10 Baht fried fish and kai-yang chicken fruit vendor grilled fish, pork and chicken
balled sweets motorcycle guy chooses his wild Bangkok's infrastructure keeps pace with its population growth I don't even know what fruit this is
fresh made hopia fish skin crispy rind (chicharon) inside Or Tor Kor Market giant prawns
fish market...look how clean it is plant market inside my room at Adventure wife, air-con, work table! Baht 0.15 to cross the river...monks do it standing up
morning breakfast on a side street hawker-style eating at Siam Station the ubiquitous tuk-tuk turn into a corner and you might see an outdoor bazaar
checking out what's cooking pausing for coffee at the snack shop at Chatuchak Park
at Jatujak Center San Miguel Beer takes center stage street bazaar they'll cook your dish in front of you
a Lamborghini inside Siam Paragon Mall fountain and play of lights at Siam Paragon Mall street dinner at Mo Chit train station
Chatuchak Park offers free weights equipment an unusual military press equipment trippy motorcycle with side car promotional stint for the opening of Gods of Egypt movie
chilling out on a park Thai mango salad, street style! Baht 40 if I see a ferry crossing, I cross, not knowing what's on the other side I explore into different neighborhoods, going deep into the narrow alleys
Monthong Durian at Baht 100/100 grams or Baht 1000/kilo! stuffed squid, rice and sauteed vegetable, Baht 45 - not bad I love this part - the bag inspector at the train station, salutes the passenger after making the  inspection. This gesture says a lot about Thai culture coconut vendor
open kitchen by the street reunited with my Thai friend, Kansuda, at Mega Bangna Mall lunch with Mary, a fellow guest from Adventure Hostel morning coffee on the roof deck of Adventure Hostel
roaming around another street delight. I don't know the names, but if it looks good, I order it another street delight at the train station for Pak Chong....goodbye Bangkok
Adventure Hostel Bangkok

Adventure Hostel Bangkok

Location: 1541 Phahonyothin Rd., Payathai, Bangkok, Thailand
Tel: 062 527 2581
Hours: open 24 hours
Features: central location by the N7 Saphan Khwai BTS train station, clean aircon rooms, fast and reliable internet, staff who will go the extra distance for you, reasonable rate
Nawa Sheeva Hotel Chiangmai

Nawa Sheeva Hotel Chiangmai

Location: 184/2 Ratchapakhinai Rd, Amphoe Mueang Chiang Mai, 50200 Chiang Mai, Thailand
Tel: 061.272.8008 / 053.326.583
Features: salt-water swimming pool, expansive space, big luxurious rooms, great hotel cafe using top-of-the-line espresso brewer
Nawa Saraan Hotel Chiangmai

Nawa Saraan Hotel Chiangmai

Location: 37/1 Singharat Lane 2, T.Sriphum, Muang Chiangmai, 50200 Chiang Mai, Thailand
Features: upscale container-themed, luxury appointments, central location

Bangkok Cost Index, (US$1 = Baht 32 = Php 44)

  • Bht 60 sm, 90 big one mug draft beer
  • Bht 13 1.5 liter drinking water
  • Bht 220 one hour massage
  • Bht 60-80 muesli breakfast
  • Bht 25-30 coffee
  • Bht 30-50 pad thai
  • Bht 170 cheap dorm lodging
  • Bht 350 Adventure Hostel lodging
  • Bht 20-30/load laundry, coin operated machine
  • Bht 7 bus ride

How to Get around Bangkok

  1. You can get around Bangkok using the trains, buses, tuk-tuks or the boat. Here is the transport map to give you a heads-up.

Bangkok Blogs by TheLoneRider

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Reader Comments:

Chainiwat BeauChainiwat Beau
(Mar 2, 2016) Million thanks for your great review of Adventure Hostel. It's our pleasure to welcome you as our guest at the beginning. Then, you became our friend lastly. Hope to see you again next time.

Feb 22-26, 2016

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