Well after months of planning I started my journey in a very hot and humid Bangkok but despite that i’m very happy to be here. I decided on Bangkok as a central point to base my travels and even though I had a loose plan of countries to visit (Cambodia – Vietnam – Laos) I was going to follow my intuition and go with the flow…great if you’re not on a time limit. I make my way to a fantastic hostel HI Sukhamvit recommended by Geraldine aka Backpacker Granny (www.backpackergranny.com). I met her at Hostal Plaza (www.hostalplazasanpedro.com) in Spain last year and she’s an inspiration to anyone thinking there’s an age limit to backpacking and is an inspiration to me.
I don’t know about you but i’ve never been one of those people to rush around and see all the sights and tick them off my list. I like to relax and immerse my self in the culture getting to know the local people and of course the fantastic food from the street markets. When I was talking to a friend about this she gasped in horror, ”You can’t eat from the street stalls..you might get food poisoning?” Plant that seed in your mind and you probably will !! The food is freshly cooked and delicious and so cheap, you can have a plate of food for a euro !! Great news if you’re travelling on a budget !!
I’ve been doing some work since I’ve been here as its so hot during the day and cooler to head out in the evening. It’s great that I work a lot online as I can work from anywhere and just need internet and a quiet space. Bangkok has a great metro system for connecting the city but ony of my favourite ways to travel is the water taxi – 14 BT (30 cents) no air conditioning and 40 BHT (1 euro) with so I went for the cheaper option and you don’t need aircon when you have the sea breeze cruising along at a reasonable speed.
I go on about rushing to see everything but one of my favourite places in Bangkok is Wat Pho in Bangkok, also known as the reclining Buddha. It’s amazing at 15m high and 48 metres long. It’s great to see it and I also love the vibe in the area in the cafes stopping to get some respite from the heat and sip on fresh coconut water watching the world go by. I have a favourite café there that does an amazing Thai green curry but watch out for those red hot chilli peppers !!
I love wondering the streets and ended up getting lost one night but ended up in a buzzing area with a great night market and ended up having a few drinks with a French journalist who had been living in Bangkok for 7 years and a Belgian backpacker. That’s part of the reason I love travelling alone as you only have yourself to think about and you always meet like-minded people but more about that in another blog.
I love the sights, smells (good!!) and hustle and bustle of Bangkok but while waiting for my Cambodian visa I decided to head to the old Thai capital of Ayutthaya so after a 2 hour non-express train I arrived at an amazing riverside house….great place to chill for a couple of days.
It was a short walk to one of the temples, Wat Chaiwatthanaram and fantastic at sunset when it was a bit cooler and a magical and peaceful time to meditate.
I’ll be sad Thailand soon and such a wonderful place with friendly people and I can see why they call it ‘Land Of Smiles’ Have you been to Bangkok or Ayutthaya? I’d love to hear your experiences and any recommendations of places to stay, eat and visit. I’m planning on returning to Ayutthaya at the end of my trip to stay in a Buddhist Temple so this will be ‘Eat Pray Love’ Welsh style !!
Bye for now and will be back soon to fill you in on my adventures in Cambodia!!