Here I go again! Back to the beautiful land of Thailand. Living abroad in a Muslim country affords us(government officials) the opportunities to have time off of work during traditional Muslim holidays. This holiday coming up is EID (the end of Ramadan). Teachers got Sunday – Wednesday off, so I decided to take my talents to Thailand.
I visited Thailand once before, for a week, during the Christmas holiday in 2015. I stayed in Chaing Mai and Bangkok. Both were a great experience but I didn’t get to see Bangkok in depth like I wanted, so this trip was deemed Thailand 2.0.
We arrived at BKK airport where we were greeted by our driver Wan. (We booked through Viator Private Driver) I always like to have a driver when I first touchdown so I can get the feel of cost to travel around the city. There have been too many instances that I read about people having broken taxi meters or over aggressive drivers trying to charge you way too much. It’s just better for my overall peace of mind. Wan, then transported us to our hotel The Grand President in the NaNa district. The drive was about 40 minutes due to traffic and we paid about 500BAHT which was equivalent to 15USD. This was a little pricey considering that cab fares can be negotiated to about 300 Baht. But I’m cool with paying a little extra for security and comfort after a flight.
We headed to our hotel around 11 am. Our room wasn’t available yet and wouldn’t be until 2 pm. Le sigh! So, we traveled the street and hit some local vendors. We also located the sky train which was just a 5-minute walk from the hotel. (This place was in the center of EVERYTHING!) We grabbed food at this 24-hour spot that was soooo delicious and very affordable.
Finally, after lunch, we were able to check into our room. The suite was nice but not the nicest I’ve experienced while traveling. But the location was great so I won’t complain too much. But I will say if you love 5-star hotel stays, this is not for you. After check in we had a tight schedule of temple tours, city sight seeing, and a rooftop dinner.
Now, usually I stick to tours via Viator.com or recommended tour guides from friends but this time (since I had already traveled here) I wanted to free lance my own tours and compare the money spent. So, below, you can find pictures and cost of the different temples and modes of transportation that we took.
We took the BTS Skytrain (right down the street from our hotel) to the canal where you could catch water taxis to view the temples. We paid 140Baht=5USD for an unlimited day pass on the train. One way tickets cost about 40baht to get where we were heading so it only made sense to purchase the unlimited pass. If you look on the map you can see that traveling from place to place was easy but time-consuming as we had to wait on water taxis, walk to the temples, actually have adequate time to view the temples and just take in everything around us.
The water taxi was inexpensive about 15baht=.50usd one way. And you had to take other water taxi’s to go across the canal which equaled about 6 baht.
Unfortunately, we weren’t able to see all of the temples we planned but we saw the big ones (which I had seen before). We spent around 3 hours looking at the different temples and shops around the canal stops. Overall, the experience was nice but I would have loved to see more temples. The rain put a damper on our plans.
LATER THAT EVENING
Octave is located in the Marriot Hotel in Sukhumvit 57. Octave Restaurant. Octave was a really nice. They offered 50% off during their happy hour from 5-7pm. We didn’t quite make the happy hour because we got rained on coming back from the temples which messed up our reservations. We ended up paying for missing happy hour in the end. The food and drinks were very good but pricey. And the view of the city line was one that you should experience (I suggest a sunset view).
I like to think of myself as an adventurous, thrill seeking type of traveler. One of my favorite activities that I experienced the first time I visited Thailand was zip lining. My first experience took place in Chiang Mai, this time I got to explore the Pattaya sights and rainforest.
We booked our trip through Flight Of Gibbon adventure tours. The overall experience was great! Our tour guides kept us laughing, the lunch provided was delicious and the transportation was comfortable…which for a 1.5-hour long drive is important.
We had a Thai lunch and ended the day with a tour around Khao Kheow Open Safari Park, which is home to monkeys, gibbons, white lions, rhinos, giraffes, elephants, hornbills and more (the tour was about 45 minutes). We were able to feed the elephants and rhinos!! (So dope!)
The course included 2.5 hours of zip lining, sky bridges, nature walks and abseiling and the scenery itself was AH•MAAY•ZING!
After the tour, the drivers took us back to our drop off point where we were able to walk a 10-minute walk back to our hotel. The day altogether was a fun experience. The cost was $107 USD maybe a little expensive but the experience was worth it for us.
LATER THAT EVENING
We explored Soi 11. All night there were restaurants and bars open air bars open, people walking the streets, playing music, dancing, singing and just having a good time. We found a club right down the street from our hotel called Levels.
Entry into the club was free and they played hip hop and top 40 music all night. The club had a live cover band which was really cool. The crowd was hype and the atmosphere was very inviting. I would definitely visit this club again.
We made plans for our last day in Bangkok to be spent soaking up some sun and listening to dope music. So we researched and found that the best way to do this was at a monthly pool party at the So Sofitel Hotel. And let me tell y’all it was LIIIITTT! Here’s the link for the Pool Party
The party lasted from 1:00 pm until 9:00 pm and the cost was 400 BAHT = 12 USD and included entry to two parties and a welcome drink. On one side of the party (from 1-9) you could access the pool and house/EDM music. The other side of the party was a garden area with its own bar and DJ playing ranges of hip hop music. (This was our favorite side)
We started at the pool area which was packed almost instantly. So if you do want to visit this party while in Bangkok then I suggest early arrival so that you can have good seating. The infinity pool views were great and overlooked the city and central park like area. Coming from Abu Dhabi the EDM/HOUSE music vibes are normal at a pool party so we were sort of at home.
After about an hour hanging out at the pool, we found where the garden side of the party was and absolutely fell in love with the DJ. There were several seats available, I assume because like us, nobody knew about the other side (at that moment anyway).
After some time vibing and just hanging out in the garden area….IT POURED! Like when it rains it pours type of pour. For an hour straight, I was almost devastated that our perfect pool party was ruined…OH, BUT WAIT!! All wasn’t lost. When it started to rain we were fortunate to stay dry under one of the other party goers VIP tents. It was a really nice couple from Australia. And soon a lot more people from all over started to spill into the safe covering. We all started talking and getting to know each other and soon it was like a group of friends had connected after years of not seeing one another. We met people from South Africa, Germany, Italy, and America. I actually met someone that was raised in my hometown! How crazy is that? One word of advice I would give to travelers who want to get the most out of your adventures. Be open and willing to meet new people. TALK!! People will listen and respond. You would be surprised at how much you learn about people, what they do and where they are from, just by giving a little conversation.
The day did turn around though. The rain eventually stopped and the party went on. We mainly stayed on the garden side because the music was so good and our new comrades were so much fun. The pool party stopped at 9 but there was an after party that continued until 12 am. We didn’t stay all night because we were pooped lol. All and all the pool party was a success and lots of fun.
We had to get up early and head to the airport for the next leg of our trip Phuket, Thailand!! Bangkok, you showed us a great time. I will definitely be back again. Thailand is definitely not a 3-day trip if you want to sightsee, have fun AND relax. 5 days may be enough to do everything you want to do. When I return I want to make sure to do some of the following:
New Goal List For Bangkok:
Soi Cowboy (Eat fried tarantula, scorpion or something out of the norm)
Patpong Night Market
I hope you enjoyed my Bangkok rundown. Please feel free to comment or ask questions about my trip or about future trips you plan to take.
Be on the lookout for our adventures in Phuket!
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