I’m currently on day 4 of my Bangkok leg of my SouthEast Asia journey and loving ever second of it! Bangkok is a beautiful city, with really cheap prices for most things, especially food!
Day 1- So I arrived on the 3rd and after a long day and night of travelling I decided that when I got back to the hostel I would sleep and recover. No such luck! I checked into Playground Hostel, which I 100% recommend to anyone coming to Bangkok to have a good time, whether as a group or alone. First of all the beds were really spacious with super thick mattresses, which for anyone who’s stayed in hostels before will know is definitely not the norm. The showers were clean and there are enough of them that I haven’t ever had to wait to get in one. The walls of the hostel are covered in artwork and words written by guests who have travelled in from all over the world, with a pool table in the lounge, and beer pong, lounging beds and a great and cheap bar in the common area. The staff and guests here are really friendly and welcoming, which was a worry travelling solo, but they made me feel really welcome and I quickly made friends. Be prepared to play plenty of drinking games! I was also introduced to ham and cheese toasties from 7-eleven by other travellers who weren’t keen on thai food (not me I love it!) but we’ve had a constant stream of toasties now coming into the hostel every day. To be fair, they’re really good.
Day 2– I decided to visit the legendary Khao San Road. Its only about 10 minutes away from the hostel by taxi so the journey there was pretty quick. Tip: Head out for whatever you’re planning to do for the day earlier on in the day as traffic can get really bad in the evening. You can honstly kill an entire day just in the Khao San area, there’s so much to see and do. You can buy clothing for around 100-200 Baht (equivalent of about £2), grab fresh smoothies from any of the stalls, get tattoos as Khao San is crawling with tattoo parlours, or like I did, have a pampering day. There are loads of massage parlours and nail shops up and down this strip, and the prices are pretty cheap so it’s worth it. I got a swedish oil massage for half an hour for 200 baht or they have hour long ones for 350 (thats £7 an hour for a massage compared to the £50-60 we pay back home!). I’ll be very honest in this entry, I paid for and expected a standard swedish massage as I’d heard that most massage parlours don’t do happy endings for girls, and I was completely fine with that. However, the massage I got, whilst mostly what I’m used to at massage parlours, was also a bit more intimate as the masseuses cheekily brush intimate areas whilst massaging your legs and back. So its nothing seedy like the happy endings you hear about, but its definitely a little more intimate than our massages back home. There’s also a great variety of bars and restaurants in this area, some small, makeshift restaurants, others with big waterfalls and statues in their outdoor eating areas. If you’re going for the authentic thai experience definitely get street food, its delicious, and cheaper, you can get a whole meal from around 35 baht (around 85p), whereas in restaurants expect it to be around 100-250, which is still cheap by western standards, but street food is great for the shoestring budget, and a more authentic experience. You’ll also find guys walking around selling scorpions on sticks. I decided to try it for myself, and well… it wasn’t as bad as I expected.. but it definitely wasn’t good either haha. I’d recommend doing it just to try it once. I also got my hands and feet done at this great place called Charlie’s for about 500baht all together. So that’s about £11 for both a manicure and pedicure together. This is definitely a country to get beauty treatments done super cheap! At night, the Khao San Road becomes the main party district of Bangkok so head there if you’re up for a good time.
Day 3- As it was the weekend, I decided to head down to the Chatuchak weekend market, one of the largest markets in the world. You can find pretty much anything you can think of there, and it is one of the cleanest indoor markets I have ever been to. Outside there are loads of stalls selling food and drinks, with a restaurant sitting area in the middle. Tip: buy from the stalls rather than the restaurants as they charge you more inside. Things at Chatuchak were ridiculously cheap however, you can get everything from tiny Buddhist statues, to vintage shirts and denim shorts for less that £4, dried fruit, flowers, and much, much more. You can kill a lot of time here, but definitely wear comfortable shoes as there’s a lot of walking involved. Also during the week, go hit up the floating markets!
Day 4- It’s really easy to make friends staying at this hostel, and I met 2 girls who had moved to Thailand from South Africa, and the Dominican republic. We got on really well and they decided to show me some more of the local spots. There are a load of really great food spots in the hostel area, you just have to wander a little and you’ll find one in no time. I had what might be the best Thai green curry I’ve ever had. None of us at the hostel know what this particular restaurant that we eat at every day is called, but we call it “the ladies” as it is run by two very sweet ladies who make a mean Pad Thai. They rate their spiciness using stars (1 being the lowest and 5 the hottest), so worry not those of you who can’t handle your spice, you can still enjoy Thai food without burnning off your tongue. After this we headed down to Soi 4 which is also known as gay street. Here you can see stage shows with male strippers and see thousands of gay men, and lady boys walking up and down the streets and drinking in bars. You can get there by the BTS Sky train, tuk tuk, taxi or motorbike. After that we finished with an after party back at the hostel, because there’s always a party at playground.
Day 5-I had quite a wild week, with a lot of late nights so I decided to relax on the loungers down in the common area for most of the day, to give myself some time to recover. But later I went to one of the many massage parlours nearby and got a fantastic 1 hour thai massage for only 180baht (£4.39). My masseuse didn’t speak much english, but she was very skilled, bending me this way and that, and cracking my back to release tension. It was a really relaxing experience, but also slightly painful as most massages tend to be. If you want to work on your flexibility, Thai massages are great for doing this. Afterwards I headed down to Sukumvit, which I like to call “the Bangkok from the pictures), here you’ll find huge malls with western stores, the most beautiful ladyboys walking up and down the streets, and skyscrapers. From here I went to Charley Brown’s Mexicana for a latin dance class or only 150 baht. The instructors were really personable and fun, and the other students were really friendly and nice to dance with, with a variety of beginners and people who had been dancing Bachata for years. The food and drinks prices seemed to be very reasonable for a bar in the Sukumvit area.