Adventures in East Asia

Arriving in Bangkok

What I love about every city we've been to in East Asia is that they each have a unique flavour and sometimes a reputation to be experienced. None more so than Bangkok, Asia's urban centre of street food and exotic entertainment (my own interpretation)!


Each visitor's experience of a place defines their view of it, and whilst I harboured some reservations about how safe Bangkok was, visiting the city turned out to be a great experience and dispelled any misgivings I had.


Upon arriving at the airport, we took the *local* route to the city by taking the free shuttle bus to the bus terminal (close by the airport, but too far to walk) and then jumping into a (approximately) twelve seater minivan that appeared to be heading roughly close to our hotel. The minivan trip took around forty minutes and only cost 40 THB each (75p! Beat that Heathrow Express!).


The van dropped everyone off at Victory Monument and we were thrust into the busy evening streets with our luggage, picking our way along an overhead walkway to the BTS Skytrain station. Though we knew Bangkok could be busy, the sight at Victory Monument with all the crowds, market, random stalls and standstill traffic at a massive roundabout, reminded me of Shepherd's Bush in London, only more hectic and alot hotter!


Our perspective only changed slightly once on the Skytrain, but then arriving at Nana station a few stops later, we had to make the rest of our way on foot to the hotel which took us through a prime location for, er, some exotic diversions.


We stayed at the Hotel Royal Ivory, which was situated at a quieter end of Soi Nana Tai, a bustling but pleasant side road that leads up to the main Thanon Sukhumvit, where we headed to each day to get to Nana BTS Skytrain station.


Every evening, Soi Nana Tai lit up with the lights from the various English, Irish and other pubs and girlie bars, and buzzed with the sounds of tourists, many of whom appeared to be Western, male and single, and throngs of local Thai women and ladyboys out for business.

I've never seen such a blatant visual display both in approach and in quantity, as the bars were full of women, and even more stood waiting patiently along stretches of the road. To be honest, I couldn't stop looking left, right and centre..

At our hotel, further reminders of what to do in Bangkok appeared alongside our tray of crisps and peanuts.



Here's a few other impressions of Bangkok. Plenty of tourists and expats.


Plenty of stalls lining busy urban streets.


Guys in orange vests were motorbike taxis.


Near the top of Soi Nana Tai sat this guy with his sewing machine, tailoring right there and then. I was tempted to get some holes fixed.



BTS Skytrain lines ran over packed main roads.





A mobile tourist office.


Plenty of stalls selling food.



This woman sold garlands near the Erawan Shrine.


On our first night, we wandered the busy streets near our hotel and had our first, extremely cheap meal at a street restaurant using Doraemon-themed table cloths.



This green unit near Nana station must be the nicest set of ATM machines I've seen anywhere.


This entry posted in : Culture. Entertainment. Thailand. Tourism.

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