“I take you anywhere you want to go for 1 baht!! Where you go?”
As we were walking to a metro in Bangkok, Thailand a tuk tuk driver sped up to the side walk barely stopping before he jumped out and chased us down saying he could take us anywhere we wanted to go for 1 baht. That converts to about 3 cents in USD…unheard of! We kindly told him no mostly because he seemed crazy and because it sounded way too good to be true. After several unsuccessful attempts to dodge him we figured we’d give it a try. As expected, there was more up his sleeve.
Before taking us to our requested destination, he took us to a jewelry store and to a custom suit shop. All while patiently waiting for us outside of each store. Apparently the driver gets free gas from the stores for bringing customers. He succeeded in getting free gas and taking us on a joy ride. We succeeded in only being charged 1 baht! (We ended up giving him more…3 cents just felt like a crime.)
This was one of the many eventful encounters we had in Bangkok.
Streets buzzing with colorful tuk tuks, taxicabs, varying motor sounds, mopeds hastily weaving through traffic, locals and tourists walking along the roads in the smothering heat, busy street markets filled with the aroma of freshly cooked food, tall buildings and dozens of intertwined power lines overhead…Bangkok is complete with genuine culture, high-energy and sensory overload!
With only a little over 48 hours to spare here’s a run down of the trip!
+LANDED AT AIRPORT
After landing at Suvarnabhumi Airport (also known as Bangkok International Airport) around 11am local time, we took a taxi to our hotel and were quickly immersed into the city. A traditional worship garland made of yellow marigold flowers and white jasmine flowers hung from the taxi drivers rear-view mirror. Highway signs were written in Thai and it wasn’t too long before we hit traffic.
+CHECKED-IN TO HOTEL
Our hotel, Oriental Residence, was located next to a U.S. Embassy and about 5 miles from the Grand Palace.
+RODE BIKES THOUGH THE CROWDED STREETS OF BANGKOK
The bike tour was guided by Grasshopper Adventures at night and was one of the scariest yet one of the most thrilling experiences of my life!
+WENT TO THE LARGEST FLOWER MARKET IN BANGKOK
Open 24 hours a day and 7 days per week, the Pak Khlon Talak market sells thousands of fresh whole flowers for religious services. It’s definitely a site to see.
+ATE AT A STREET MARKET
The food was delicious! Street markets are all throughout Bangkok so it’s not hard to find one.
+LONG TAIL BOAT RIDE ON THE CHAO PHRAYA RIVER
Took some time to relax and ride on the canals.
+FED HUNDREDS OF HUNGRY CATFISH
Fishing in rivers surrounding the temples is forbidden. So it’s not surprising that the rivers are filled with big fat fish. Some believe that feeding the fish will bring good luck. (I believe that feeding myself with catfish will bring a long life of happiness 🙂 )
+SHOPPED AT A FLOATING MARKET
There are many floating markets along the Chao Phraya River. This is a cool way to get souvenirs.
+VISITED WAT PHO TEMPLE
The architectural detail of this temple is stunning! While I was walking around the temple I heard the sounds of monks in worship. There was a strong feeling of tranquility around the temple.
+MET RECLINING BUDDHA
Measuring 49ft high and 141ft long, Reclining Buddha towers over everyone that enters the temple.
+LEARNED HOW TO COOK AUTHENTIC PAD THAI
The Thai cooking class with Chef Leez is the best! I did way more eating than cooking. Oh and let me add that Mango Sticky Rice is one of the best things ever created!
+HUNG OUT ON KHAO SAN ROAD
Packed with bars, clubs, tattoo shops, restaurants and local vendors, this is definitely a party spot is Bangkok.
+MADE A NEW FRIEND
On a ride back to our hotel I raised my camera to take a picture of a tuk tuk passing by. One of the girls in the back seat smiled back at me and threw up the peace sign. This personified the spirit of the Thai people. In the midst of all the hustle and bustle around me everyone was so nice.
Bangkok should be at the tip top of your travel list! There’s so much to do, so much to see, so much to learn and you don’t have to break the bank to have a good time while you’re there! It was without a doubt one of the best trips I’ve ever taken.
Have you been to Bangkok or do you plan on going? Comment below and tell me about your trip! I’m sure it was or will be just a thrilling as mine! 🙂
All images are copyright protected. © Phylicia Munn
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