Okay, so I realised today that my first two posts were quite introspective. And I am sure you guys would like to read something interesting and fun as well. I lived in Bangkok for quite some time a couple of years ago and for some reason everyone has this idea that all that Bangkok is good for is a two day stop over for shopping. This is the most inaccurate stigma I have heard about any destination in the world. So ladies and gentleman; I give you five Epic things to do in Bangkok.
This place is the perfect place for anyone who is looking for a non bullshit Bangkok experience. The rooms are cheap, the vibe is amazing and the owner is one of the coolest people you will ever meet in your life. Myself and my best friend lived here for a couple of months when we were broke and jobless, it was the single most awesome time frame of my life. Now don’t expect your normal backpacker experience, this place is crammed to the rafters with gritty, bohemian outside the box art and people. Strange behaviour and ideas are encouraged. So if you find yourself in the Bangkok surrounds, and you feel yourself getting annoyed by all the tourist traps; head on down to the Overstay even if it just for a couple beers. It will change your life by the sheer force of it’s strangeness and epicness. ( I do realise epicness is not a word, but keeping with Overstay fashion, who cares it sounds awesome.)
Koh San Road
Fair enough some people may argue that this part of Bangkok is one of those tourist traps I was referring to earlier. And though it may seem so on the surface, if you look in the alley ways you will find some awesome things. Koh San was the first street in Bangkok to host tourists (mostly Backpackers) in what was back then still residences. Nowadays it is a parade of hostels, bars, market stalls and the occasional book store,and it still retains its backpacker community. A couple of words used to describe Koh San on an average Tuesday evening; chaotic, colourful, loud and garishly beautiful. Here you will find the best falafels and eggplant salad in town, along with an Irish pub that seems to be only busy on St Patricks Day, not even Songkran fills that place up. There are also plenty of tiny bars in narrow alley ways. So your itinerary should go something like this, arrive in Koh San at around five in the afternoon, eat some legendary falafels at Shoshannas, start drinking, loose your morals and make eight million new friends.
So Pattaya does not technically count as Bangkok, but it is close enough to make a daytrip out of it. Pattaya is mostly known for it’s dodgy nightlife, a lot of ladies of the night and a lot of lady boys traipsing the streets trying to hoodwink tourists. But my dear readers, what would an adventure be without some danger? I went there a couple of times; but one of the most memorable is taking a bus there at 5 in the morning still very much drunk. We spent half the night in a hospital (a story for another day) and decided it was beach time. Of course being drunk none of realised that it was raining. We got to Pattaya and it was practically flooding. Being proper ‘Vaalies’ we sat on that beach in the rain nursing a couple of beers, and even went swimming. When the down poor finally ended we found an amazing Mexican restaurant with tasty food and even better Tequila. We eventually got home that night, sandy but not with a scrap of sunburn on us. Drunken 4 am plans can be successful sometimes.
Now this specific area of Bangkok is where all the expats live, so in other words it is a very fancy part of Bangkok. We only went here a couple of times because we only had enough money to party there a couple of times. However it is a place to go check out for a night or two. We went to an american diner for burgers and beer, somehow we ended up following the waitstaff into the kitchen down some stairs and into a huge underground club from which we only existed seven hours later. True story.
All night markets.
Because of the never ending, soul destroying heat in Bangkok the city only sputters into life when the sun goes down. Good luck trying to find a decent meal on the street before then. A lot of foreigners are afraid to eat at these markets which is sad because you get really tasty cheap nums here. There are only a couple of rules to follow so that you don’t spend the next 12 hours generating a bond with your toilet: Stay away from seafood, DON’T eat sushi and stay away from seafood. See not that difficult to remember.
So in a nutshell. Bangkok is not for everyone. If you know yourself to be prissy and uptight; then don’t even stop there for shopping. Go straight to your resort in Phuket because you will only be disappointed. But if you are open for new things, if you long for adventure and want to do things a little different, then my dear friend, Bangkok is exactly what you need.