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October 28, 2022
Thailand’s quiet island, Koh Samui
November 3, 2022

I’ll never forget the moment I stepped off the plane in Bangkok a few years ago. From the first moment I felt like I had arrived somewhere else, nothing like the places I had been before.

The first feeling I got there was chaos, damp, cramped, crazy. I had the stupid inspiration not to take my visa from Bucharest and I chose to take it directly from the airport, where I had gone prepared with a passport photo. I sat down in a queue, where I waited at least an hour until it was my turn.

I recommend doing your research before you go to Asia. There can be all sorts of requirements for which it’s better to be prepared than to waste precious time from your vacation.

Once at the hotel, I quickly dropped off my bags and went for a walk to get the pulse of the city.

What’s it like in Bangkok?

At first glance Bangkok is dirty and chaotic. Full of tourists, heat, pollution, hawkers, heady aromas and tuk-tuks. As soon as I saw them I said clearly, I’m going to see the city with them.

Before I got on one, I negotiated the price of the trip and I advise you to do the same, so you don’t get the unpleasant surprise that it asks you to pay much more than it does.

What did I see?

First stop was the famous Khao San Street, where you’ll find a plethora of roadside food stalls with all kinds of bugs, scorpions, worms, pancakes you can try, restaurants, clubs and massage salons at affordable prices. You need to arm yourself with patience because it’s very crowded, with tourists coming from all over the world and a hustle and bustle that will take some getting used to.

I couldn’t leave there without trying some traditional Thai food and a famous Thai massage. The latter became my favourite, which I still try to find around Bucharest.

What I highly recommend eating in Thailand is Pad Thai, which is rice noodles with shrimp/chicken, depending on your preference. Without any hesitation, the best pad thai with shrimp I’ve had in Bangkok.

We also visited the famous temples Wat Pho, Wat Arun, Wat Traimit and Wat Suthat by tuk tuk.

Wat Pho is best known for its leaning Buddha Temple, where you’ll find a statue so large (45m long and 15m high) that it doesn’t fit in a single photo, but only in sections.

Wat Arun, also known as the Temple of Dawn, is made up of huge pagodas covered in beautiful white and coloured porcelain. Most tourists visit at sunset because of the spectacular scenery.

Wat Traimit is the temple where the largest golden Buddha statue is located. It is 5 m high and weighs half a tonne.

Wat Suthat is one of Bangkok’s oldest and most famous Buddhist temples.

They are all impressive, I really liked it here. Beware that you have to have long skirt/pants to get in. I was in shorts, so I bought a pair of cheap, baggy, long pants right at the entrance, which you’ll see on a lot of tourists who were probably in the same situation as me. Anyway, they came in very handy around Bangkok.

I didn’t have time to go to the Damnoen Saduak floating market, but I did take a longtail boat ride on the Chao Phraya River. This is also referred to as the river of kings, but it is very dirty. It’s a cheap way to see the city from the water and still you can immediately notice the discrepancy between poverty and wealth.

To see the city from above at night, I chose to go to one of Bangkok’s famous rooftop sky bars, Red Sky, where I could admire the beauty of the city from the 55th floor. I really enjoyed this experience.

Short recommendations for Bangkok

What I would advise you to definitely do once you get there is to negotiate for tuk-tuks.

Don’t be fooled into going to restaurants recommended by the drivers there, because they will take you to the most expensive places, from where they will take their commission (I got ripped off) and it’s not the best food either.

Expect most dishes to be spicy and if you don’t specify that you don’t want spicy at all, you’ll be surprised that it’s still spicy

My impressions of Bangkok

Even though it’s one of the most polluted cities, with lots of dirt and bustle, I really enjoyed Bangkok. On top of that, I discovered the best and tastiest fruits, the best massage and one of the most beautiful night views over the city.

If you have the chance to get here, don’t hesitate, because it will be a different, interesting, sensory and unknown journey. I hope to get the chance to go back again, to see the places I didn’t get the chance to go.

From Bankok, we left on a domestic flight to the island of Koh Samui, which I will tell you about in the next article.

Until then…

Travel, love, live…in the spirit of Thailand.


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