Backpacking Mecca

After our amazing time in Vietnam, we flew into Bangkok, Thailand to see Cara’s brother Phil. We spent four nights in Bangkok and explored the city as much as we could. We crossed everything off our list that we wanted to do, and we had a great time doing it!

The first evening in town we took a nice long walk around town, exploring and gradually making our way to Lumpini Park. It’s a giant park and probably the nicest green space in the city. The locals and expats/tourists all flock there, and it’s great to see a space like that used and well maintained. On the way back we stopped to grab groceries (they have Tesco - our favorite British grocery store!) and decided we would take an Uber the mile and a half or so back to our AirBNB since they were so cheap (plus who wants to carry a couple 5L jugs of water that far?). Little did we realize it was prime rush hour and it would take us over an hour (way longer than walking)! It wasn’t the last time we would wish we would have just walked instead of using Uber while we were there. Later, we followed the best rule in dining that night by just going to a place along the street that had a lot of people in it, and it didn’t disappoint. A lot of Thai cuisine seems to be family style, so we ordered a few dishes to share.

The next day we went to see the Wat Pho temples and the reclining Buddha statue, which was enormous! Once again, we decided to take an Uber and drastically underestimated how long it would take. 

Since we were now on the other side of downtown from where we were staying, we took advantage of being out and took a water taxi along the river to see some more of the city and then explored Khaosan Road, which is the biggest expat party street in the city. It was a little too much for Cara and I, but it was really good people watching. We grabbed dinner nearby, walked about that part of town a bit more, and then took a blissfully quick Uber back to the apartment. (Below: Phil, Megan, Cara and Jeff on Khaosan Road before all the hardcore party people were out. Jeff is sharing his opinion of the backpacker district...we went to bed that night while Phil and Megan returned to Khaosan to have a good time!)

The next day we wisely used the skyrail to reach Chatuchak market, which is a ginormous open air market, selling mostly knock off goods and tourist junk, but some nice clothes and household goods, plus some food stuffs. Ginormous doesn’t describe it well enough as the market covers 27 acres. We felt like we saw a ton of it, but I’m sure we barely scratched the surface. There are sections for just about anything, although it didn’t seem as organized as the maps wanted you to believe. There was even a whole section dedicated to pets. Want a crazy Asian outfit for your cat? They’ve got it! The food stalls were pretty good though, and we had plenty of meat on a stick, spring rolls, and some ice cream. After we couldn’t take the crowds anymore, we headed home to rest a little before going out to grab dinner on Soi Sukhumvit 11, the other major expat hangout. We ended up grabbing some Mexican to fulfill Cara’s need for chips and salsa, and while it was okay, it definitely wasn’t great.

Our last day in town we went to see Chinatown and walk through all the market streets there, which was another adventure. The Uber ride there took a long time again and the markets were full of all kinds of different things. We decided to walk back to our apartment, partly to avoid rush hour traffic, and partly to see some more of the city. That night we wandered into another crowded restaurant and other than the bamboo shoot salad that was awful, the food was great.

Overall, we weren’t impressed with Bangkok. The street food and local restaurants were cheap with pretty good quality and the markets were interesting, but it was just a big city, it didn’t have as much character as some of the other places we have visited. The major party/expat hangout streets were more than we bargained for, and it definitely could be a great place to party and meet other travelers if that is what you are hoping for. The food has been good though, and so far that has been the major focus of our adventures in Southeast Asia, so we’re really not complaining. We have plenty left to see here and I think Thailand is going to keep getting better!


We had to share a few more photos, from all the goodies Phil brought us, to Cara's favorite environmental friends in one of the parks, grilled corn that you could buy everywhere, the crazy exercise parks, Bangkok traffic, the crazy crushed ice/chocolate/sweet and condensed milk/banana/who knows really dessert we had, and a delicious plate of pad thai!