Bangkok: An Introduction to Asia

Arriving into Bangkok and taking the first step outside the air conditioned terminal into consuming heat and humidity; this was my first taste of Asia.  Bundled into taxis and staring, mesmerised, out of the window trying to keep up with what my eyes were showing me, I was excited for the adventure ahead.

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Doors flung open at the bottom of the Khao San Road and bodies aching from a 24 hour journey willing themselves out, this was to be home for the next few days.  A small team gathered together to seek out accommodation for our stay here; nothing had been booked and so there we were, a group of 11 people standing in the middle of the hectic Khao San Road with our rucksacks, tired eyes, feeling hot, not speaking much Thai and not having a bed for the night.  How wonderful the sense of the secure unknown is.

We found a room for £2 per night and decided we’d put 3 people in each – 2 on the bed with just a sheet and the other at the foot in their sleeping bag.  I hoped we wouldn’t have to get up in the night as there was no room to move, we were truly sardines.  I thought I’d fall to sleep quickly having been through a tiring and emotional day but the sounds from outside kept me awake…..excitement of what was to come and my mind constantly whirring.  One moment it sounded like people were taking down their stalls and packing away for the night but no sooner had this happened, they were setting back up for the day ahead.  Motorbikes, shouting, singing, music……and my old tape of Gloria Estefan being played to help me get to sleep.  I had a feeling that the rhythm of this trip was certainly going to get me!

That was my introduction to Bangkok and Asia 13 years ago and ever since, the travel bug has not left me.  Thailand threw me into the world of exploring, discovering and experiencing cultures, new places, interesting food and people and I will always have a special place in my heart for the land of smiles.  I still like to travel but my taste in accommodation has changed as I’ve become older.  I still occasionally enjoy some of the branded hotels (Shangri La is my favourite) but I love the independents which are often more of secret hideaway which takes me back to my travelling days.

When to visit

  • Hot season – March to June (April and May are the hottest).
  • Wet season – June to October (although this can be earlier – May and sometimes even April).  I visited in August and yes, there was rain, but it was welcome and didn’t disturb our trip.
  • Cool season – November to February (still warm to most although the north can be much cooler, especially in December).

 Where to stay in Bangkok today

  • For terrific views across the city from it’s rooftop bar and restaurant – Banyan Tree
  • For a wonderful and budget friendly homestay – Loog Choob
  • For your boutique base – Inn A Day
  • For reliable first class service – Shangri-La Bangkok

What to do

    1. The Grand Palace is a must do.  Make sure you cover up when you visit.
    2. Thai boxing at the Ratchadamnoen Stadium.
    3. Try the amazing food – red and green Thai curries and scorpion if you fancy something a little different!  To help you decide, take a food tour.
    4. Ride in a Tuk Tuk.
    5. Enjoy a walk down the Khao San Road in the evening and enjoy a drink from the cocktail camper van or go shopping there during the day to pick up a few bargains.

If you are travelling via Bangkok to reach your final travel destination, there are lots of things you can do depending upon how long you have.

If you would like us to help you plan your trip to Thailand, please email contact@mytravelgenie.co.uk or call us on 07951 219293.

Toni Sharp

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