● For full details on our route, transport info, hotel details, etc, look at our Google Maps page

Wednesday, 5 November 2008


3rd November – 5th November

Arriving in the southern bus station (which it actually in the north west of the city!) at 6am and the traffic jams to get into the city centre were already in full force. As we had only 2 nights planned in Bangkok, Khao San road seemed like the easiest place to head for.

Khao San road wasn’t anything like we had imagined as we strolled down the length of it. It was only 9am however, and no
body was up and about yet - the party from the night before must have taken it’s toll! The Green Lodge (recommended!) had a room for 400 baht a night and came complete with little luxuries such as a fridge and a TV to watch the US election unfold!

We set out to find the main post office in order to collect a new laptop battery
that was awaiting at Poste Restante for us (thanks Liz!). It was quite a schlep across the city and we took a bus as far as we could, intending to go the rest of the distance by foot. Passing down a backstreet we came upon a low-key restaurant heaving with locals. The smell emanating from the doorway and the obvious popularity of the place led to our squeezing ourselves inside and finding a table. After wildly gesticulating to the waitress we were handed two bowls of steaming hot noodle soup and meatballs. Delicious, though they must of gone easy on us as they were lots of other very interesting ingredients being added to other customers soups!

Towards the end of our meal we were joined by a local doctor who had studied medicine at Kings College London over 30 years ago. He told us how he was very pleased to see us in such a local eatery so far from Khao San road. We talked for a while about how he’d enjoyed the hospitality of the English people whilst he was studying and what our plans were in Thailand. He very kindly gave us his business card and offered to help us out should we need assistance whilst in Thailand, and then proceeded to pay for our lunch! Thanks again Dr Wonchat!

Laptop battery in hand, the river was close by so we took a local riverboat back up to Banglamphu, where we were staying. The journey upriver took us past several landmarks that we don’t know the name of, but you can see them in the photos!

On our second day, we planned to see more sights. The tropical downpour delayed our start but allowed time for a slap up breakfast of Garlic chicken and Dragonfruit muesli (not together!) We eventually managed to
dodge the showers and jumped on a bus to the centre of the city.

Top Traveller Tip #2 – Get around Bangkok for FREE! Certain busses are free until end of Jan 2009! They run on routes throughout the city and although they take a while, they are a great travel experience! See this page HERE for more details

After sheltering in a bus stop, we ran into the nearest public building, which happened to be a huge Tesco Lotus store. Now armed with 2 Tesco Value umbrellas, we were ready for whatever the weather could throw at us!

The nearby Jim Thompson House is the former
residence of the famous American silk trader, Jim Thompson. He disappeared whilst on holiday in Malaysia’s Cameron Highlands in 1967 and has never been found. His name lives on in the Thai Silk trade, and the brand has developed to become recognised globally. The house and gardens have been maintained as they were left by Thompson and are open to the public. We took a guided tour to find out more about the home life of this flamboyant entrepreneur, whose creative flair is still apparent in the way the house was furnished.

When we surfaced it was still raining so we ducked into another public building somewhere near Siam Square. This turned out to be a good call – this free exhibition centre, housed in a cylindrical shaped building was a little like the Tate Modern but rounder…

There were a number of exhibitions being shown and we wandered up through the spiralling floors, trying but failing miserably to interpret the various pieces of art.

One of the must do sights on many a travellers itinerary is to see a Muay Thai (Thai Boxing) match. There was a regular Tuesday night fight and we decided to head to the stadium to see some blood being spilled. Apparently an English boxer had been fighting at this stadium just a few days before which would have been great to catch. Unfortunately for us and damn the lousy Lonely Planet again but we’d been ill advised as to the ticket price. We didn’t even have enough spare cash left to buy a ticket for seats in the outer circle, much less a ringside seat for the full gore, unless we could pass as Thai nationals and pay a fifth of the tourist price. Lacking so much as a credit card between us we took solace in finding and swiftly downing a pint of cider each (a bit of a rarity in SE Asia and didn’t we know it at just shy of a fiver a pint!) before heading back to the delights of the Khao San road.

It was certainly a whistlestop tour of the city and we hope to have more time in Bangkok to see things properly at some point.

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