After taking our 1:30AM flight from Bali, we arrived in Bangkok, Thailand and grabbed a taxi to our apartment. After a quick cat nap and a much-needed shower, we went off to grab some smoothies and head to the temples. However, we were incredibly tired, so our plans didn’t quite go exactly as planned.
For starters, the public transportation in Bangkok is less than ideal. I went and bought a card to tap onto one of the only two skytrain lines that run in the city and that in itself was a feat. The trains were as crowded as Melbourne rush hour 24/7 and half of the time most of the bodies couldn’t crush themselves into the standing school of fish and had to step back and wait for the next round.
After getting halfway to the temple, where we needed to switch trains, we decided that we had to take a breather before getting back into the death mobile. Well, as we ended up being stopped at one of the biggest malls in Bangkok, we never got around to boarding that second train. After a day full of shopping, we went to our first market in Thailand: The Neon Market.
The Neon Market
The Neon Market was very similar to the markets we’d found in Bali, but this one had a lot more clothing in it as well as some more experiential booths, like tattoos and spas. I ended up caving in and getting a fish pedicure, which only costed about $5 for 45 minutes. This was my first time getting a fish pedicure and I’m still not sure what to think about it. When I first dipped my toes in the tank, all the fish rushed me like linebackers and it honestly tickled, like I could not sit still. As it went on, I got used to the feeling, besides the odd fish that took it’s job too seriously, and actually enjoyed myself. When I took my feet out of the tank, they were SO soft; I’m still not over it.
After the market, we bargained with a local to get a cheap ride back home on a Tuk Tuk- anything to avoid boarding that sky train again! I would basically describe a Tuk Tuk as an outdoor taxi. Each of the drivers put their own twists on the vehicles to stand out, like stuffed animals or lights or music and all through the streets you’ll hear, “Tuk Tuk? Where are you going? Taxi?” as the locals work the curious tourists for a ride.
The next morning, we decided to make get a little further on our journey, and after the skytrain, we boarded a ferry to get across the city more fashionably. Our first stop along the route was the Flower Market.
The Flower Market was probably the most enchanting market I’d been to yet. There were just so many colors and wonderful scents and different pieces of artwork being made around us from the natural beauty.
We didn’t end up buying anything from here, but it was entertaining to see how the locals were able to make some of these art pieces with the colorful flowers and construct the leis by hand in each of the market stands.
Khao San Road
After such a stressful day of shopping, we decided it was time to celebrate our arrival in Thailand at one of the most well-known party places: Khao San Road. Khao San Road is a short street in central Bangkok that is really only meant for a bunch of tourists to walk around safely on. We started the night with the local special, Chang beer, until my friend had enough courage to try some fried bugs.
You could find anything from giant spiders to fried scorpions on a stick, but she opted for the grasshoppers and no, I never did find the courage in me to try one. I think it’s the crunch that holds me back.
After this snack, we went and listened to some live music. Here, we both tried a balloon filled with nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, which had to be one of the most exotic ways to end the night.
Durian & Fruit Fest 2019
The next morning, we found ourselves in the middle of the Durian & Fruit Fest. I say found, because we were wandering around and then all of the sudden were standing in front of a giant durian being broadcasted live on TV. If you’re unfamiliar with the durian fruit, don’t worry, you aren’t missing anything. This fruit has such a strong, terrible scent that the government has gone to the lengths of banning it on the Singapore Rapid Mass Transit. The Durian and Fruit Fest was a giant market consisting of all types of fruit-fresh, dried and squeezed.
There was also a durian eating contest for the brave, a category that I did not fall under. We bought our dinner here and sat on the steps, watching the city go by before going home and doing the obligatory packing of our exploded suitcases.
On our last day, we hopped back on the ferry to go to Asiatique, one of the largest open-air markets along the riverside. This market was a bit more high-end than the others we’d been to so far because the stands were built into the actual structure, rather than being pop-up tents.
It was so cool seeing each seller put their own twist on their spaces. After watching the sunset over the ferris wheel, we headed to a local restaurant to celebrate our last night over a pizza and Chang happy hour (the ferris wheel marketed it well, okay).
You didn’t actually think I would leave Bangkok without brunch, right? The next morning, we went back to The Coffee Club, which became our go-to for brunch each day. I ordered a stack of coconut pancakes which were, yes, as incredible as they look.
After brunch we headed straight to the airport for our next destination: Phuket!