We made it to Bangkok! After 19 hours of ferries, busses and taxis, we finally arrived in Bangkok last Sunday. City life is much busier than on Koh Samui, but it’s definitely a welcome change.
The first few days we spent in the Sam Sen area of the city, which is close to the touristy part of town. We were a few minutes away from the [in]famous Khao San Road. It’s become known as the backpackers ghetto, and I can definitely see the logic in that. But as crazy and gimmicky the short street might be, you can’t deny that it’s one of the most diverse streets in Bangkok! People from all over Europe, America, Japan, Australia are curious to check this place out to get cheap food, cheap drinks, massages, suits, clothes and just about anything else you could think of.
We wandered over to the Grand Palace one rainy morning, and realized it was more expensive than we had hoped and moreso, it was so incredibly crowded that I could hardly see enjoying it. So we moved on to Wat Pho, which is a temple complex that houses the Reclining Buddha. It was beautiful there, I couldn’t have imagined how big the statue was!
The next day Jesse and I walked 3 miles across town to get to the Siriraj Medical Museum. I was pretty excited to see this place…they’ve got specimens of disfigured babies, brains, parasites, mummified murderers, skulls and organs with gunshot wounds, phew! It was gruesome, but definitely a cool experience. Then we walked another 3 miles down the river and checked out Wat Arun, Temple of the Dawn.
A couple days ago we moved across town to the Huai Khwang area of Bangkok. It’s a local Thai neighborhood where we’re helping out in a guest house in exchange for food and accommodation. It’s a nice place, with lots of interesting people coming through everyday. Yesterday I helped the owner, Bee, out and went with her and another helper to the market in the morning. She runs a little food stall in front of the guest house so she bought an incredible amount of food!
Last night we met up with Jesse’s old co-worker, Ben. After getting a delicious bowl of ice cream we went for a heavenly two-hour Thai massage! They started out by lathering and scrubbing your feet, and then take you upstairs into rooms with mats and pillows. She massaged each leg and each foot for at least 30 minutes – I felt like jelly! The only other time I got a professional massage was in Providence, RI a couple years ago. The lady’s left hand was as rough as sandpaper…I guess exfoliation could be considered the upside to that situation! But yes, that certainly won’t be the last Thai massage I get…