One Night in Bangkok (and the Tough Girls Tumble)

After an unceremonious new year greeting from the captain, some subdued cheers and polite hand shaking with the couple next to me, I arrived in 2018 – and Bangkok. Unsurprisingly, the city was eerily quiet. I felt strangely smug having no hangover and revelled in my usual excitement at being in a different country even more so – flying over new year is the way forward.

I struggled to find anywhere open for breakfast and ended up at a street food market with all the locals. I was looking at the menu deciding what to order when all of a sudden a bowl of pork wonton soup landed in front of me. Funnily enough, it’s probably what I was going to order anyway…….I wondered if I’d gone into a state of delirium from tiredness and forgotten that I’d ordered it. Or whether 2018 brought with it mind reading abilities. It was delicious. Luckily, I could check in slightly earlier (and to my pleasant surprise found I was in a single room) so caught up on some much needed sleep to feel refreshed to meet the group that night.

One night in Bangkok

I’m very glad I chose the classic tour as you get a far more mixed group of people generally – and diverse we certainly are 🙂 The wonderful Miss Wawah introduced herself as our guide and briefly outlined what was in store for us. As did two other members of the group (the lovely Janet, a 70-something Canadian lady) who revealed her cat, vitamin E and aspirin allergies…..and Christian, who had met a lady earlier that day and announced that she was only spending the one night with him and wouldn’t be joining us on the tour (Im not sure if something got lost in translation or if it was actually that blatant). I had a quiet chuckle to myself and wondered what I’d let myself in for.

One night in Bangkok

I soon found out. After a free drink at the gorgeous rooftop terrace bar, Wawah took us for dinner. The quickest way to the restaurant was through the MRT station which involved 2 escalators. All of a sudden I heard a blood curdling scream, looked behind me and just saw a pair of familiar looking white trainers rapidly disappearing down the escalator. Luckily, Janet managed to cling on to the side and escaped unharmed (so I felt perfectly justified in finding it rather amusing)!

I’m really feeling the jet lag this trip which is strange as I usually adjust quite quickly. I was wide awake at 1am and couldn’t get back to sleep until 4am! I tried reading, yoga and even demolished all my snacks as I’d woken up starving (nothing new there although not usually in the middle of the night). I was pretty groggy when I went down to breakfast the next day but the coffee helped.

One night in Bangkok

We walked down to the pier to get a long tail boat for our cruise of the Chaophraya. Funny, I’d never actually realised that the Thai restaurant in Manchester called Chaophraya was named after the river……doh. Even though I’ve been to Bangkok twice before, I had not yet done a river cruise – I found it a far more peaceful way to see the city and I was surprised how much life there still is on the river in terms of the houses on stilts etc.

One night in Bangkok

We docked at the pier nearest Wat Pho (the big reclining gold Buddha) which I ended up seeing for the third time in 10 years, haha. My attention was drawn more to a woman wearing a low cut top and hot pants trying to take photos of something she wasn’t supposed to be and ignoring the shouts from the guard. Tourists eh 😉

Having a free afternoon, we were quite keen to go to the museum and Grand Palace – but being the 2nd January these were both closed for new year unfortunately. So we had a bit of a walk around, a very nice lunch and got a taxi back. Big mistake. It took about 45 minutes for a journey that should have been 20. I’d forgotten how bad the traffic can be in Bangkok – even on an equivalent bank holiday! We should have just walked it. My lack of sleep the night before finally caught up with me and I kept dozing off to the sounds of mopeds and horns.

One night in Bangkok

After having reconvened at the hotel, it was time to head to the station to get the night train to Chiang Mai. I was a little apprehensive after my night train experience in Vietnam (read about that here) but to my pleasant surprise, the train was very smooth and there were no strange Stephen Hawkins style announcements. However, there was a woman selling drinks and snacks who walked past every hour or so doing her best baby bird impression – “cheep cheep cheep”. She was selling chips (crisps). Even though we each had our own little curtained off compartment and it was actually very cosy, I still struggled to sleep!

One night in Bangkok

We were woken up an hour before arriving in Chiang Mai and to my surprise there were 2 new faces in the beds diagonally opposite me. I guess they must have swapped during the night! I peeled off my layers (the air con was freezing) and prepared for the heat of Chiang Mai…..

If you are interested in my trip, I travelled with G Adventures for 2 weeks on their Thailand and Laos Adventure Tour which you can read more about here.

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One Night in Bangkok

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30 Replies to “One Night in Bangkok (and the Tough Girls Tumble)”

  1. I have my bias when it comes to Thailand in general, but I always remember to not think of them since I haven’t set foot there personally yet. It definitely looks like a different surrounding from the usual city landscape…it’s nice to know that you enjoyed it there. The river cruise is definitely one to do! Thanks for the virtual tour…

    1. Hi Marie. Thanks for your comment! Being totally honest, I’m not a huge lover of Bangkok…but a lot of the other parts of Thailand are really wonderful. Look out for my next few posts on Chiang Mai and Koh Lanta (one of the Thai islands)….maybe it will tempt you to plan a visit? 🙂

  2. I loved reading your blog! I really like that it is your own travel experience, and not just things you have read about. I also really like the pictures and descriptions of the places you visited.
    I am now following your blog and look forward to hearing more about your travels.

  3. How fun! I’ve never been to Bangkok before, so I enjoyed your photos. I did know about the traffic there, only because I watch The Amazing Race and some racers got stuck in traffic, ha.

  4. Jeez! Bangkok looks really beautiful. Never been there before but it’s so inviting from this post. I love that you share your own personal travel experiences first hand. 👍🏻

  5. I’ve never been to Thailand but I am impressed how you can just stay for one night. I always end up not being able to enjoy anything if it’s just for a night I think I need to try it.

    1. It’s just the way the tour worked out Joan….and I’d been to Bangkok twice before so didn’t see the need to stay any longer 😉

  6. I’m glad that you were open and honest about your experience hiccups and all. I think i would like to experience a culture like Thailand if i was with the right group of people.

  7. This is a really different view of Bangkok from I’m used to. I think most tourists use Bangkok just as a stopover on their way to the Islands, but it looks like a place one could visit just on its own.

  8. What a pleasant experience. I think Bangkok is one of the places that I’d like to visit if I ever find myself traveling to Asia. There’s so much to experience in Thailand and I heard that the food’s amazing too!

    1. Thailand has a lot of beautiful places, the islands in particular are stunning (as long as you stay away from the super touristy ones full of 18 year-olds ;-))

  9. I would love to go on the river cruise tour. I’ve never seen any place like this before and it would be cool to learn about the culture there. I saw a show once on the guys there falling in love with much older women who go there as tourists.

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