Hello Bangkok!

Bangkok. What a delightful place you are. We arrived bleary eyed on Wednesday morning after a restless couple of plane journeys, needless to say all plans for getting rest at the right times during our flights went completely out of the window. But how can you when there's free food and booze on offer? Am I right?!

On disembarking the plane we were initially sheltered from the heat as we got the train from the airport into town, which meant we got caught up in the morning rush hour, with bags. We were those people. And then all of a sudden it hit us, like walking into a steaming hot wall, it is just unbelievable; the air in Bangkok is thick and relentless.

We jumped in a taxi to our hotel which was a well needed place of comfort and serenity - we stayed in Casa Nithra on the Sam Sen Road, just 10 minutes walk from Khao San Road, but that 10 minute walk is not for the faint hearted. If the heat doesn't get to you, it'll be the smells from the street food vendors, boiled fish, boiled chicken, boiled... er everything, but you can't let that put you off, if you look in the right places the street food is heavenly and worth looking for - more on that in my next post. Needless to say we were a little overwhelmed by our first experience out and about, but I'm putting that down to jet lag. Our first impression of the city was based on the half a mile radius of Khao San Road, a holding pen for backpackers and tourists, it's smelly - although it has to be noted, there is NO litter anywhere, but also no bins so if anyone could explain that one to us, we'd be grateful. And all it really takes is a short walk out of this area, in some cases even just 2 minutes and the environment improves drastically to open spaces and friendly locals looking to help you on your way.

No sight seeing happened the first day - focusing on getting over the jet lag - we napped and then got ready to grab some food and a few beers for the evening toasting our first night for the next year.

The second day we woke up bright and early with no set plan or agenda. After a quick dip in the pool first thing (rude not to when it's this hot) we headed out. We checked out the Khao San Road and I got some well needed tiger balm because yes it took less than two hours of being in Thailand for me to get bitten by something - obviously. Then we carried on walking down to the Grand Palace, which turned out to be quite a nice walk, coming across a huge park and making our way through that. I'm not sure what I really expected of Bangkok but one thing I loved was how much pride they take in the communal spaces, and just how green the city is.

The palace is just stunning and neither of us have seen anything like it. I've tried to capture some of the intricacy of the ornate architecture, it's crazy how much detail there is in these buildings. We also took our chance to go and see the royal regalia and coins - which is normally totally not our thing at all but hello air con.

I'm glad we did see the royal regalia though; we learnt a lot of interesting things about the royal family, like how much they are adored in this country, and how you can get in trouble if you're caught bad mouthing them and when a new member of the royal family is born they have a 'one month ceremony' to introduce the baby to the country and celebrate the birth. It's nice starting to get to know the culture of the country.

We obviously went in the temple to see the emerald Buddha. As everyone says, it is small but not really if you think about the fact it's made completely of emerald. I still don't think I can get my head around that. The temple as a whole was amazing and quite something to look at. I think I'd go as far to say it was quite breath taking. Now we just had to start planning our next few days and really settling in, hoping that we'll get used to the heat here sooner rather than later.

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