I didn’t hate Bangkok, but I didn’t love it. It reminded too much of all of the other cities I’ve been to & I was looking for something different in my trip. Something less noisy & urban.
I can’t describe my time in Bangkok in one post as it would be extremely long (& boring). I’m going to start with the place most backpackers start in Bangkok, my hostel & Khao San Road.
Solo Tourist in Krung Thep, the City of Angels
My time in Bangkok was largely a solo affair & I loved it. I woke up each day at the time I wanted, went where I wanted & did what I wanted, at the pace I wanted. In the evenings I would hang out with Oats, my hostel owner & talk about life.
Old Town Hostel
I stayed in a great hostel in Old Town Bangkok, Rachanatda Hostel. The location was amazing – close to all the major tourist attractions, but located just far away to be calmer & with lots of amazing food options. I learned that having good food options within walking distance is very important to me on this trip, as I love food & can’t eat any old crap.
To get to Rachanatda Hostel, I had to walk through a series of narrow streets off Dinso Road, one of which housed the local food market. It was an adventure to get there & I loved it.
There are many reason why I would recommend this hostel to anyone who is travelling to Bangkok – good shower pressure, privacy curtains & free basic breakfast – but the main one is that the owners cared about providing their guest with an outstanding experience. They created a homey atmosphere, cleaned daily & made sure their guests got what they wanted from their time in Bangkok.
You couldn’t beat the view of Wat Rachanatda & the famous Pad Thai restaurant, Thip Samai was a 10 minute walk away.
Khao San Road
When I first got to Bangkok I was a bit tired from the food poisoning I was recovering from & the full day of travel, so I headed down to Khao San Road to entertain myself for a few hours.
Lesson: Be wary of beef soup & only get it at a place you trust or if you can see what is being cooked. Could be old meat & that is not a fun time my friends.
I didn’t know what to expect when I first got there. Not everyone I met in Thailand liked Khao San Road & I had a vague impression of the street from the movie The Beach. I found it to be an ordinary road, with an extraordinary vibe. It’s full of people, bright lights & music. At night the road is closed to car traffic & everyone goes there to party & people watch.
Khao San Road is loud, I mean loud. Every bar or outdoor stage is playing music at the fullest volume & noise by-laws seem not to exist or be applied in Khao San. But, if you walk west on Khao San Road to Thanon Chakrabongse you will find Soi Ram Bhuttri, which is the slightly more mature version of Khao San Road. It is still full of bars & restaurants, but it is quieter & less crowded. Many people ignore the street entirely as they don’t bother to walk past Khao San Road.
I’m going to add my voice to the many other people who will tell you this – when you are in Bangkok go to Khao San Road in the evening. You have to experience it, even if you are not a party person you will find plenty of people watching & you can have a quieter drink on Ram Bhuttri.
Up next … Temple hopping in Bangkok!