I arrived in Bangkok some 15 hours after leaving the UK. I always find any sort of travel very tiring and, even though I can’t sleep that well, I find that after the first hour the time seems to pass quickly, taking full advantage of the in-flight entertainment and free alcohol. On arrival in Bangkok, I got myself into a private taxi. Having been through Suvarnabhumi airport several times since then, I have found that it is much cheaper to go downstairs and get in a public metered taxi. The journey to the city normally takes around 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the traffic and what time of day you arrive. It’s always busier early in the mornings, and around 5-6pm, when the population is making their daily commutes to and from work. Saying that Bangkok is busy at any time, especially where I was heading- the backpackers Mecca that is Thanon Khao San, or the Khao San Road.
You may have seen a glimpse of this in the film, “The Beach” or you may have already been there, but it a place that everyone should go to, just to experience it (although having lived in Thailand I now know there are much better places to go to in Bangkok, especially if you want to party!) In my opinion, if you did not arrive by taxi it would be a struggle to find this place, it is smaller than I imagined, but has almost any kind of food that you could think of, and many bars to keep you entertained. On this small strip of road you will find all sorts of people, from all walks of life. Some of them, mostly travelers, are always coming and going. Then there are the other people who actually live and work here. It’s bustling, it’s vibrant and the first time you arrive, quite intimidating. I arrived there around 7.00pm, dragging my suitcase behind me and I was, to be honest, a little apprehensive. At this time of night all the neon lights from the bars and restaurants are bright and there are so many people in such a small area. Nevertheless, I hurried to my hotel, checked in and went to bed.
I stayed in Sawadee Bangkok Inn. It is down a small alley way off the KS Road, of which there are many, and due to the many stalls that you see on either side it would be easy to miss these little alleys, but it is worth doing a little exploring as the prices tend to be a little cheaper. The hotel itself was good. It was clean and had a fridge and a TV. Around 500 baht per night, per room. (Please bear in mind that was back in 2008, so the prices will have changed by now). You will find that almost all accommodation in Thailand is operated on a per room basis so even cheaper if you’re not travelling alone.
The first day in Bangkok was spent mostly sleeping and recovering from my journey here, but I managed to go out and explore a little. This place, as many others around the world, always looks different during the day time. There are not as many stalls out and there are fewer people, so the next day my apprehension was gone. I had 2 weeks to amuse myself before my boxing programme started so decided that I was going to look at some trips to go on. Bangkok is a huge place and it would take a while to get my bearings and I thought that these trips would be a good way for me to get to know it a bit more.