This is officially my first travel post! I’m writing this from Thailand on the start of our 3 month world trip. We’ve only been away 5 days so far – in which time we have explored Bangkok and travelled north up to Kanchaniburi and visited an elephant sanctuary. I’m actually writing this post at lunch on our second day with the elephants! I have so much to say about Elephants World so I think I’ll write a seperate blog post all about that experience.
Firstly, it feels surreal to be in Asia after so much planning and waiting! We got to Bangkok at 6pm on Sunday night after two flights. We then had to take 3 sky trains to get to our hostel so when we arrived we were ready for bed! We were staying at Lub D Siam hostel, which was a very nice first foreign hostel experience!
On Monday we explored Bangkok in all its crazy, busy, humid glory. We took a very fast boat down a littered river into the main area of Bangkok where we visited monuments and temples. In Wat Pho, we saw the Reclining Buddha, which stands at nearly 50 feet tall!
Tuk-tuk drivers are everywhere and always ready to pounce on English tourists. They all ask the same questions too – how long are you in Bangkok for? Where are you going after? Have you pre-booked your tickets?… in the end we did take one for 20 baht – equal to about 50p! A helpful Thai lady gave the driver strict instructions not to go ‘shopping’ – this is where tuk-tuk and taxi drivers take you on a longer route to stop in shops and get you to to spend more money.
We then headed to tourist favourite Khoa San Road, with help from a friendly Monk, who helped to show us the way! It’s full of restaurants, bars, street food vendors and shops. It was an interesting sight and I can understand why it’s popular with British tourists as it has a party vibe (it’s ‘the strip’ of Thailand) but it’s definitely not the best place in Bangkok.
After spending a couple of nights in Bangkok, we headed to Kanchanaburi on a rickety old train so we could go to Elephants World. The train there was interesting as we saw a variety of things on the journey – from run down looking shacks to incredible temples.
I’m still getting used to Thai money (baht) as it comes in such large denominations, but when converted to English Pounds it doesn’t add up to much at all. By the time we left Bangkok I’d only spent around £10! That included exploring the city, buying food and drink, and travelling to and from our hostel.
In Kanchanaburi we had our cheapest sleep so far at about £3 for a floating river room with a great view of the River Kwai.
It seems that we also overestimated how well we could handle these large rucksacks… they’re very heavy and very large – we’re struggling to carrying them very far at all – and the heat of Thailand makes it even more difficult!
Time to head back to the elephants now – this afternoon we’re going ‘floating’… I’ll let you know what that means and tell you all about Elephants World in the next post!