Travel break: Part 1 – Bangkok

Back in July, Graeme and I popped into our local TrailFinders to find our perfect holiday. We had a certain amount of money to spend and a month we wanted to go but no holiday options were completely ruled out. When we went in, we sat with a lovely lady who suggested perhaps we might like  Koh Samui (Thailand). Looking at flights, we asked how much extra going to Bangkok for a few days instead of Koh Samui for the full ten would be – only £100 more it turns out. We were sold.

Fast forward six weeks, Graeme and I landed in Bangkok! What a Place!

We stayed at the U Sukhumvit Bangkok, in a deluxe room with breakfast – which I would totally recommend. The hotel was pretty central for access to bars/ restaurants/ shopping and connections. If that doesn’t sell it, the roof terrace will!

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Our first full day in Bangkok was exploring our surroundings, we had a very interesting Tuk Tuk ride to Terminal 21 (a shopping mall), this was awesome! Each floor was themed as a different city. We found a bar to play a few games of pool that afternoon, a little bit creepy as there was a bunch of middle aged men on their own paying girls to play pool with them, and being generally letchy. We scarpered a bit fast!

After a day of drinks and wandering, we decided that Khaosan Road was the only way to go that night. So I got dolled up and we went for a few pre drinks on the terrace, where we got chatting to a couple (an Aussie man and a Thai girl). We hit it off immediately and arranged to go to Lebua (the sky bar) together the next night.

Khaosan Road was wild!! Honestly, I took loads of photos and videos but nothing can grasp the atmosphere unless you’ve been there. Walking down the road, there was music and shouting from all directions and so load that it reverberated through my veins! We shared a couple of buckets of cocktails, ate a Scorpion (read: bit and spat out) and turned down quite a few ‘ping pong shows’ during our few hours there. At the end of the night, we got a Tuk Tuk all the way back to the hotel (Graeme haggled them down by 1000 baht, well done G!!). It was around 20 minutes of fear and excitement! He must have been doing about 60 in quite a few lanes of traffic! Whoooo!

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When we got back to the hotel, we met a lovely taxi driver called Mr Sam who offered us a personal taxi for the day the next day where he would drive us around Bangkok and show us The Grand Palace and the Golden Mount for 1,500bht.

The next morning, he picked us up at 10am and did not disappoint. Not only did he drive us to these places and wait for us, he spoke to us all about the history of the areas we passed/ entered and told us about his life in Bangkok. Such an interesting man.

When we got to the Grand Palace, it began to rain- it was torrential! We ‘queued’ twice for about 15 mins a time under a shelter. TIP: go straight in, the queues really aren’t that big! People just wanted shelter…

The Palace itself was breath-taking! Even with my wet clothes clinging to me and rain still drenching me, I was walking on air and in so much awe. There were school children there singing Buddhist songs and so much to see.

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Next, was the Golden Mount. It’s a bit of a trek to the top but there is so much to see on the way up. At the top, there were temples where people were praying, giant gongs and so much more. The views from the top were unreal. What struck me about the view was that Bangkok interchanges from very rich to practically derelict frequently and with little distance.

At the bottom of the mount is a temple, where we found Mr Sam praying. He invited us in to look around and took a few photos of us. He looked so happy and at peace to be there. It was beautiful and so spiritual.

Later that evening, I once again got dolled up and we went to meet our new friends on the terrace, we had a few drinks and a giggle before getting a taxi to Lebua Sky Bar.

When we got there, we got the lift straight to the 64th floor and I won’t lie, I expected an over priced and underwhelming bar that was popular because of The Hangover  Part 2. In reality, it was anything but! The views immediately wowed me, the staff were extremely attentive and the drinks were perfectly mixed. Yes, it was pricey (1,500bht per drink – around £35) but the surroundings were well worth it!

After our first drink and lots of photos at the bar area, our Thai friend told us that this was not the best bit and we needed to see the other side. So off we went and she was not wrong. The other side is a restaurant and terrace, there was a live band playing jazz sounding music and the views were EVEN BETTER! The staff even did a photo shoot for Graeme and I, using torches as spotlights (pic below is taken by Graeme, this is not a fair advert! haha)

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After the Sky Bar, we went back to the area we were staying in and got shown a Bangkok night out. We first ventured to Nana Plaza. One side of the complex of bars were lady dancers, and the other half Lady Boy dancers. First, we went to a lady bar. There were a few creepy moments but mostly good fun and fabulous choreography. A two lady Rocky themed dance to Eye of the Tiger stole the show for us. One dancer took a shine to me (probably as the only white, blonde hair, blue-eyed woman in there – novelty). She actually groped me on my way out! Thanks, gorgeous, but no thanks!

After, we went to a Lady Boy bar and this was so funny! We met ‘Mama San’ (who runs the bar), a lady boy who was hilarious and took a shine to Graeme and I. A few suggestions were made by Mama San to Graeme and I that I cannot repeat but it was all in good humour and no was no. All of the dancers here were good fun and friendly. Not for me personally but they are by no means bad people.

We ended the night dancing in a local hotel club.

All in all, Bangkok was crazy fun and so beautiful. I adored it but a weekend there was fine for me. The next day, we flew to Koh Samui  where we had more adventures and there was a very important question asked (more on that later this week…)

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