Bangkok

“The happiest capital in the world”

Type : City Break
Best Date : Nov- Feb
Expense :  Fair
Things to do : Visit Temples, Visit Markets, Dine, Nightlife, Shopping
Points of Interest: The Grand Palace, Wat Pho, Siam Paragon, Khao san Rd, Emerald Buddhas, Wat Arun, ect
The Good: A lot to see and do, cheap, full of culture
The Bad: lots of scammers,

Brief

Bangkok or Krungthep (as known to locals) is the capital and most populous city of Thailand. It holds around 8 million inhabitants which is about 10% of the country’s total population. Although it is the government, financial and investment centre of the country  there are calls to move its title as the capital elsewhere due to various problems such as its congestion and floods.

The capital is one of the most famed in South East Asia, a hotspot for tourists which featured in movies such as The Beach, Hangover Part 2, Street Fighter and many more. According to MasterCard the city ranked top destination by foreign visitors in its global destination cities index in 2018.

Grand Palace, Bangkok, Temple, Night, Wat Phra Kaew

The Place

I visited Bangkok on a short 3 day period heading home from Myanmar back to London. Due to my short stay, I didn’t get to visit everything the city had to offer, however the places I did see were remarkable.

Firstly I stayed in a place called Ratchaprarop Rd which is unofficially known as the little India of the city. This area had various different night markets and small malls. It was a little noisy at night and there were a lot of people, however I didn’t experience a great deal of discomfort from my hotel room at Indra Regent Hotel.

Khao San road is one of the most popular place to go and stay for travellers and backpackers in Asia. A haven for hostels, bars and night markets, this road is central for affordable leisure and entertainment.

Tuktuk, Thailand, Motorcycle, Taxi, Go, Tourist

The Grand Palace is the official residence of the Kings. Tourists are allowed to visit the complex with a ticket which is bought online and collected 24 hours before the visit.  The complex is one of the main places to visit as a lot of the significant things to see such as the Emerald Buddhas, The Demon Guardians, The Statue of Cheewok Khomaraphat, Phra Mondop and many more are situated here.

Palace, Bangkok, Thailand, Asia, Architecture, Temple

The Temple of the Emerald Buddha or Wat Phra Kaew (in thai) is in another complex right beside the Grand Palace and depending on what ticket you purchase, you may only need one to enter both. As the name states the temple is where the Emerald Buddha Statues are situated and these are one of the main attraction to see in Bangkok. Along with the Grand Palace this complex will be a very enjoyable for a full day visit. There is just plenty to see and all the details of artwork and architecture are fascinating.

Another complex to visit is the Wat Pho or Wat Po which is situated south of the Grand Palace. This complex is most notable for the Giant Reclining Buddha however like the Grand Palace there are loads of other attractions to see within its vicinity. I bought my ticket on the day of entry so I do not believe entry is as strict as that of the Grand Palace.

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Malls are very popular in Bangkok and the city is full of them. These places are popular for tourists who want to relax, shop, dine and getaway from the heat of the outdoors. Just some of the malls are Terminal 21 which has an airport interior feel, centralworld probably the most popular for all, the luxury Siam Paragon which has one of the largest aquariums in South East Asia and so much more.

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I also visited the arts and culture centre which is a free gallery showcasing Thailand’s modern arts. The exhibits change frequently and is popular for the more artistic personalities.

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I went to the Damnoen Samnuak Floating Market and the Maeklong Rail Market which are very popular day excursions. I enjoyed and fully recommend the Maeklong Rail Market an active market on top of train tracks which is especially exciting when a train actually passes (I believe only twice a day). The market sells actual food products which cater to locals and not just tourists so you can feel the culture and normality of life. However I was disappointed with the Damnoen Samnuak Floating Market as this was made especially for tourism, everything sold were souvenirs and not actual products catering to locals, furthermore I may be wrong but I believe 100% of people there were tourists. So I did not feel true culture there. But nonetheless altogether it was a good day out especially the active rail market.

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Conclusion

In conclusion Bangkok is a tourist haven, from its markets to its temples, its malls, nightlife, shrines and many other places in the capital.  Although the city alone has plenty to offer, there are  many very popular day excursions just outside its perimiter. I didn’t get to see all the city has to offer due to my short stay but even though, I have to say my visit was successful and enjoyable.

I believe 5 days to a week is a good duration to stay in the city, there is plenty to see and do. It is cheap so an even longer stay wouldn’t hurt your budget. The only negative aspect of the city I experience were locals trying to trick tourists into extorting more money, expensive tuk-tuk rides are a thing to lookout for, I advise to use the Grab taxi a set price booked with your phone. Nonetheless altogether Bangkok is a beautiful place with some of the most friendliest people in the world.

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Reference:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bangkok#Calls_to_move_the_capital

Photo:

3 photos have been taken from Pixabay

 

Travelling Solo

Why everyone should travel alone at least once in their life?

I have now done my fair share of Solo travelling and although I admit it can sometimes be difficult, it is somewhat enjoyable as well. I have travelled solo a lot now around 3 different continents and I believe travelling alone have the same hurdles and pleasures whatever the territory may be. I have encountered many people whether friends, families and colleagues who question the experience of travelling alone. Many feel they wouldn’t be able to survive, some say it wouldn’t be enjoyable, others feel too scared to try and many envisage loneliness whilst traveling. All I could say is “you wont know until you’ve tried”, I know many people including myself who wouldn’t even think of the idea of going away alone but for those who did really enjoyed it and appreciated the experience.

What stops people?

There is many reasons to why people are hesitant to travel alone many that are actually true (makes sense) and some just a state of mind. Most frequent reasons are:

  • Have got many people to go with, why travel alone?
  • Will get lost
  • Safety (especially for female travellers)
  • Boredom, no one to talk to
  • Nobody to take my pictures
  • Dining alone
  • and many more…

All the above are reasons I have heard from so many people in many occasions, non of the reasons are wrong, its just the way you look at it.

Firstly, why would you travel alone? Yes, why would you? if you have plenty people to go with, it doesn’t make sense. However in the current world many of us, our families and friends work, and we all know it is very difficult syncing leave (holiday) dates with each other, so there are times that the date you really want or prefer cannot be taken as you’ve got nobody to go with. Further more your friends and family may have no interest what so ever in a place you want to visit. Whatever the reason, there are times where you may be better off travelling alone but too ashamed to admit it. Travelling alone is nothing to be embarrassed about and more and more people are doing it across the world whether male or female, young and old.

Another main reason that people are resistant travelling alone is because of the social aspect. Simple reasons such as nobody to talk to, no-one to take photos, do activities or to dine with are expressed a lot as negatives to travelling by yourself. Many Solo travellers will tell you that these reason will only be true, if you let it be true. Travelling alone will encourage more interaction with strangers, some of which are solo travellers as well. There are increasing amount of young people who travel by themselves purposely to meet new people, they are everywhere and you can tell who are alone, usually lone travellers are very approachable.  After meeting new people it is then that you will have company to dine, do activities and much more. In conclusion, there is plenty of ways connecting with other travellers if you find yourself bored being alone, its just the way you act about it.

The only aspect of being companionless which I hate to admit is true, is the fact that it can be unsafe and make you vulnerable to theft. However this aspect can be true whether you are by yourself or not, vulnerability is just higher when alone, all you need is extra care and everything will be fine.

Why everyone should try travelling Solo?

Solo travelling is something you full heartedly want to do, not something that you have to do. However I do believe that everyone should travel alone at least once in in their life, to gain and appreciate the experience whether the outcome is positive or negative.

My personal reasons I think travelling alone is sometimes good are:

  • You get to visit places at your own time and pace
  • Do and eat whatever you want with no compromising
  • Meet new people
  • Learn and experience travelling independently
  • and many more

First reason I always tell people why they should try travelling alone is that “you go places at your own time and pace”, especially at airports I have noticed some individuals are early birds whilst others like to be there just at the right time. This is no difference to the holiday or travel itself, I have noticed that the larger the group the slower places are visited as breaks, rests and stopovers are more frequent, maybe its you who cant handle the pace or others that fall behind. So going at it alone, there will be nobody to wait for and you can stop whenever you want.

“No need to Compromise” is another reason to go alone. Everybody has to admit that travelling with others especially a big group has many positives but also has its problems. As every individual has different opinions, preferences and budgets, travel plans may need to be compromised for food, activities, transport and other arrangements. By yourself all plans and decisions are made by you and nobody else, there will be no regrets and “what if’s” should anything go wrong with the trip.

Another perk in travelling alone is the chance to “meet new people”. Although you can do so with companions, being alone increases self encouragement to go out and meet locals and other travellers to converse. This is overseen when within a big group, as friends and families are more inclined to stick together, with the exceptions of bars and clubs. In my opinion, it is easier to approach or even be approached when alone on your journey.

Inevitably travelling solo will increase your independence in many aspects such as location finding, money handling, conversing and others alike. You have to admit that in a group there will always be some more active and dominant, whilst others like to be the observant type and just follow the actions of their companions. Furthermore there will be the character that love to do the talking on the trip, another that likes doing the budgets and others take charge orienteering. When alone everything is left to yourself and whatever your weaknesses in travelling (eg, direction finding, conversing) will definitely improve as there is nobody to depend on.

In Conclusion there are positives and negatives to travelling alone, for those who have done it admit hardship but always recommend it as it is a very unique experience. I personally believe everyone should try it if you are looking for an easy relaxing holiday wanting to learn about different countries and cultures, however for a more action packed party type holiday then go with companions. Ultimately nobody can force you to travel alone and only you decide whether you want to try it.