Bangkok

Average flight time 3 hrs 37 mins

After my trip to Southeast Asia in 2019, I'd like to return to the region to explore Thailand for 1-2 weeks, starting in Bangkok.

- A Passage to Bangkok by Rush -

The capital city of Bangkok is home to the largest of the Songkran parties across the country. While a lot of locals will leave the city to return to their families over the holiday, the city is full of farang (foreigners) during this time. Both the Silom District and the heart of the backpacking district, Khao San Road, will be rife with water-fighting merriments (and not to mention, plenty of bars offering libations and thumping music to help fuel the water-fight fun!) Another option to indulge in some more refined water fun are ticketed pool parties, like the one at SO/Bangkok.  While you’re in Bangkok, make sure to stop by the Wat Pho temple (also known as The Temple of the Reclining Buddha) where you can find the story of the history of Songkran engraved in granite slabs and an impressive opening ceremony for the holiday. You might even be lucky enough to receive a blessing from a local monk! 137 Pillars Suites – A totally luxurious boutique hotel on the outskirts of Bangkok’s city centre complete with a rooftop bar and infinity pool (if you hadn’t got your water fix). A great chance to really spoil yourself and rest after a long day of celebrating. Nappark Hostel – Just a stone’s throw from the buzzing Khao San Road is the Nappark Hostel. A no-frills and budget-friendly option, great for those who never want to be far from the party.

Hey, who wouldn’t want to kick start their Southeast Asia backpacking trip with deep-fried crickets, knock-off beer tees, and bucket cocktails filled with god knows what? Viola: Khaosan Road awaits. It’s a heady mix of go-go bars, DJ clubs, bazaars, tailors, and massage parlors, all rammed into the gritty alleys of Bangkok’s Banglamphu. But this vast capital is about more than the area made famous by DiCaprio in The Beach. It’s also got the Grand Palace (home of the Thai king) and the pulsing Chatuchak Market (the largest in the country). A perfect mix of history and culture, Bangkok travel holds a little something for everybody.

Victory Monument is one of the busiest transportation hubs in all of Bangkok— and a popular hangout spot for Thai locals. There are two malls surrounding the monument and a night market that opens from dusk til dawn. From a bird’s eye view, the hub forms an eye, lit up by zooming cars and street lights.

When in Bangkok, do as the locals do (but keep your mouth closed!). The khlong boat has long been a utilitarian method to get locals around the city cheaply while avoiding the infamous Bangkok traffic. The khlong boats travel through the network of canals running around Bangkok cheaply and without frills. This is another recommendation that is not for the faint of heart. Pay attention to everything going on around you. The ticket taker walking around and hanging from the outside of the boat will need to be paid based on how far you are going. Avoid the water if at all possible; it can barely be called water at this point. When it is your time to get on or off, make certain you get going or the boat may leave without you. Watch when and how the locals are using the plastic window curtains. Use yours when they do, or better yet, if there is someone else nearby, let them have the cord until you are a pro curtain operator. Master a few techniques and you will save tons of time and money in Bangkok travel, and seriously, don’t touch the water. 

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