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Where We Are: Bangkok, Thailand

It feels so good to be on the road again! After a jam-packed 18 days in Hong Kong, it is so nice to get back to our “normal” travel life. It’s been relaxing staying in nice hotels and spacious Airbnbs, but we’ve missed exploring new cities every couple days, packing and unpacking, and even the work that goes into planning a new city.

Wat Pho is probably the top attraction in Bangkok. The temple complex, home to the reclining beautiful is absolutely beautiful.

There is no better place to jumpstart backpacker life than in Bangkok, Thailand. It’s warm and tropical, it has character and grit, and it’s got this sparkling charm that just attracts travelers from all over the world. We’ve only been here for 24 hours, but it has completely refreshed my excitement for Asian travel and has reminded me almost immediately of the reasons I love travel.

So many Buddhas and all more stunning than the last.

We’re excited to spend our time in Thailand to regroup a bit. I’ve got so many blog posts to write, work to catch up on, and maybe we’ll even get a marathon in.

Another stunning temple complex just across the river is Wat Arun.

Initial Reactions on Bangkok

  1. We’re back in Backpacker Territory. It’s been a while since I’ve felt like a real backpacker, but Bangkok — Khao San Road specifically — is the Backpacker capital of the world. It is the starting point for nearly every traveler to Southeast Asia. It’s cheap, which obviously appeals to the backpacker type. And it’s lively as all heck. It feels so good to be surrounded by so many other people taking on the world.

    Khao San Road is the Backpacker Capital of the World. The nightlife district is packed with street food, bars and vendors selling elephant printed pants and other chotchkies.

  2. I get the hype, I don’t get the hate. I understand that Bangkok usually get’s slapped with a love-it-or-hate-it label, but I struggle to understand how one could hate it. I came to this city with low expectations because I’d heard that a lot of travlers don’t like it, but I got here and it swept me away. It is my first city in Southeast Asia, I admit that, and I do get that it is a bit over-touristy, but I just don’t get what there is to really hate about it. 
  3. It’s less chaotic than I expected. When people talk about Thailand, they talk about tuk-tuks everywhere, not being able to cross the street because of the motor bikes, and people trying to sell you things at every turn. Maybe it’s because I’ve spent the past six months in South America and Europe, but I just didn’t feel like it was really that bad. Yeah, it’s busy and crowded and people are trying to sell me things, but I feel like that’s just true everywhere that’s no the US, so I wasn’t really deterred by it.
  4. The food is delicious and cheap. I could eat $1.50 Pad Thai and drink $3 liters of beer all day, every day. Everyone said that Thailand is cheap and the food is amazing, and they were 100% correct. You really can get Pad Thai every 10 feet from a street vendor! The other street food is amazing, too, and includes grilled sweet corn, fried bananas and fresh pomegranates. And you never need to spend more than $2!

    Street Pad Thai is the actual best.

What you need to know:

  • Population: 8.2 million
  • Altitude: 1.5  meters
  • Exchange Rate: 32.61 Thai Baht to $1 USD
  • Primary Language: Thai
  • Walking Tour: None that we’re planning on taking.
  • Time Zone: Indochina Time Zone, UTC +7 (13 hours ahead of US Central Time)
  • Taxi: Yes, but also Tuk-Tuks, which are like motorized pedicab taxis
  • Uber: Yes,
  • Public Transit: Buses, water taxi, and sky train
  • Emergency Number: 191 or 1155 for Tourist Police
  • Running: No running in Bangkok (because we would actually melt) but we do have a Marathon coming up later in Thailand.
  • American Football: Football in Asia isn’t really fun to track because of the time difference. We can only catch the nights games in the morning our time, so we can’t really watch them at bars.
  • Starbucks: Yes, many.
  • Local Starbucks Specialty: TBD – Haven’t been to a Starbucks yet!
  • McDonald’s Veggie Burger: TBD – Haven’t been to a McDonald’s yet, but with all the Buddhists here (who are vegetarian), I sure hope so!
  • Coffee Price:  Around 60-80 Thai Baht (~$1.50 – $2.50 USD) for an iced coffee at a local cafe.
  • Beer Price: A large Chang (local Thai beer) will cost you around 100 – 150 Thai Baht (~$3 – $4.50 USD) at a restaurant or bar.

Wat Pho is a temple complex that sparkles from top to bottom. I know traveling through Asia, I’ll see a lot of temples, but I really enjoyed this one as my first in Thailand.

Other Posts About Bangkok

One of our favorite activities in Bangkok was riding the Khlong Saen Saep Express Boat, a local means of transportation on the rivers of Bangkok.

Where We’re Headed After Bangkok

From Bangkok, we’ll be taking the overnight train, Thai Railways 13 second class, to Chiang Mai. You can read more about Chiang Mai here.