Of course Thailand is one of the easiest and most accessible ways of initiation to the South- East Asia region. And how can’t it not be, a country with such a unique culture, Buddhist temples, amazing food and beaches to die for! Here we go! :)
After the winter days we had in India and Nepal we were totally ready for what was waiting for us in Thailand! Our first port of call the city of Angels, Bangkok!
Thailand’s emblematic capital, or Krung Thep in Thai, dates back to the 1782, and though touristic still holds traditional elements. Bangkok is pretty much flat with numerous canals and the famous Chao Praya river offering much variety for exploration!
For a traveller though, the first point for cheap accommodation in Bangkok is the area of Banglamphu and the famous Khao San Road. The area seems always busy with countless restaurants, bars and stalls filling up the roads. After we settled in a basic room with the cheapest rate ( here prices are based upon the existence of fan-AC and hot/cold shower) we set out to eat!
At the side of the street many Thai have set up their small businesses selling delicious food. Marinated skewers of pork, beef , chicken or fish, fresh fruit and the most famous street food dish the pad thai are among the immense variety of choice.
Pad- Thai is a stir-fried noodle dish made with soaked dried rice noodles, which are stir-fried with eggs and chopped firm tofu, and flavored with tamarind pulp, fish sauce , dried shrimp, garlic or shallots, red chili pepper and palm sugar, and served with lime wedges and often chopped roast peanuts. Yummy! Soon enough we found ourselves overwhelmed with this bit of the city and ventured further.
In short walking distance from Khao San, there is the Grand Palace complex and one of the most famous temples the Wat Pho, famous for the huge statue of the Golden Reclining Buddha wich is 45 metres long. Inside the temple complex the colourful tiles of the various buildings and stuppas are shining in the bright sun. For some historical facts , WatPho is the birthplace of traditional Thai massage. Even prior to the temple’s founding, the site was a center of the education for traditional Thai medicine, and statues were created showing yoga positions.
Another temple worth visiting is the Golden Mount, or Wat Saket. Visilbe from a long distance this buddhist temple is at the top of an artificial hill . It takes some time to climb up and down the steps but the green surrounding the hill makes the heat less cruel.At the top there is a beautiful view of the city.
Going around the city, there are so many markets to get lost in and see! Food markets and clothes markets selling everything it will take you hours to decide to leave!
Thailand’s largest wholesale flower market,Pak Khlong Talat is open 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. Bangkok’s flower market is famous for its incredible selection of fresh orchids, roses and marigolds. People work relentlessly making intricately strung flower garlands and baskets for Buddhist ceremonies, or wholesale flowers for weddings and events.
We spent four full days in Bangkok and we wouldn’t have left hadn’t it been for our desperate need to get to the beach!