After spending a very good time in Cambodia, the next step on my itinerary was Thailand. I visited this country for the first time 3 years ago and I got an amazing time there. I loved the beaches in the Andaman sea, I enjoyed visiting the temples in the northern part of the country, I adored the Thai food and I found the Thai people extremely friendly.
This time around I wanted to enjoy the Thai seaside again, but visiting a different area. I read about different alternatives and I picked up Ko Lanta, spending a day in Krabi Town. Instead of flying directly there from Siem Reap, I decided to connect in Bangkok and spend a couple of days in the Thai capital city.
I remember the first impression I had of the city on being this huge chaotic place with buzzing traffic, high buildings, pollution and intense heat, but after spending a couple a days there, I really enjoyed the city, so I was looking forward to come back and visit it once time more.
Great hostel in a great location
In this career break I have tried a broad array of accommodation arrangements including hostals, dormrooms, hotels, guesthouses, capsule hotels, etc. But in my opinion Bangkok has one of the best places to sleep. It's a hidden gem for the budget travelers called the cloudy hostel.
The staff at this place was very friendly, everything was very clean, the free wifi worked perfect and the dorm-room was designed in such a way that even if it has many beds, it didn't feel crammed at all. Additionally since the place was tucked in a dead end street, the place was really quiet. I had some really good sleep nights at this place.
One of the best ways to move in Bangkok, avoiding the traffic is using the Skytrain (BTS) and this hostel is located very close to the Phaya Thai station. From Siem Reap I took a flight to the Don Muang airport and from there I got a bus (A1) to the Mochit BTS station, followed by a short ride in the BTS to Phaya Thai. If you are flying from Europe and arrive at international Suvarnabhumi, airport links train ends up in the Phaya Thai station as well.
Traveling in the Chao Phraya River
I remembered from my last visit to Bangkok that a very interesting way to explore the city was to travel using a public bus boat through the the Chao Phraya River. Last time I didn't have time to visit the Wat Pho temple and its giant reclining Buddha, so this was a good opportunity to do it and I decided to get into the old town with using this type of boat.
I started my trip in Phaya Thai, took a BTS train to the Siam station where I switched to the Silom line to go all the way down to Saphan Taksin. There I boarded the boat in the central pier to go up the river. It was a nice ride where I had the opportunity to see an interesting places such as a white chedi and the Wat Arun temple, located at the other bank of the river.
I got off the boat at the Chao Praya pier and from there I walked around 300m to get to the main entrance of the Wat Pho temple. After paying the 100 baht entry fee and getting the appreciated free bottle of ice cold water I started to explore the grounds.
This is one of the oldest temple complex in Bangkok containing plenty of Buddha images, Stuppas and other buddisht elements, all of them preserved in a pristine state:
Nevertheless the most impressive feature is definitively the giant reclining Buddha:
This massive sculpture of the golden reclining Buddha is 15 m high and 43 m long. The visit starts on the head side where its huge head can be observed and the moving along is possible to see the other parts of the reclining body. At the end of the hall the feet of the buddha contain some interesting patterns.
I left the temple and I continued exploring the old town. I passed by the grand palace and even if I didn't visit it this time I admired it from the outside. Afterwards I headed to the Khao san road area, chasing an amazing Shrimp Rice soup breakfast I got the last time I visited the city.
After this nice brunch I continued my walk and I ended up going all the way back to the hostel in Phaya Thai. It was definitively an energetic day!