Arriving in BangkokEmma - 11 November 2016
I suppose it's apt that our first blog post for our six month Asian adventure should start with us getting lost. On arrival at the airport, we hopped aboard the metro and took it all the way to its last stop at Phaya Thai. Our plan was to stay on Soi Rambuttri, One street over from the backpacking hub that is Khao San Road. The problem is that public transport to Khao San Road is pretty rubbish, so basically your only option is to walk or get a taxi. As you can imagine, we decided that the hour long walk would be a good chance to stretch our legs after the 12 hour flight.
Two hours later we had back-tracked several times, found ourselves down increasingly tiny, increasingly smelly alleyways, and encountered about a thousand feral cats. We'd crossed a few extremely large roads like headless chickens, and were definitely starting to feel weary.
Finally I began to recognise places from my last visit to Khao San Road (four years ago!) and stumbled into Soi Rambuttri. The street is always decked out in hanging lanterns and multicoloured string lights, and awash with happy westerners eating mango sticky rice. We gratefully stumbled into our hostel door. The room was sweltering, and we 'starfished' on the bed for a good 15 minutes before deciding to go find something to eat.
Khao San Road was decidedly more quiet than the last time I was there, even though it was around the same time of year. The whole country is currently in a period of mourning for their King, so I suspect many backpackers have decided to go elsewhere, particularly the party crowd. Nonetheless, you still have the pad thai sellers, the incessant invitations to have a "massaaaaage" from the masseuses sat at the side of the road, and the 'phut-phut' noise made by tuktuk drivers hoping to entice you to a ping pong show. Grimy, touristy, fabulous Khao San Road. Everything is easy here, but you can expect to pay three times the price for anything, compared to 20mins down the road. But for our first night, it was a great halfway house between home and Thailand!