FINALLY I write about my incredible journey to Thailand.
I loved loved loved it! I fell in love with the country and its people and traditions. I will defintely be coming back at LEAST once a year, that’s how much I liked it. I will write more in my following posts why that was.
I was inspired by my friend Anja to go to Thailand, as I’ve watched her and her girlfriends go there every year and having a crush on that country over and over again and never being fully done with it, meaning that you always happen to see something new and exiting each time you go.
Let’s start with Thailand’s capital: Bangkok! It was settled in the 15th century and named capital in 1782. Very old right! Approximaltely 8 million people live there and around 15 million in the surroundings but I bet they are far more!
So you can imagine that there are many many amazing places to visit! So this is just my list and I haven’t been nearly everywhere, but those places have def caught my eye! There is no particular order.
1. Sky Bar at the Lebua Hotel
Sky Bar is the world’s highest open-air bar on the 64th floor of the State Tower located on Silom Road, Bang Rak business district, Bangkok, Thailand, the second tallest building in whole Thailand.
Unfortunately we didn’t catch the night time because we had to leave before sunset, but next time for sure! Love how the city looks at night with all its glittering lights!
They have the most amazing menu w/ very exotic and cool mixes, just alone the gin drinks very a few pages long! I looove gin! They also looked very creative and always added something different to spice things up.
I chose this long glittery rose gold gown on purpose, because I knew that the pinkish sunset colors of the sky would work well with it. Also the length and the slit makes it very dramatic and perfect for a night out. What I was really, really happy about in that moment was that it’s kinda heavy. Believe me, almost no other person was able to take pics there because the strong wind was lifting up your skirt instantly!!! You couldn’t even hold it properly!
2. Khao San Road
Also called “the centre of the backpacking universe”.
It’s a phrase that sums it up pretty much perfectly. Packed into a 1 km-long strip are countless budget guesthouses and mid-range hotels, internet cafes, bars, restaurants, massage parlours (yeeessss massages every dayyyyy like 3 times a day was my life there), travel agents, bookshops, market stalls, tattoo shops and much, much more.
I have never ever seen so many tattoo parlors next to each other, not even on South Beach in Miami. They’re literally everywhere and of course you don’t need an appointment.
With its carefree, anything-goes vibe, it’s quite unlike anywhere else in Bangkok. Khao San has an infectious atmosphere. It’s also popular with locals, especially young hipsters and art students.
By the way, it’s the place where you can buy grilled insects – you might have seen it on TV, it’s a huge tourist attraction. But you cannot buy them anywhere else than in that street, Bangkok is not about eating roaches, spiders and co. at all! It’s only here and mostly for tourists.
I was so so sure that I would try them, I told everybody I would! Hahaha But I ended up running away and scratching only by looking at them, I didn’t even come close. My friend ate them before and described the taste like this:
scorpio: dried chicken
grass hopper: like grass, very greenish
flower worm: earthy
Haha that was really her description, so I guess you really are what you eat in this case!
I also managed to have a fashion shoot in that crowded street of Khao San. It was very important for me to catch the feels of a typical busy asian street, where you can tell that this was nowhere in Europe. On the contrary, there shouldn’t be too many people in the picture… But we were patient and took our time!
Also, this look was one of my favorite go-to vaca looks and there will be a separate post about it.
An the most amazing thing was the street food! Don’t ever listen to people who tell you to never eat from the food stands. It’s total BS. Those are the freshest foods, prepared and fried right in front of your eyes. Really cheap and so so delicious and also more authentic than in restaurants for europeans. We loved the fresh fruit (pink and white dragon fruit, mango and papaya and so on) and had it lie few times a day.
3. Wat Arun
Time for some culture I would say! Yes, Bangkok is not only party, Khao San Road, backpackers or a plane changing destination.
There are couple of interesting temples you should def visit, but I’ll start with Wat Arun, the one I’ve been to.
Wat Arun is a Buddhist temple and is situated on the west (Thonburi) bank of the Chao Phraya River. It is easily one of the most stunning temples in Bangkok, not only because of its riverside location, but also because the design is very different to the other temples you can visit in Bangkok. Wat Arun (or temple of the dawn) is partly made up of colourfully decorated spires and stands majestically over the water. Wat Arun is almost directly opposite Wat Pho, so it is very easy to get to. From Sapphan Taksin boat pier you can take a river boat that stops at pier 8. From here a small shuttle boat takes you from one side of the river to the other for only 3 baht. Entry to the temple is 100 baht. The temple is open daily from 08:30 to 17:30.
The temple derives its name from the Hindu god Aruna, often personified as the radiations of the rising sun. Wat Arun is among the best known of Thailand’s landmarks and the first light of the morning reflects off the surface of the temple with pearly iridescence. Although the temple had existed since at least the seventeenth century, its distinctive prang (spires) were built in the early nineteenth century during the reign of King Rama II.
My German model friend Kristina, who happened to live in Bangkok for over 5 years suggested to go there. She said the temple was painted over in white recently and reopened after that, it used to be more brownish. I like the white color a lot, it looks great – have a look for yourself:
4. Lhong 1919 – a very new place to visit in Bangkok
Lhong 1919 is the new design space of Bangkok and just opened on beginning of November, 2017. I went there and I must say it is worth the visit, because it’s cool and across the river from Chinatown. Lhong 1919 is a private project by Rujiraporn Wanglee, a interior designer who realized the importance of space when she saw it falling apart last year. As a result we have a great new place to go.
The project has reclaimed a group of old warehouses and a Chinese shrine dating back in King Rama IV (1851-1868) and still preserves paintings from that time. Lhong 1919 has art and design shops, cafes and restaurants. Probably the most interesting is how the project was done preserving all the charm of old walls. I felt like inside some well preserved space in China itself.
Maybe the beauty of Lhong 1919 is Chinese paintings along door frames and window frames on second floor, all them protected by glasses. I was fascinated by the beauty of the paintings, details and how the shire was reclaimed.
The place is hispter, not just a typical Bangkok market and not everything there is affordable but worth going into each of the shops to see the products fashion, beauty, decor, furniture and various other high quality items and good taste. In addiction, Mrs Wanglee let young artists and designers sell their work and products for free at Lhong 1919. I visited one of the stores that even offers leather workshop for a really good price.
Furthermore it’s easy to get lost in time while visiting Lhong 1919, because even though it’s not a big space, it has many details to see. I love the idea of being a riverside space, what makes the visit more pleasant.
Their restaraunt called “Rong Si” is definitely more than amazing. The menu comes with pictures, so you’re having an easier time ordering. The drinks are very fancy and colorful.. striking blues, greens, reds and so on – so the pictures are definitely helpful!
The food is very good! Food in Bangkok in general is good but this restaurant is first) a little bit more upscale and secondly) quite authentic – so that makes it a rare mix! Watch out for the “authentic” – it can get quite spicy if you’re only used to touristy food 😉 But I loved it! I must say I learned how to properly eat spicy food in Thailand. An amount of spicy and hot that I would’ve never ever imagined to eat one day. I’m basically a dragon now! But it’s a different, way more soft and natural spice than in Europe or US – it does burn but it’s just good!
When my food’s not spicy now I feel like it’s not salted at all, it’s almost like I couldn’t fully taste the flavor! So I even started caring my own hot sauce (in my bag, swag hahaha)
5. Floating market
One of the most popular things to do in Bangkok is visiting a floating market, and there are quite a few markets to choose from.
While some of the most famous floating markets are located outside of Bangkok, like Damnoen Saduak and Amphawa, there are others that are well worth visiting right within the city.
For the atmosphere, natural beauty, and most importantly for the food, Khlong Lat Mayom (ตลาดน้ำคลองลัดมะยม), a floating market located on the outskirts of central Bangkok, is one of my favorite floating markets in Bangkok.
You can buy the tours to go there anywhere, there are many tourist agencies and it will cost approx. the same. The tours are daily, starting really early. And by early I mean a pickup like 5.45 am!!! We din’t have too many days in Bangkok or Thailand in general, so we were literally watching EVERY sunrise and sunset. The drive to the floating market is around 2 hrs or a little bit more. It was also quite humid, and even in the morning around 33 C. But it’s everywhere like that, no surprise actually. Once you’re in the boat close to the water or in the shadows of the market, it’s actually ok.
We went to the market on our last day in Bangkok, so can you guys imagine what happened? We FORGOT to check out from our hotel!!! Went to the market, took pictures, had some rides with different boats, ate food, went food shopping, drank beer and then, sometime around 2 pm we’re like: shit, we totally forgot to check out! Tried to reach the hotel but nobody picked up. But we stayed so calm and cool as always, like, what can we change now so let’s not worry at least 🙂 We were lucky, we got offered a late check out and were just charged a little bit more.
Back to the topic: due to the vast network of canals and waterways, Bangkok and the surrounding area were formerly known as the Venice of the East.
People relied on canals for transportation, and therefore people would tend to sell things directly from their boats, and congregate in certain areas to have floating boat markets.
Fast forward to today, and although canals are still used as transportation in areas in and around Bangkok, many of the canals have been filled in to make way for roads, and boats and have turned into cars.
When I say floating market, don’t think of Khlong Lat Mayom as that image of a thousand boats in the river, brimming with food and color.
The actual “floating” part of the market is very quiet (while the non-floating part is massive), and there are just a few vendors who mostly sell things like potted plants and flowers and fresh fruits and vegetables from their boats.
However, the canal is still used frequently as transportation in this area of Bangkok, and people really do sell things out of their boat – so although the market is very Thai touristy now, it still a little bit authentic, and a lot of fun.
But visiting a floating market, while not totally that authentic anymore in Bangkok, has become a hugely popular Thai tourist attraction – and many local Thais go to a floating market on the weekend to walk around, do some some shopping, and most importantly: to do some eating.
Let’s start with the food because that’s one of the top reasons to go. Due to the abundance of food available and how good it looks on display, I can almost guarantee you’ll be ready to start eating when you arrive.
They have a market for fruits and spices but also fresh stir fried food that is being cooked in front of your eyes. It has a kind of in a food court seating area, which is the most comfortable area to sit.
The tables are first-come-first-serve, and if you grab a table, you can then start buying food from all the different stalls, and bringing everything back to your table to start eating.
Also there are some incredible other amusement possibilities – like this cute Loris that we were given. First I hold it totally upside down with its head down because I was so amazed by it and didn’t know how to hold it. They have such a tight grip it’s unbelievable! Loris are animals from India, Sri Lanka and Southern Asia and they sleep during the day and are active at night.
So, this thing holds itself tight and starts sucking on my finger (same with my friend and hers) and stares at us with its huge eyes and we go like “AWWWWWW it misses its momma aaawww” But no! It wanted to kill us!
Cause they’re quite poisonous and have poison in its teeth! But they get the teeth cut so they’re not a hazard anymore. In their free and natural habitat they don’t have any predators (besides orangutans and they will eat them anyway with one bite, poisonous or not) so that’s what made them so slow (and cute haha) – they don’t have to defend themselves anymore, they just poison. That’s why they were gazing at us with this puzzled look – it was more like “I’m confused why you’re not dead yet?”
All in all, really worth going!
Thanks for reading! Better pay Bangkok a visit soon! :-*