Exploring Thailand #4

A strange ‘twist of fate’ provided me with an opportunity to take a side trip to Bangkok, which is about 205km from Hua Hin. Some friends were travelling – coming and going in different directions, but I was able to share a taxi up and back with them.

With a population just over 11 million, I knew it would be a bit bonkers for our little 4-day excursion. We checked in to our hotel in the Asok area. It had great amenities: rooftop pool and bar, in-room massages (I didn’t indulge), fabulous breakfast served at rooftop tables and close to the huge Terminal 21 mall and skytrain/metro station. Some staff were a bit “too overly helpful” taking our plates back to our table before we were quite ready and giving us things we didn’t REALLY want and it was quite funny – “come back with my noodles I haven’t added my spices yet” LOL

The Terminal 21 mall, which I think is 8 floors of shopping/food madness, was really over the top. I think we stopped at around the 5th floor escalator. That was enough insanity for here.

Traffic is also interesting, the way all the motorbikes weave in and out of the lanes. They all head to the front of the traffic line so when the light changes, BAM, they are gone.

Just a five minute walk from the hotel you could escape the city noise and stroll around Benchakitti Park. There were walkers, runners and just allot of people chilling out. There were walkways all around the lake.

The next day we took the skytrain to a point and then boarded an express boat to ride up the Chao Phraya River to reach The Grand Palace. It’s not just one building but a huge series of palaces, offices, residence and temples dating back to the 1800’s. Legs must be covered so I now own some snazzy “elephant pants”, purchased to slip on over my shorts to visit the temples (sorry no pics haha).

The following morning, after another hearty breakfast of omelettes and cappuccinos, we headed out to meet up with a Biking and Canal Boat Tour. A Blue Line, to get us to the meetup point, was actually the subway line, not the skytrain system (although they both have a Blue Line!) so once that mystery was solved – off we went.

There was just me, my two friends, plus one other gentleman from Switzerland on the tour with our guide Jobe. I love small group tours, lots of flexibility to stop and go whenever. This tour would take us along quiet canals, into markets, through narrow alleyways – with stops at several temples. Local neighbourhood outlets were stop offs for snacks, coffee and lunches.

It was such a relaxing and enjoyable day, a ton of fun. The trails and pathways we followed were a whole other transportation system that you don’t realize exists from the highways.

A Canal boat ride was a great way to finish off the day, where we saw a rather large lizard and crocodile.

An interesting restaurant choice for dinner was ‘Cabbages and Condoms’ – (no, not what you think) but a socially conscience business supporting family planning and health programs. The food was great and the ambience was “quirky” for sure! There were even live classic Thai dancers performing.

No after dinner mints here ……

It was an interesting city, allot to take in at times. There seemed to be many non-Asian workers there so they must employ huge numbers of teachers and other professional from outside Thailand to do stints there. The subway and train stations while on the one hand were hectic, crowds were mannerly and formed orderly lines to board. It was neat.

Feel free to leave a comment below. If you wish to contact me, my email is blaisemcneil@gmail.com. Thanks for visiting my site and I hope you’ll return soon for my next adventure…. Blaise

3 thoughts on “Exploring Thailand #4”

  1. Haha I’m trying to figure out what all the sizes are, like “Coup D’état” size. Gonna assume “Politician size” is the smallest 😆

    Looks like a fun trip!

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