The Travails of a Noob Traveler in Bangkok

I got up early during my first REAL day in Bangkok. I decided to visit the famous temples around the city, but first I went back to the airport to switch to another hotel. I booked 2 nights in Nappark Hostel in Khao San Road. Nappark Hostel is a pretty well-known backpacker hotel in Bangkok. I booked a dorm type room for 920 Baht (approximately P1,225) for 2 nights.

Before I got to Khao San Road, I had to take the train to the city. I took the free airport transfer back to the airport to try the subway. Suvarnabhumi International Airport is a good distance away from the city center. The train ride took 45 minutes to the station I was supposed to get to.

Train Ticket 

The station I had to get down on was Phaya Thai Station. The ticket cost somewhere around 15-20 Baht one way. At first I didn't know how to use the machine, there was this person behind me who taught me how to use it, thank you foreign stranger for helping a noob traveler out! The train ride took around 45 minutes to the Phaya Thai Station, the same time it takes for a train ride from North Avenue to Taft. 

When I got down from the train station the adventure went into full swing. Thais were not good in English so talking to them and asking for directions was just tough. If you came across a Thai who speaks English that would be a plus, but most will only know a handful of phrases or words, and most of them would just say those words or phrases just so that they could something without really understand what you said. 

Upon first glance Thailand reminds me of home. The people look the same, the buildings, the occasional carinderia-looking stall by the street, and the person who sells street food, and yes the louts and tourist-feasting cab drivers who charge 200x the actual fare price --- I felt right at home, the exceptions were that they spoke Thai and bad English.   

I finally got a ride to Khao San Road, on the back of a motorbike. I thought that these motorbike riders were friendly citizens that just wanted to help travelers get to their destinations, but I soon found out that they were actually for hire, like taxis (thanks to the information given by a friend that worked and lived there). The bike ride to Khao San Road cost me 130 Baht. 

Khao San Road
After getting lost several times, I finally got to Khao San Road. The place reminded me of 168 and Greenhills on a Sunday. Little did I know that this place was a mecca for backpackers all over the world. I chose Nappark Hostel because it was the most affordable with high reviews, but it was a pleasant surprise to find out that it was near all of the famous temples and filled with foreigners. This place literally transforms at night as you will find out later

I couldn't check-in yet because it was still early, check-in time for Nappark was at 2 PM. So I decided to go around the city and see the temples. I hired a tuktuk for 50 Baht to take me to different temples. 

Wat Intharawihan
Rama 8 Bridge
(Saw this impressive bridge before I went back to the hostel.) 

The tuktuk driver took me here and to another place and to another museum about rocks and precious stones. Little did I know that I fell for a scam already. There was no such thing as Lucky Buddha and there was no such thing as lunch breaks at the temple. Good thing I didn't pay for the 100 Baht he initially charged. Wasn't able to visit the temples that I wanted to visit because of that, lesson learned.  

When I went back to Nappark for lunch I made sure the tuktuk drivers did not scam me again. I told them That I wanted to go to the Grand Palace, the next tuktuk I took cost me 50-60 Baht to get to the temple. I didn't want to walk because the temperature was hotter than I expected. It was probably hotter than Manila at the time, even if it was November already. 

Wat Bowon
This was not inside the Grand Palace but it was still worth visiting because there were hardly any tourists in it.

Grand Palace
There were swarms of tourists inside this popular temple. The entrance fee is 400 Baht for the whole day. The Grand Palace closes around 330 PM so you better go early. People visiting are also not allowed to wear shorts while inside, unless you want to pay extra to wear hideous looking pajamas.  


The Guardian

Grand Palace


Temple of the Emerald Buddha


 
Photo op before leaving
The Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha or Wat Phra Kaew to the locals. The Grand Palace has been home to Thai royalty since 1782. The Temple of the Emerald Buddha is one of the most sacred of temples in all of Thailand. For more information you can read about the Grand Palace. The attention to detail and the sheer grandeur of the Grand Palace is really a sight to behold. You can see Thai art, culture, and architecture all in one place. If you've seen and been to the Grand Palace, you've seen all of the temples in Bangkok. Tourists weren't the only ones there, there were also devout Buddhists flocking to the temples.

Aside from visiting the temples, you can watch a traditional show within the complex for if I'm not mistaken (correct me if I'm wrong) 800+++ Baht.  

Next stop Wat Po...


Wat Po

Wat Po

Wat Po
Wat Po is also known as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha. This place was also known as the birthplace of Thai massage. The complex was walking distance from the Grand Palace. The fee to enter the complex was 100 Baht. You may have already noticed how Buddhist Thailand is because of the glut of temples all in one part of the city.

My next and last stop to wander in was Wat Arun or the Temple of Dawn...

Wat Arun
Thanks to the Malaysian lady who was nice enough to take my picture for me, one of the best things about traveling alone --- starting a conversation with a random foreigner.

Wat Arun or the Temple of Dawn was aptly named because the first light of day reflects off its surface. The temple also figures deeply in the history of Buddhism in Thailand and is a part of festivals.

After a tiring day visiting the temples went back to Khao San Road for some grub and R&R. 

Thai street food

Thai street food


Thai food was indeed very cheap, presyong carinderia. 


not so Thai dessert
I had to go all the way to Bangkok just to taste Swensen's sundae for the first time.

Nappark Hostel was filled with foreigners coming from Europe. I was probably one of two Asians that stayed there. Most of the people I was with were from England, and most of them were traveling Southeast Asia for months now and some were traveling for a year already! How I wish I had the time and money to do that. Put that on the to do list.

That wraps up my first real day in Bangkok. 

2 comments

2 Comments


  1. Thank you for visiting Thailand.
    there are many great place outside BKK, hope you come to visit other part of Thailand next time.

    I wish i would visit Philiipines someday.

  2. thank you for dropping by anonymous Thailand was indeed awesome hope you get a chance to visit the Philippines too

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