Eating at the Market

Backpacking in Bangkok: Sweat, Spice and Sites

Written by Amanda Martin and Samnang Pak, 2014 Southeast Asia Cities & Sanctuaries.

Sawade-ka! Greetings from Thailand!

The sun is shining and the sweat is dripping, the Southeast Asia Cities & Sanctuaries crew officially landed safe and sound in the capital city of Thailand, Bangkok. A few of our bags decided to take a detour and travel a little more, but all made it in time for the trek into Cambodia.

We wasted no time and jumped right into a city tour of Bangkok, shaking off our jet lag through wandering instead of sleeping. We started our morning with a scavenger hunt for our taste buds of new and exotic fruits for breakfast or a spicy dish with a side of rice. The hustle and bustle of Bangkok, the Venice of Asia, won the group’s hearts over in no time.

Exploring by river taxi, sky train, and the infamous Thai tuk tuk, we spent the day from dawn to dusk exploring. First stop, Wat Arun. Found on the back of the 10 Baht Thai coin, the temple is decorated with broken porcelain plates and bowls, during the early trading days and offers a fantastic view of the city with all the traffic crisscrossing the Chao Praya River. Despite the beauty of the temple, the highlight was undoubtedly when the group dressed up in traditional Thai gear for our first group photo. Nothing brings a group together like a little dress up party! The locals and tourists alike found our escapade entertaining! We are sure to be found in a few family photo albums around the world.

Thai costume Local Costume
Next up, Wat Pho, home of the famous reclining Buddha in Bangkok. Before entering, however, one must pass the guardian of the temple – a man with a boa constrictor wrapped casually around his neck. We all escaped unscathed to enter the serene and beautiful temple.

We made our way from these sanctuaries of Bangkok into the urban heart of the city. We made our way to the end of the river taxi line to have lunch in a local food court before we jumped onto the sky-train, where the air-conditioning was a welcome relief to the sweltering heat. So much so that we decided to ride it twice…on purpose, of course.

We arrived to MBK, one of the most well known malls in the city renowned for shopping. Everyone made their last minute purchases before we jumped into the back of a few tuk tuks racing through traffic of Bangkok in these badass, vintage transports. Watch out for the scams, but make sure you take at least one journey in these peppy motors!

Tuk Tuk life
Delicious street food, a beer, a coconut, some live Blues music and a Ska dance party wrapped up our Bangkok adventure! Next stop Cambodia!

Much love,
2014 Southeast Asia Cities & Sanctuaries