We just spent two days in Bangkok and I have to say, I had a great time!
I have been to Bangkok numerous times in the past, it has never been my favorite city. I used to think that it was overwhelming in pretty much every way. It seemed seedy, dirty, and smelled like raw sewage. On top of that all of my senses were overloaded as people pulled at me whether physically or verbally, asking me to buy their wares trying to use the accent of the English they thought I spoke (most of the time they thought I was Australian, that’s okay with me!). I always would spend as little time as I could there.
This week my opinion about this thriving metropolis changed. I realized that the reason I have disliked Bangkok for so long may have been because I wasn’t giving it the chance it deserved. On our previous trips here, Chad and I were two young fun-loving married people with no kids, staying in the backpacker mecca called Khaosan Road, only venturing out of that area to see some wats (temples) and golden Buddhas on our first trip to Bangkok together. Every other time in Bangkok, we would eat, sleep, and drink only in the neighborhood around Khaosan Road. And yes, that road is filthy and gross, it smells like acid diarrhea (sorry if that’s too descriptive, but at least you didn’t have to smell it). There is more crime due to there being so many travelers in one place, carrying their big backpacks around with everything they own. It’s a pickpockets paradise and an overall unpleasant place to visit.
Fast forward to this week. Chad and I are still young, fun-loving married people, but now we are also parents. Zoë has changed the way that Chad and I travel. We no longer have a real night life, but my goodness, how much better our days have become. I confess, I often miss sleeping in until noon (or later), but getting up at the crack of dawn has enabled us to see so much more of the places we have been on this trip so far. This is not to say that I will not be remembering these early mornings and repaying her when she is a teenager by making her arise at dawn when she wants to sleep in. All’s fair right?
We chose an apartment on Airbnb.com in the Sukhumvit area of Bangkok, honestly because it was close to the shopping malls and I really wanted to go to H & M and Forever 21. I know it seems silly and mundane, but when a tall girl like me is somewhere in Asia that they sell clothes that fit, that girl makes a concerted effort to take advantage.
As it turns out, the apartment was amazing, on the 25th floor of a slightly older building. The building had convenience stores, a few laundresses, a gym (no I never got a chance to use it, I feel so ashamed), a pool, and the best Thai food restaurant that we found in the area. The place had everything you could possibly want… it made me want that in every place we lived, so I may be ruined for travel now.
We spent much of our first day shopping at Central World Mall, giving some of Chad’s hard earned money to H & M as they were having an excellent sale, and we legitimately needed some new clothes (traveling long term seriously wrecks your clothing).
Later that day we met some friends of a friend at a restaurant called Cabbages and Condoms which was within walking distance to our apartment. I won’t go into details about the place, but you can find out more about it here. It was actually fairly good, with normal Thai cuisine, just at a little more expensive prices because the touristy and gimmicky aspect of the restaurant. We had a great time with our new friends and agreed to meet up again the next day.
We spent much of the day before hanging out with our friends searching for our next meal, which is always my favorite thing to do in any place, but especially Thailand.
I think I probably have eaten myself into a larger size of pants since being here. The food we ate in Bangkok was delicious and I would leave a meal with a full stomach, but with an addiction that made me want to order more and more. I am always reminded of the Monty Pythons’ Mr. Creosote skit as I sit and eat my meals in Thailand. You can watch that here if you like, but it is a little gross so be prepared…
Anyways, so far I have eaten chicken with cashews, pad thai, papaya salad, green curry with chicken, red curry with chicken, spring rolls, fried rice (with spicy fish oil), spicy seafood salad, pork satay, sweet and sour chicken, sweet and sour fish, and tons of steamed jasmine rice. All of these meals have been exquisite in their flavor and presentation, and all of them have been inexpensive.
Oops… I got a little off the topic there for a minute, but you know how I get about food…*drools.
Back to Bangkok, I felt like I was actually enjoying the time there. We never once went to Khaosan Road and I am happy about that. We spent time as a family walking around the Sukhumvit neighborhood and enjoying seeing the city in the daytime.
We plan on going back to Bangkok periodically for shopping, and to pick up anyone that comes to visit us at the airport (keeping my fingers crossed, Mom!) as it is a quick trip from Hua Hin to the capitol of this wonderful country. And I am looking forward to more time in Bangkok, not only for the great food and the new clothing, but to be able to experience this massive overwhelming city in a new way. I am glad that we gave Bangkok another chance.
Do you have a favorite Thai dish that you think I must try? Do you have good, or bad, things to say about Bangkok? Leave me a comment, I love to hear from you!