Touched down in BKK at 07:00 local time, and walked through the airport to an incredible stream of colourful taxi’s along the main road. I mean, we had vibrant pink’s, blue, orange, yellow, purple…to walk out and see was great; first photo opportunity
At this time of the day, the roads were already packed full of this luminescent flow of taxi’s and motor cycles. The road marking’s do not mean a thing on this side of the world- there is no such thing as road lanes…it is a free-for-all, where every inch of space is pressed for to the sound of hundreds of horns. I was sat in that taxi for half an hour, as much in fear as in astonishment (some car manoeuvres witnessed took my breath away), as I was whisked off to the tourist hub of Bangkok- Koh San Road.
For those that have never been to Bangkok, or to Koh San Road…I can’t prepare you for the onslaught of Thai men and woman trying to sell something of some sort. Whether if be a day trip, fresh exotic fruit, t-shirts and vests, or little plastic men that dance when you wind them up (I had to buy one of these…I’ll have to find the video I took), there is going to be alot of loud and in-your-face people trying their up most to sell their product and barter with you. Personally, this doesn’t bother me at all. I just tell them “no thank you” quite firmly with a smile. Some girls and younger lone travelers however may not like it. Just be firm with a smile and walk away. Either way, take it in and absorb all the surroundings- the bright lights, the loud noises, chatting and haggling all around you. When your’e finally back in your room, you really realize how lively and vibrant it is out there…I love the place.
When on Koh San Road, be sure to stop in to one of the hundreds of travel agents. Show your interest in one of the activities they have before you, and on a tangent ask if they have a map of the city you can have (they dont like to give out maps, but they will if they think they will gain your business for it!). Thank them, and explain you’ll pop back for the activity after getting some food (ofcourse you’re not obligated to do so, but you just got a free map for registering your interest). I visited 2 night markets, all a short walk from Koh San Road. Ask a tuk tuk driver or taxi where they are on your map. Get out, explore, get a little lost…there are so many tuk tuks and taxi’s in the surrounding area’s that its near impossible to get stuck.
Take an adventure in the food on offer; from traditional dishes on offer, fried flying delicasies, to Pad Thai cooked up on the street stalls. My advise would be to try it all, but then I’m a massive foodie. I had a good go at it- just be mindful that some street stalls will cook up your meats a bit quicker if there is a queue- just ask them to leave it in the pan a little longer, and don’t eat if it’s still not piping hot right through. Oh, and be sure to get a foot and body massage…for half an hour you will pay on average 200baht (4pound!)
With so many hotels and hostels on Koh San and surrounding area’s, your’e never short on choice. I would strongly recommend one with a pool on the roof. Ok, you’ll pay a little more (about $20pn for a double room), but believe me, after a day out and around Bangkok, the sight of a pool after an exhausting day in that heat, you will be thanking me you paid that little extra! Its also a great way to relax and get away from the chaos that’s going on beneath you. I stayed in Buddy Lodge Hotel and it was fantastic. Booked up in advance, you can save some money too.
Next stop, north Thailand, jungle trekking, and how I fell in love with a picturesque little town call Pai….