First day in Bangkok

I took EvaAir flight, a Taiwan airline I’ve never used before. The flight was ok, with the departure delayed by 20 minutes and arrival scheduled on time. However, we had to circle for a bit around Bangkok due to congestion – I guess that’s because of the upcoming cremation of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej. Many are coming to pay respects and some, to witness this rare and impressive event. I will probably be in the North on that day, October 26th.
The passport control and luggage pick up went very smoothly. I’ve done my research and figured out that the optimal way to convert to Baht was bringing USD, and the best rates are in the Airport, at LG floor. This proved to be true, with the buy-sell spreads lowering as I moved from Arrivals to the -1 floor, and I’ve exchanged money that, I hope, will last a few weeks.
The best way to get to the city from Suvarnabhumi airport is taking a train. It costs around 50 Baht ($1.5), depending on the destination. The seats are so rough that I’ll stand next time! The train is air-conditioned so up until then one feels fooled by Bangkok weather.
The next challenge is getting to the hotel. The taxies and tuk-tuks are offering quite unfair rates for the tourists, and the tourists are feeling utterly lost. I’ve spotted two guys I saw back at Heathrow – they were easy to recognise because they had the same backpacks as mine!
Tourists generally are very friendly towards each other in Asia, and those two looked quite confused. I soon found out they were heading the same direction as me, to Khaosan Road – which is a major tourist destination with lots of hotels, bars, street food and all. It was just over 2 miles away from the train stop, and I think we made an attempt to walk it – however, after about 10 minutes a tuk-tuk stopped by and we negotiated a rate, about $2 each to get to the destination. I think it was still a rip-off, but the ride was refreshing.

IMG_2288My evening was uneventful. I ate at a local place which had no English menu. I wasn’t sure what I ordered, but the duck was delicious and the beer was large and cold.

Then, I headed to Khaosan road. It’s full of bars, souvenirs and massage salons, both inside and outside. After 12 hour flight, I felt that was what I needed so took a quick rub in one of the places and headed back home.

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