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    Thailand part 1: Bangkok, city of colour

    Our flight from Japan was one of the cheapest we had ever booked!

    But since only the sun rises for free… we were a bit weary about how our trip was going to be. If the tickets were cheap, the money must come from somewhere. Luckily, the plane and the flight were perfectly in order! If you needed anything like a drink or food though, you had to pay the price of course (=not cheap). But we did what we usually do on flights: sleep. We woke up about an hour before we arrived which was, timing-wise, perfect for us.



    Being dropped right into something else, that’s what it felt like when we walked off the airplane in Don Mueang in Bangkok, Thailand. It was a whole different experience going through security into this country for sure. Besides the usual ‘fingerprints and picture’ that got taken, no one blinked an eye when we said we still had to ask for a visa extension. Passing through security felt like a fresh breeze of air. A hella lotta different from Japan… While I knew that Japan adores their rules for almost anything, Thailand was the complete opposite where they were pretty much chill about anything (except drugs, but since we’re not into that stuff we're good). When we asked about the Visa extension they just kind of just shrugged their shoulders and vaguely said something about it not being possible in the airport (luckily, we had already researched were it was possible to ask for the extension).

    The second surprise came the moment we walked out of the airport and grabbed a taxi. If you’ve ever been to Tunisia you’ll recognise this: though there are actually 3 marked lanes on the road, Thai people will see 5 possible lanes… Crossing the road is always a challenge, and sometimes seems like a nearly impossible task. And though we would stop for every red light in Japan, here jaywalking is the most natural, and sometimes the only thing to do. Some crossroads had no traffic lights at all!!! People, cars and mopeds were just crossing haphazardly and really living the ‘yolo’ statement.

    We didn’t ask too many questions to the taxi service the airport offered, we just wanted to get to our Airbnb safely with our huge load of luggage, and preferably get there in a registered taxi. Of course we probably paid too much, but considering what we would pay in other countries this was still peanuts so hop we went! During the drive we already spotted a lot of beautiful buildings. We only guessed if they were temples or official buildings, but they were jawdroppingly beautiful. Everything seemed way more colourful and there was so much yellow as if everything was dipped in gold! Discovering this country was going to be a real treat!


    Traffic can get really crazy, there are literally mopeds and tuk tuks everywhere!

    We also noticed that in a lot of places a giant frame with a picture of the King was hung. I remembered reading that the royal family is still in very high regard, and insulting them is really something you don’t want to do in Thailand (no for real, you can get thrown in jail for that). Even stepping on a fallen coin is a not-done, since not only are you stepping on the royal family (that is shown on the coin), but you’re also using your feet, the part of the body that in Thailand is considered the most dirty part. For that matter, also never sit in a way that shows the soles of your feet, or points your feet towards somebody (or anything), especially a buddha statue! If you accidentally step on somebody else’s feet, immediately apologise! (Again, respect the country’s etiquette, we don’t want to be considered ‘pig tourists’).

    Settling into our Airbnb wasn’t too much of a problem either, since the room was absolutely HUGE. It had a kitchen, a spacious bathroom, a dining area, sofa, tv, a big bed, and some extra 2 person-mattresses in case you wanted to invite the family over… The place was also called the Alameda Suites Hotel. Hotel? Airbnb? No idea, but these days they are kind of the same really (though if you book em through an airbnb app/site it’ll probably be wayyyyy cheaper). And I have to say, it felt great to have a big room for once. We could put our luggage down, take out our clothes and other items we needed and still had room to spare. After 2+ months of living in tiny rooms/ apartments and a campervan this felt like heaven.


    We didn’t really look up that much about Thailand beforehand so we spend a couple of hours that day looking up various info: what we might want to visit, customs and habits, food etiquette,... We were lucky we had an airbnb in the “old” part of Bangkok and were pretty close to Wat Pho, Wat Arun, the grand palace and… rat junction (it’s really called like that!). Now rat junction isn’t really anything special except that it’s a busy junction near Jay Fai’s restaurant. A local famous cook that started as street food cook and now has her own restaurant with a michelinstar!! Getting in there was going to be difficult because she was on a holiday (just our luck...) but no worries, that little street there had soooooo much yummy street food that we went there frequently for dinner. The prices? Varying from 50 to 120 Baht ( 1,5 - 3 euros)… I know right? Delicious food for that price? I was going to need a lot of exercise if I didn’t want to get fat...


    Best surprises came as we wandered the city, as we discovered this pearl of a temple (see recommendations).

    We spent our first day in Thailand... sleeping in. NO alarm clocks, no plans, nothing. Just blissfully sleeping till we woke up. Skipping breakfast we did get hungry quite quickly though, so we checked if there were any food markets around us and set out for the Sampeng market not too far from us that had a bit of everything. The market, located in the Chinatown of Bangkok, is not a market as you would traditionally think it is. It is more akin to the souks in countries like Morocco, Tunisia,... But it did have a bit of everything. Most things here were wholesale though so most of the times you couldn’t buy for example one pair socks, but needed to buy a box of 20. We strolled through the little streets, tasted some delicious fresh fruit (mango, pineapple,... ) and some fresh fruit juice! After a couple of months with little fruit (or way overpriced fruit), this was absolute heaven. I felt reborn!! After a while we couldn’t contain our stomachs anymore and sat ourselves down at a local place for some grub and had our fill for about 200 baht (6 euro). These low prices really took some time to get used to but it was a welcome change after the US and Canada...



    The next day we woke up early, got ready, grabbed a cab (with the grab app, for more info see ‘recommendations’ below) and headed towards the Bangkok immigration office tower B. This is were we would be able to extend our stay in Thailand for another 30 days.

    When you land in Thailand, you usually receive a visa on arrival that lets you stay in the country for 30 days. So for a vacation or quick visit this is plenty. Should you want to stay for a longer period of time, you would need to have an extended visa. Normally you apply for this in your home country before you travel. But since we’re on a world trip this was not an option. Visas have a limited timeframe in which you must visit the country, or they expire. And we had been travelling for over 4 months... So what you do is you go to the local immigration office. You need 2 pictures not older than 6 months, a copy of the stamp pages of your passport, a copy of the main passport page, and 1900 BHT. Don’t worry, you can take photocopies and pictures in the basement of the building if needed (the immigration building has its own mall so you can find anything there). You go to the assigned office, walk up to the counter and ask for an extension. They will give you a paper to fill in (they will help if you have any problems) a bit of info (personal-, home address, phone number, address of hotel, etc.). When that is done you get directed to a second area where you get a number and sit down until it’s your turn. When your number comes up, you enter a cubicle, answer some quick questions and pay the fee. After that you head back to your chair outside the cubicle and wait again until they call your name (so don’t be the idiot who wears headphones). They show you the stamp in your passport with the new data by which you must leave Thailand and that’s that. There really is nothing more to it!!!

    It took us about 2 to 3 hours to get everything in order... Our previous experience with an embassy in Japan had not been so nice, so this was a nice change of things!



    We also decided to just get a Thai simcard. These are cheap ( 200 baht for 1 month unlimited internet at 10mbs) and unlike in many other countries compatible with our European phones! This way, no matter where we were, we could easily stay connected and move around the city/country. Since we got our extended visas so quickly, we still had some time to spare, and thought about visiting another market to finish up our Christmas shoppings. I had already, previously, researched some areas where we might do some souvenir/ Christmas shopping so we decided why not? We took another cab and headed for the MBK shopping mall. MBK is a HUGE mall. Not necessarily in size but in sheer number of shops. The shops are sometimes tiny, not more than 2-3 square meters but are chockfull of goods. This mall is one of the older malls but nevertheless a very popular one, with locals and tourists alike, since you can find anything you need here. From souvenirs to fake watches, or food, and even a cinema! We took our time and strolled through the 8 floors of the shopping mall in a careful way as not to get lost. And yes, I did buy a pair of “elephant pants” in case you were wondering (they’re just so comfyyyy!!). After MBK we headed through the overhead connections to the nearby Siam Discovery and Siam Paragon. Both of these buildings were newer, sparklier, and contained more expensive stuff. Especially Siam Paragon which houses all the main international brands like Bentley, Ferarri, Louis Vuitton,... While we were there we checked out the Jim Thompson silk store. When, before, we were looking up about what to buy as maybe a Christmas present, we read that this was the place to buy silk goods at a reasonable price. Like hell it was!! Ok, maybe in comparison to the rest of the world but for us? These wares might as well have cost 1 million dollars. We quickly went back to MBK, had a nice meal and called it a day.


    Also a winner is the Chatuchak Market we visited in between excursions!

    On the first day we arrived in Bangkok we had already taken a quick look around and while we were wandering around our Airbnb we came across a beautiful temple. I looked like it was build on the remains of other ancient buildings and it rose high above us. Pristine white walls with a golden stupa on top. Haythim and me looked at each other and we could just hear the Indiana Jones theme playing in the back of our minds (something that kept happening at every temple we visited really). And the best part? It wasn’t even a 10 minute walk from our Airbnb! The tempe was called the Golden Mount or Wat Saket. The temple was very old and had already seen many renovations and alterations. It’s origins can be traced even further than King Rama I. But it was he who renovated the temple and gave it the name Wat Saket. Afterwards his grandson king Rama III added the golden stupa on top.

    The walk there was pretty easy as there wasn’t too much traffic yet (we had to cross a couple of streets without any lights/markings,…). When we arrived at the temple we first visited the buddha statue that was situated in an artificial cave at ground level. This would be the first of many buddha statues but since it was our first here, it was already quite impressive. It looked as if it was sculpted out of the mountain. Afterwards we headed to the main entrance to the temple and I was happy to be well prepared. I was wearing my breezy elephant-pants and had my scarf ready to wrap over my shoulders (just leave the hot pants for the beach). If you came unprepared, you could always ‘rent’ a scarf for 50 - 100 baht (1,5 - 3 euro) at the ticket stand.


    Our first evening in Bangkok we spotted this beauty.

    Some things to keep in mind if you plan on visiting temples in Thailand: - Buddha is sacred and having a t-shirt with a buddha or a tattoo with a buddha is considered bad form and you will be prohibited from entering the temple (or official building for that matter).  

    - You also have to wear shorts that at least cover your knees, or something longer (hello elephant pants!). And the shoulders and belly area have to be covered as well. So no crop tops or tank tops, unless like me you carry around a scarf that you can easily wrap around yourself. Another tip when you ever get to Thailand. Since we don't speak Thai and don't want to stand out in the crowd, we never stood around looking on our cellphones or obviously looking for direction. I mean that’s basically screaming I’m a tourist and I’m lost! So we always check the route beforehand in our airbnb and only leave when we have a general sense of where we’re going. And if we wanted to check our phone? We did it casually, while walking. Don’t stop to stare at your screen!! Just keep walking and blend in. When in Rome,…

    So we bought our tickets and headed up the stairs. Thailand is a very tropical country and the temple was well aware of this. On the way up there were plenty of flowers, trees, vaporisers… It was honestly very beautiful and functional since it took away the heat from the sun. After a short climb past some statues of bodhisatva’s and animals (from the Chinese zodiac) we finally reached the base of the temple walls. These were painted in a sort of pearlescent white paint… it was so reflective that even with sunglasses I got blinded. I’m pretty sure that if you stared at it for a couple of minutes you’d actually damage your eyes... In this place we saw the first temple bells. You could ring these to make your presence known to the deity, yet we quickly moved on since a lot of tourists came swarming in and, for some reason, were clinging the bells as if they were punching bags. The noise was deafening. Once at the top we went inside and visited the temple centre (take of your shoes!) and then climbed up even higher in the building through a very narrow and low opening in a wall. Of course I didn’t see the warning and bumped my head... Once up we found ourselves on the roof, in front of a golden stupa and with a beautiful sight of Bangkok, minus the smog! We walked around the stupa and found a little bench beneath some copper-, good luck bells. We took a break there, sitting down and enjoyed the peacefulness. The stupa was gorgeous. It was completely covered in gold coloured mosaic. This ‘mosaic’ was something we kept seeing in Thai temples and they do it so masterfully, it took our breath away every time we saw it.






    The next day we visited… another temple! Yessss, we have an addiction for culture... But we couldn’t let this pearl slide: Wat Arun, also known as the temple of dawn came highly recommended on various travelblogs. It is somewhat different than a lot of other temples we visited in Bangkok. Most temples have an almost overload of gold coloured items. Wat Arun, though heavily decorated as well, was completely different. It lies on the bank of the Chao Phraya river and is easiest accessible by following a little road between Wat Pho and the Grand Palace. At the end are some small shops and an entrance to a ferry that brought us to the other side of the river and straight to Wat Arun. We payed a total of 8 baht (0,24 euro) for the ferry… A little warning for people who easily get seasick, the river has so much traffic on it that there are a lot of waves and even though the trip is only like 50 meters, the boat will still sway a lot.



    We got off the ferry and could already see Wat Arun. We followed a small street an after about 20 meters we turned left onto the grounds. We were a bit surprised that we didn’t have to pay any fee to visit Wat Arun but apparently the outer circle part, also beautiful already, was not yet Wat Arun itself. This entrance was guarded by 2 yaksha. These are nature spirits, caretakers of the natural treasures, usually benevolent but sometimes mischievous. We just had to take pictures!! We took our time discovering the temple grounds since for some reason there were not that many tourists here. After a while we came upon the entrance to the central part with its majestic and beautiful prang (tower-like, heavily decorated spire) that is said to be over 80 meters high! This inner part is absolutely stunning! It has 4 smaller spires and 1 central. All of them painted ( plastered?) white and decorated/ inlaid with colourful porcelain and faience. Words fall short to express this beauty. We could access the first terrace but sadly were prohibited to go higher than the first level. Still, it made for some stunning pictures. We sat down and just gazed upon this wonder for a while,… ‘til we spotted a cat. We noticed the temples have lots of cats and most of them are well cared for. They were each given a collar, had food and water at their dispense, and were groomed and petted regularly by the people at the temple grounds. This cat was really enjoying the sun and the attention it got from all the people around.

    We found out afterwards that next to Wat Arun was another temple ‘Wat Rakhang’ we forgot to visit! Dang it! Though we already made peace with the fact that this wouldn’t be our last visit to Bangkok, or Thailand in general. We left Wat Arun very happy and on our way home we stopped at a street food vender whose food smelled way too good. We quickly sat down at the first free table we spotted and had a delightful meal. With our bellies full we headed home and enjoyed a relaxing evening watching the new Star Wars series: the Mandalorian!







    If you’re a templelover such as us, you can’t go wrong with a visit to the famous Wat Pho temple, located right next to the Grand Palace. Plan ahead though because it’s a biggie. We had hoped to visit both Wat Pho and the Grand palace. So we woke up at the crack of dawn and left as soon as possible. The day before we had noticed that despite it being winter, the afternoons could still be sweltering hot. So smart cookies that we are, we planned to be out of there before the heat could hit us. We walked about half an hour and when we arrived at Wat Pho there were almost no tourists in sight! This gave us the opportunity to visit the temple at our own leisure and take some awesome pictures. By the time we left, the tourists came swarming in.


    An explosion of colour, glitter and decorative art in the shape of a temple is how I would describe Wat Pho. The Theravada buddhist temple is arranged according the buddhist cosmological view of the universe. The buildings, pagodas and buddhist statues all stood arranged from the outer circle: smaller statues and buildings, towards inner circles: bigger statues. At the centre stood a big building in which a golden statue of Buddha. The temple complex is the biggest “Wat” in Bangkok and houses the largest number of Buddha statues in the whole of Thailand. The most famous statue on the temple grounds is that of the reclining buddha. No, he isn’t just taking a nap or being lazy. It’s the representation of Buddha during his last illness. This statue, said to be the first of the many reclining Buddha’s now throughout Asia, is absolutely enormous. It is 46 meters long, 15 meters high and completely covered in gold foil. The eyes and soles of the feet are inlaid with mother of pearl in various patterns and figures. You have not visited Bangkok if you have not visited this temple. For some it might be too much grandeur, glitter and sparkle but it still is definitely worth the visit.

    We finished our visit around noon and headed towards the Grand Palace… only to hear that shorts for men were not allowed. Now Haythim is mostly prepared for a myriad of situations and wears, most of the times during our trip, zip-off pants (pants that can become shorts). Often he’ll have the lower parts with him but this time he forgot. Well better luck next time! So we headed home and enjoyed the rest of our day working a bit.





    Haythim taming a ferocious tiger. Rawrrr!

    The next 2 days were kind of crazy and relaxing at the same time. Since it had been almost 5 months, my parents decided to visit us in Thailand on a holiday so we planned to meet up in Bangkok. This was actually a fortunate timing since they also could take some of the souvenir Christmas presents with them back to Belgium. Yay less heavy backpacks!! Moving towards our new place was quite the hassle though. Even if you try to buy as little as possible and only choose the little things that are easily brought along, it can still end up as quite a lot of weight really. If you add some, hard to come by, souvenirs for family and friends… you get the picture right? Anyway, we somehow fit everything in a taxi and made it to our hotel. We settled in, had a quick meal and spend the rest of the day sorting through all our stuff, deciding what to take with us and what to, hopefully, send back with my parents. Not just little souvenirs, but also some clothes that I found out I didn’t wear as often or didn’t combine easily with other clothes had to go.

    After all that, as a reward for our hard work, we decided to have a relaxing massage. Travelling for such a long time does take it toll on your body, even if you don’t notice it at first. Our muscles were in dire need of some R&R. And if you don’t plan to get a massage in Thailand why did you ever visit Thailand? It felt pure bliss and I’m pretty sure we both almost fell asleep a couple of times. We felt so good afterwards we decided to get another massage the following day. But this time we chose a Thai massage that really aims to get the tension out of the muscles. We weren’t prepared for the world of pain this meant, but felt way more loosen up afterwards. I get why sportspeople do this often.The next morning we woke up feeling fresh and relaxed. We took our time getting breakfast and, while we waited for my parents to arrive, worked on the blog again.


    Ok, so just a tip for everyone travelling often and/or wanting to meet up with people. Before you leave, always give your flight number to the people who might need it. We waited and waited… for any sign of life and as time went on, we were getting worried. We had no idea of any delays or if they had a simple problem of connecting to the internet,... So apparently, there was just a delay on their transit flight, and we were able to meet up easily. Followed by lots of hugs of course and a great deal of storytelling!


    The following day we planned to go together to the Grand Palace. We missed it the last time but came prepared this time! We all had long pants and covered up our shoulders. We took a taxi towards the Grand Palace, which took us an hour since traffic in Bangkok is almost worse than LA, only to find out that it was closed that day. (At this time they also said that a scarf was not good enough. We all had to wear t-shirts if we wanted to visit the Grand Palace). We had noticed the many volunteers of the king, up and about around the Palace premises. Apparently there was something about the king finishing his coronation with a procession or something. If we wanted we could join in and watch it, but it would still take like 5 hours. So we decided instead to go to Wat Arun a second time since we thought this was a must see. But of course, double trouble… the river had been closed off because the King would arrive by boat to then start the procession from the grand palace. So option C it was. We would visit Wat Pho and later go to the MBK shopping area! Few, this was one hell of a day but at least my parents go to see Wat Pho in a fairly calm manner since there were very little tourists. And we certainly didn’t mind seeing it a second time since it’s such a gorgeous temple complex. By the looks on my parents faces they seemed to also love the splendour of the Thai temples!



    The next days that followed, we enjoyed each other’s company, relaxing, trying out good Thai food, and undertaking a couple of cultural historical excursions. First one visiting the railway- and floating market! This first market is an iconic one. Visited by mostly Thai people, the narrow Maeklong railway market sells anything from all kinds of fruit, fish, vegetables, meat, sweets and more! We tried out some typical Thai fruits, wondered over the buckets full of squirming eels, and took pictures of the bags full of all kinds of colourful spices and herbs. One thing special about this market is that every other hour or so the people from the market start to shifts their stalls a bit and not many later a train drives through, passing the stalls and people by just an inch! The second the train has left, all the stalls are put back into place and the overhangs drop out again. This all in less than 5 minutes! It truly was a funny thing to watch people go about this ritual as if it was the most normal thing in the world! The train itself is a super plain passenger train that comes from Bangkok to Maeklong and back. So if you feel like riding through the market you can always get on the train in Phak Klong San Bangkok!



    From there on, we continued to the Damnoen floating market, the biggest one (and also the most popular one) of the floating markets. Here we boarded a very narrow boat and took off towards the market, passing through a whole residential area on water. Various cabins and houses standing not a meter above the water. I really wondered how this area would look like during the monsoon, since a lot of the houses (in my opinion) looked a bit rickety. A short boat ride later we entered a part of the floating city where suddenly a lot of similar boats popped up, each selling wares, food or drinks. In the meanwhile on the side of the “road” various souvenir shops showed all kinds of colourful souvenirs. Just a bit further, we went ashore and had a walk through the market before enjoying a refreshing drink on the side of the river. I bet Thailand looked like a walhalla of souvenirs to my parents, as they mentioned they didn’t know where first to look! The floating market is perhaps a tourist trap, but nevertheless makes for a fun trip with the family, and ideal for anyone looking for a souvenir!




    On our next excursion we dived into the history of Thailand during the second World War, with a focus on the period when the Japanese decided to build a railway through Thailand to get their troops to Burma so as to not use a sea route (that was too vulnerable to attacks by Allied submarines). We first paid a visit to the Death Railway museum in Kanchanaburi, right next to the Don-Rak War Cemetery. There we learned about the infamous death railway that stretches from Ban Pong (Thailand) to Thanbyuzayat (Burma). Following the Kwhae Noi river, the railway went through rough hilly jungly terrain and was a mission too difficult to undertake. Almost 100 000 men (of which 90 000 civilian labourers and over 12 000 Allied prisoners) found their grave on the construction of this railway. Either to cholera, dysentery, starvation, exhaustion, physical abuse or malaria. The museum showed pictures, rebuilt scenes with puppets, scale models, videos and more, to show history in a most objective and realistic way. It really showed that in war, there are never winners… everybody loses. We paid a short visit to the Don- Rak War cemetery, the main cemetery for the POW (Prisoners of War) victims of Japanese imprisonment during the building of the Burma Railway. Here were the graves stand of 6 982 men, of which most Australian, Dutch and British. A quietness lies over this place, and many tourist don’t venture far into the graveyard field.




    Afterwards we headed for the actual Railway, on the bridge over the river Kwai (Mae Klong river). This (now steel) bridge is mainly famous thanks to the book and movie ‘The Bridge on The River Kwai’. We walked over the bridge, towards the opposite shore, where we saw an interesting looking temple right next to the river. But we had other plans this time. Though not the whole route of the railway exists anymore, the railway part from Bangkok up to the Nam Tok waterfalls still is in use! We boarded at the station at the River Mae Klong, and rode it up to just before the waterfalls. We were treated to sights of Thai fields of sugarcane, rice and other vegetables, jungle and mountains. We enjoyed a lovely lunch at our end stop, while discussing all the things we saw and learned on our trip, from beautiful to shocking things. This sure was a trip that had it all!!






    For our last day in Bangkok, together with my family, we finally made it to the grand palace and were finally allowed inside…Though I almost wish we didn’t. We did know that the Grand palace is a very popular attraction. But had no idea it would be that swarmed with the tourists. We literally saw over 70 different tour groups going in at the same time( almost all of then Chinese). Forget walking around and enjoying the art and architecture in peace. Nevertheless, we were happy to scratch this one of our bucketlist! The grand palace is, just as it says, very grand. It has a lot of buildings. One even more lavishly decorated than the other. Gold, colourful mirror mosaics, faience,… every turn had so much mesmerising views. One could argue that maybe there was too much to see. Add that to the huge crowds of tourists, the blistering heat of the sun and you’d understand why we left the Grand Palace earlier than we expected.A bit bewildered by the Grand Palace, we noticed we still had plenty of time to spare. So while we enjoyed our lunch we planned to take the ferry across the river Chao Phraya and visit Wat Arun once more. Since Haythim and I consider this temple one of our absolute favourites of Bangkok, my parents just had to see it before their vacation ended! We were close anyway so why not?



    The week together with my family ended quicker than expected and after enjoying a last delicious breakfast together, it was already time to once more say our goodbyes and with a heavy heart get into a taxi that drove us to the airport of Don Mueang. We had enjoyed the night before so much, when we had a superb last dinner together and some cocktails/beers at a nearby bar, that we came to realise how fast time could go.

    We got on the plane and quickly napped in before arriving in our next adventure... Chiang Mai.



    Recommendations:


    Food

    - Pad Thai: most people already know this dish and love it (and you should!). While we were in Bangkok we had the best Pad thai ever, at a place called Thipsamai. Be sure to arrive early because the line stretches for a looooong time. Alternatively, you can order take away and eat it at your hotel/airbnb.

    - Pork and sour rice sausages: These are little sausages on skewers that you often find with streetvendors who BBQ them for you. They are absolutely delicious!

    - Green mango/ all fruits: This is grown locally and it often less “ mushy” than the other kind. The taste is fresh, sweet with a hint of sour. Super refreshing!


    Places - Wat Arun: This is our absolute favourite temple. It’s easy to get to but has less tourists than Wat Pho and the grand palace. It’s less “gilded” and I don’t know why, those 4 spires with the central Prang have something magical about them. The earlier you visit, the better.

    - Wat Ratchabophit Sathitmahasimaram : This one is a hidden pearl. We arrived there by chance and we were literally the only ones there. The temple is beautifully decorated and is really worth visiting. Visit if you can.

    - Wat Pho: You have not visited Bangkok if you have not visited this temple. It is stunning, maybe a bit too much but the 46 m long reclining Buddha is a must-see. Try to get there early since this one of the most visited places in the whole of Thailand.

    - Golden Mount: A bit more of the beaten track and lesser known. It gives of an incredible Indiana Jones vibe and gives one of the best views over Bangkok. The earlier the better since it the place isn't so big and even a few tourists may make it seem crowded. Fun thing is that locals still come and pray here regularly.


    Wat Ratchabophit Sathitmahasimaram, the hidden pearl.


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