Bangkok was our first check point in Thailand, and since we never left the airport in Guangzhou, it was also the real beginning of our trip and our first big hit of culture shock.
We arrived after midnight at our hotel, The Golden Tulip, and after a familiar cheeseburger and fries, promptly passed out. We were lucky... because of the timing we slept a normal night and felt as if we were still on our regular schedule. We would get up early, as we often do on vacation, have breakfast, and start exploring.
busy and bustling, ridiculously hot, go go bars... all in all excitingly foreign and fun
Being from Toronto, the hustle and bustle of the city came at no surprise. We were used to driving in insane traffic, seeing skyscrapers around every corner and getting far too close with pedestrians when walking around or crossing a busy street. What we weren't expecting however, was just how crazy the scooter drivers were... I thought the public transportation in Mexico was bad, but the scooter and tuk tuk drivers in this part of the world take the cake!
(Oh, something else we weren't expecting..? Every cab driver who picked us up after the Muy Thai fights made us get out right away after learning where our hotel was... I believe it was because of the distance but what was awkward was how uncomfortable they were as if they weren't supposed to go there... We learn later though that they work off a system, where certain "groups" run certain "corners" like hookers and drug dealers, so that might be why... maybe? To this day it remains a mystery.)
packed with tourists unless you visit some smaller, "quieter" temples that are just as impressive... by the way, the spiritual culture here is amazing
I've never been to a temple in my life... not a Buddhist temple at least! Writing this now however, my temple track record has risen exponentially because right after Bangkok, we flew to Cambodia to explore (all of) Angor Wat, followed by Chiang Mai, then Krabi where we climbed 1,237 ridiculously steep and dis-proportioned stairs to the Tiger Temple (it was worth it though for the... free wifi?!).
People ask us why we didn't go to the King's temple while we were in Bangkok, and the truth is... is that we didn't want to see just temples, and in the The Grand Palace's case, the lineup was around the block and it looked like they were checking passports, so no... just no.
big rooms, delicious breakfast, nice pools, okay service
We spent our first three nights in Bangkok at The Golden Tulip Mandison Suites, and our room was huge. Everyone spoke decent English so it was easy to communicate when and where needed. The room had a kitchen that opened into a desk and living room area. There was a door off the kitchen to the bathroom, and a door off the living room to the bedroom.
When we booked this trip we decided to stay at a Best Western on our final night... just so we could be comfortable (we've never stayed at a bad Best Western) in the case that all the other hotels were uncomfortable (they weren't), but it was still very comfortable and nice.
We arrived late afternoon and had to leave early in the morning to catch our flight, so of course it was one of the nicer hotels we stayed at on the entire trip! Also the shortest stay of our trip :(
A total of four nights in Bangkok... we ate a lot of cheeseburgers when we first arrived, but couldn't get enough curry and delicious steak before we left. We were immersed in culture when we went to the free Muy Thai fights (that seemed essentially unknown to tourists since it seemed that we were the only ones there). We explored different areas of the city that led us to various parks, snake farms and Soi Cowboy... a must-see party spot in Bangkok.