So far, so good. Four days since I left home and there has only been one injury (touch wood), a minor fall from a bunk bed and one dead padlock. As I have zero tan yet and I’m wearing SPF30 to avoid burning and my biggest fear, looking old, the bruises I have obtained so far are looking amazing. I don’t know where most of them have come from. Do you bruise more in hot, humid weather ?
At 30 degrees it is slightly colder than the last time I was in Bangkok. After a delay at Delhi, the 20 hours travel has worn me out. But unfortunately the jet lag and excitement will not let me sleep. My hostel is just two streets away from the infamous Khao San road, described by the movie ‘The Beach’ as “the centre of the backpacking universe”. Love it or hate it, it is a must visit for anyone passing though Bangkok.
So as I say goodbye to the crazy city streets to head down to the southern islands, I do remind myself that I love this road and it is a great jump in at the deep end of Thailand, certainly getting me started how I mean to go on.
Top 3 things I love about Khao San road
1. Street food
Packed full of budget guest houses and hostels, bars and clubs, restaurants, massage parlours, travel agents, market stalls selling anything from dresses and fake beats head phones to CDs and phone cases, the main attraction for me is definitely the street food.
With so many street venders selling fresh fruit shakes, juices and ready to eat pineapple, Mango and papaya. Cooked to order Pad Thai and pancakes. I have to strategically plan my meal times so I can fit it all in.
£2 for a half hour foot massage or £4 for an hour full body massage. I’m probably going to have one every day. Today I actually fell asleep getting one but that is it for a while as I’m on a tight budget, remember. It is also nice to get out of the heat into the air conditioning they have in the massage shops. Sometimes it is even a bit too cold in there.
3. People watching
With tourists and travellers flocking to Khao San as their first stop, jet lag and cheap Thai alcohol lead to carnage that is amazing to watch. It is great spotting the groups of drunk people on their first experience of Khao San, eating the deep fried cockroaches and trying out their chat up lines. I may have been guilty of this in the past but I now know it leads to missed flights and the inability to do anything at all the next day.
I did manage to fight the jetlag and the heat this time and make it to the Grand Palace. It was a 15 minute walk from my hostel so I’m surprised and proud that I did make it. Once there, it is THB500 to get in and they will lend you clothes for a THB200 refundable deposit. Luckily I had trousers on anyway, as legs can’t be shown in the grounds by men or women. But they did give me a rather attractive button up shirt as shoulders and bellies must also be covered.
The temple of the reclining Budda is right next door. It was amazing but unfortunately taking photos are frowned upon.
Another tip: Don’t take selfies with a Budda, it is disrespectful to have yourself in a picture with a Budda or with your back facing them !
Bangkok is also great for shopping, I bought a Chang vest (a must have for any backpackers) from a market vender for THB100 (£1) and some sunglasses also for THB100. I will definitely be stocking up on my way home. Not that there is much use for flip flops and sun glasses in England.
Two days in the city was more than enough. Somebody get me to a beach. Phi Phi here I come.