I am going to share my first trip to Thailand with this forum. Hopefully it will answer a few questions to future travelers. My cousin and I have just come back from a 10 days stay in Thailand. It was to celebrate my cousin's 50th birthday. We booked a cycling tour of the river Kwai with Grasshoppers, also a tour of the city by bike, and tour of the floating markets.
We departed our journey from London Gatwick, with a stop over in Dubai (to save a bit of money), ideally you would want to go direct to make the journey easier, but it is not too much of a nuisance to stop over. We read about using a cab from the airport on this forum. It unfortunately did not work out exactly as planned. Once we got in the taxi, with the meter on, we were maybe half a mile down the road, when the driver told us that it would cost 600 baht for the journey (airport to the Majestic Hotel), we argued with him saying we should only pay what is on the meter (+ the toll, and surcharge for airport fare), but he would not change his mind, we were so tired from the flight that we just gave up. I guess we could have told him to take us back to the airport and report him, but as said, too tired for it. The meter came to just under 300 bath, he paid 75 bath for the tolls, + the airport surcharge, so i guess that we paid an extra 200 baht. Not a good start of our holiday, but as we found out, as a tourist, you can be seen as a milk cow, and people just try to get as much money as they can from you. We found out later that we could have gone to the reception of the hotel, with the little white slip that the taxi controller gave us at the airport, and they would have argued with the taxi driver about the fare. So guys if something happens to you, there are way to fight it.
We arrived at the Majestic hotel, and were quite pleased with it. The room was very comfortable and clean. Not the best view (9th floor at the back - motorway), but we were not too fussed about it. We came out after a shower for a bite to eat and wander around. Nana street is just round the corner, and we had our first taste of what Bangkok nightlife can be. TBH, I found it a little bit boring and sad also after a couple of hours. If you are after this kind of fun, Bangkok is great, no question about it. We could could not find a restaurant to have our dinner, so we went for a street food cart dinner. I was a bit nervous to be honest, but the food was good, though this was the worse meal we had during our holiday. As we found our way in the city in the next days to come, the food just got better, more about that later. Finally, tired by our journey and the wander around, we hit back the hotel and went to sleep pretty quickly.
I will post more in the days to come.
My flight arrived in Bangkok after one a.m. By the time customs was cleared, baggage was claimed, and a taxi hailed it was past two a.m. We still had a half hour drive into Bangkok. I shared a taxi with a Bangkok veteran. He said Bangkok is a city you can get whatever you want anytime you want. Efforts to photograph for a Thailand temple photo essay would have to wait.
Hua Lumpong Temple out my window at my hotel
Related: How to get to Khao Yai National Park
I was looking for sleep at this point after 18 hours in the air and a three hour layover. My cab pulled into my hotel, and I was asleep within thirty minutes. Thailand and half the world away would have to wait until tomorrow.
Waking up to a wat
I woke up excited to be in Asia and Thailand for my first time. I pulled open the curtain in my hotel room and the top picture is what I was greeted with. Wat a view. An urban concrete jungle with crazy four lane highways going this way and that with a beautiful ornate temple, or wat, in the middle.
This is a common view in Bangkok. The town is a raging metropolis with horrendous traffic, smog, and buildings upon buildings. Interspersed in the madness are over 400 Buddhist Temples. Each one is more amazing than the next with bright colors of red and gold, intricate detail, and golden statues of Buddha inside.
Taxi tour of the city
My taxi driver from the night before offered to take me around the next day. I accepted because it is always nice having a guide the first time you are in a country, especially when it only costs $7.00. He picked me up around 11:00 a.m. the next day, and we spent a lot of the day cruising around Bangkok stuck in traffic seeing incredible temples.
Bangkok street restaurant with my cab driver off to see some temples
Wat Hua Lumpong
When I did the obligatory Eurail pass through Europe after college I saw hundreds of churches. I was churched out after one month. I never grew tired of the Thailand temples or wats as they are called in Thai. After looking at this photo essay you will see why.
Thailand temple photo essay
Golden Buddha inside Wat Traimit
The intricate design found at Wat Arun
This lucky guy gets to call these amazing structures his work place
Wat Phra Kaeo or the Temple of the Emerald Buddha – Part of the Grand Palace Complex
Sadly I don’t remember
From the Grand Palace complex
Wat Po and the reclining Buddha
Thailand temple photo essay – Wat Po from the outside
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