Bangkok Pt. II

Finally! At last, I have managed to publish all my travels from my winter holiday in Asia: Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Kyoto, Osaka and Nara, Manila and Boracay, and Bangkok. Keep browsing downwards to check it out. As for this post, here are a few photos from five days of re-exploring Bangkok since my last visit back in 2016. 

Looking back at all these memories make me miss Asia... But summer is just around the corner, and this year I've booked a trip to somewhere completely new, so I'm looking forward to that already. Meanwhile, the next couple of months will be busy with exam preparations but I'll try my best to update on Paris and Riga, and of course my most recent trips to New York and San Francisco! 

Thailand

- Memories take us backwards but dreams take us forward -

Today marks the beginning of a new season. Summer is officially over and autumn has arrived, which can really be felt the on weather getting breezier here in Copenhagen. It got me reminiscing about warmer days in Thailand, solo traveling around Bangkok, and relaxing at a resort in Phuket. But as much as I love to look back at these memories, I'm looking forward to what's coming up in the next couple of weeks. I'll finally reunite with my boyfriend, before Sadia and I continue our tradition of impulsive adventures. This time we're going to somewhere continents collides... Any guesses to where? 

One Night in Bangkok

- All journeys have a secret destination of which the traveler is unaware -

I had a very interesting 'Night in Bangkok'. After a quite structured day with a packed itinerary, I decided to make the evening more spontaneous and ended up at Sky Bar Rooftop at Lebua, which was featured in the Hangover II movie. Note I was by myself again and it was definitely a Singapore-déjà-vu-moment. Once again my social anxiety seemed little to non-existent and I had no issue rocking up at this venue where people were having fancy cocktails with their friends while I stood there as a major loner asking for a glass of water. I probably would've avoided that scenario back in Europe but at this moment (as well as in Singapore) I just thought... Who actually gives a damn? I was having a great time enjoying this amazing view - for free! 

While I stood by the railing admiring the lights of Bangkok, another solo-traveller approached me and hence the rest of my night in Lebua was spent chatting away with this person from South Korea. I couldn't help but think how funny and coincidental it was that the very first person I met during my first days in Shanghai - and the very last person I met on my final Asia-adventure in Bangkok, were both Koreans - from the very same small town that I had never heard of before. 

As the clock passed 2am (did I mention I went for a two-hours long massage at 11pm), I got hungry (as usual) so I decided to grab a taxi to the nearest night market to get a take-away, then head back to the hotel to rest a couple hours before leaving to the airport. And in those next moments I got all these flashbacks from my last nine months in Asia... Thinking what a crazy, amazing, out-of-this-world experience this has been for me!? What a life-changing time of my life. You know, all those deep thoughts you suddenly get when you're eating Thai papaya salad at 3AM alone in Bangkok, having conversations with a sketchy taxi driver who could've been a murder or rapist for all I know. Looking back I think I was being a little crazy and naive, and I certainly will not tell my mom about this particular adventure - but as usual, everything turned out just fine. Another great personal memory for the books!

Wat Pho Temple of Reclining Buddha

Continuing my latest quest of chasing temples and pagodas, Wat Pho, Temple of the Reclining Buddha was a must. The 46m long Buddha cover was nothing short of gold ;-). Blessings after blessings.

A photo posted by Martha Huynh (@marthahuynh) on

A must-try dessert in thailand

So maybe eating street food did put me in the hospital in Myanmar where I got IV fluids and antibiotics injected through my veins. But look who's back a couple of days later at another street food vendor eating coconut ice-cream in Bangkok. That's right I tell you - when it comes to food I'm unstoppable. And this ice-cream was sooo good it deserves a separate mention. The perfect dessert to the pad thai and sticky mango rice I had ten minutes earlier. And a starter for the papaya salad I had after that. When people say I have an appetite of a sumo wrestler, I don't think they're being sarcastic.

The guy in the back wished he had a coconut ice-cream

The coconut ice-cream was the perfect cooler in 35 degrees celsius. Plus it's so affordable ($1.00) and it's sold at literally every corner around Bangkok's markets. A definite must-try!

Exploring Bangkok

After two successful layover-trips to Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, I decided to experience one night in Bangkok as my final destination before returning back home to Norway. My initial plan was to stay for three days, but after I got hospitalised in Myanmar I decided to re-book my tickets and hurry home to mama. Ten months away from home and I could hear her count down the seconds from the other side of the world.

But before that, my main focus was to get the most out of my one day in Bangkok before my direct flight to Oslo.

things i managed to do during my one day in bangkok:

SIGHTS: 

  • Temple of Reclining Buddha (Wat Pho)
  • The Grand Palace - Temple of Dawn (Wat Arun)
  • The Giant Swing (Sao Ching Cha) 
  • Chinatown
  • Night city  skyline viewing from Sky Bar Rooftop at Lebua
  • Asiatique The Riverfront

ACTIVITIES: 

  • Tuk-tuk ride around central, including a pitstop Chinatown
  • Free river cruising/ sightseeing on Chao Phraya River
  • Window shop at Siam Paragon (I rarely visit a mall when I travel, but I met my friend here and while at it she showed me some of the best sweet stores, mehe.) We also had lunch here. 
  • Free shuttle boat to Asiatique The Riverfront. An upscale night market full of souvenirs, foods and drinks.

STAYED:

  • Ibis Bangkok Sathorn (850 baht per/ night)  

ATE:

  • Pad thai w/ king prawns 
  • Papaya salad
  • Coconut ice-cream (yums!!)
  • Mango ice-cream
  • Sweet sticky rice with mango 

When time at the destination is so limited, my personal advice is to do as much research ahead as possible of the places you want to visit. And if you're a foodie like me it wouldn't hurt to know in advance some of the "must-try's". So what I do first is  I usually message a couple of friends who's a native, in this case Thai. I'd ask for advice on things to see and do, and practical information such as transportation methods, best and safest locations to stay as a female solo-traveller because there are too many places in Bangkok I wouldn't want to spend the night alone. Based on my friend's advice I ended up staying in a hotel in Sathorn area, which is very central and close to the main attractions - lively, yet calm. Very happy with that decision. And of course - I'm sure all these informations can be found online as well, but I always love me some local tips and tricks.

Next I was really lucky that one of my other friends was in Bangkok that day and free to meet up for a few hours. Such a relief to have someone who could show me around and help me coordinate. Things like figuring out the public transport saved me so much time, and I got to experience more for less! The free shuttle boat to Asiatique later in the evening was such a good shout too. Definitely something I would've missed otherwise. 

The last thing my friend and I did together before I went solo was a tuk-tuk ride around the city - starting from Wat Pho and ending up somewhere near the Central pier, passing by Chinatown, the Grand Palace and The Great Swing included. From the Central pier I took the most scenic boat ride to Asiatique, where I managed to grab some souvenirs to bring home - and once again fill my tummy with mango ice-cream. As it got pretty late (11pm) and pitch dark, I guess it would've been sensible for me to take a taxi back to the hotel. But my kind of sensible was to get a two-hours thai massage for 800 baht. So there I was by myself, at this really amazing zen-spa getting a full-body sports message till 1am. He-he!! Love Bangkok.

By the time my appointment was over, I realised I only had five more hours until I had to be on a taxi on my way to the airport. Yolo-ing hard as I often do during layover travels, I decided to head over to Sky Bar rooftop at Lebua State Tower. This place was featured in The Hangover II - coincidently a movie I had just watched on the plane the day before. My experience at the Sky Bar was another interesting one, so I'm going to save it for another post. แล้วพบกันใหม่!