Now I’m back! It’s the fourth day of our Southeast Asia trip when we left Siem Reap and moved on to Bangkok. Certainly, we’re going to miss this quaint town. Although it was just a short visit seeing the famous tourist attractions here, positively we had so much fun in exploring the Kingdom of Wonders. The temples are truly charming and extravagant.
Unlike from the two previous short visits we had during this leg, Thailand has been a different one in terms of the travel duration as we had spent about 5 or 6 days to explore the country, its city, culture, food and of course its notable beaches. Thailand which is officially called as Kingdom of Thailand and formerly known as Siam is located at the center of Indochina peninsula in Southeast Asia. The country is a constitutional monarchy, whereby the Prime Minister is the head of government and a hereditary monarch is head of state. The country is currently headed by King Rama IX. The most common religion in this country is Theravada Buddhism. The culture of Thailand has been molded by several influences including India, Lao, Burmes, Cambodian and Chinese To know more information about this country, you may check it on wikipedia.com.
Crossing the Border
The van that took us to our next destination fetched us from our guesthouse in Siem Reap past 8:00 AM (ICT). The fare costs US $ 16.00 which we had purchased from the guesthouse beforehand. That includes van transfer to Poipet border and another van transfer from Aranyaprathet border to Bangkok.
We reached the Poipet border after 4 hours. We went directly to the immigration area then presented our passport along with our Cambodian departure card. We then exited the immigration area of Cambodia then walked straight towards the Aranyaprathet border.
The immigration area of Bangkok is situated at the left side of the street; so walk on that side. At the border, you have to skip the first queue which is situated outside the immigration area and line up directly inside.
We filled up the arrival form; then presented it to the immigration officer along with each of our passports. With no questions asked, we were able to enter the country with bliss.
We followed the path and looked for our van to Bangkok. A man approached us which happened to be a staff of the van transfer company. He was able to recognize us because of the sticker attached into our shirts.
We waited in one of the shaded areas until our van to Bangkok arrived.
We boarded the van and off we traveled the road to Bangkok.
As we traversed the road to our destination, I was turning my head left and right taking glimpses of the infrastructures of this country. Clearly, they really have admirable highways and flyovers.
Kawin Place Guesthouse
After 4 hours of travelling the road, we had finally reached Bangkok. The bus dropped us off on a street in Bangkok named as Thanon Chakrabongse. The street is the other end of Khaosan road.
Luckily, as we alighted from the van I saw a sign that heads to our guesthouse. We just followed it. With that, we were able to get to our lodging easily.
When we arrived, I presented the print out of the email confirmation of our room reservation. We were then asked to pay for the stay and so we did. The front desk officer then gave us our room keys; subsequently we went to our respective rooms.
Unlike our rooms we had stayed from the previous countries we’ve been to during the trip, rooms here in Kawin Place Guesthouse only have the basics like bed, air conditioning and private bathroom. We ain’t complaining, anyway. The room only cost THB 550.00 per night, the cheapest I found online from the various guesthouses along Khaosan road.
They do provide hot drinking water as well which is available in the lobby area.
If you wish to stay on this guesthouse, you may contact them on the email address I have provided below.
Khaosan Road is known to be the backpacker’s area in Bangkok. A various cheap guesthouses and lodgings can be found on this part of the city. During the day, the street is covered by a lot of stalls and shops that sell cheap items like clothes, bags, souvenir items and a lot more. During the night, the street transforms into a night spot for drinking and partying; though there are still some shops open during the night for late night shopping.
Various food are also available on this street, and of course the famous Pad Tai which being sold by various vendors. In fact, these vendors are situated for like 10 steps away from each other. You’ll never miss them.
Terminal 21 is a mixed-use complex which has the retail complex and the Grande Centre Point Hotel & Residence Sukhumvit-Terminal 21 situated at Sukhumvit Road near the Asoke intersection in Bangkok, Thailand.
The complex is relatively new which has just been opened in October 2011. We were able to visit the retail complex on our last day in Bangkok. The mall is a multi-level which each floors are designed with a concept of market streets in the world.
The design of the mall looks like it brings the dream of getting to different places in the world with each floor is designed based on several world famous cities.
The mall has a variety of outlets wherein you can go and shop for clothes, bags and other items. The upper floor is reserved for restaurants and food court which what would be our purpose of visit here anyway. We dined in at one of the restaurants here, Jeffer, so to try local fast-food / restaurant in Bangkok since we’ve been eating a lot of KFC and McDonald’s already during this trip.
Due to not having any decent meals yet for that day, our group ordered rice meals.
Transportation You aren’t alone Manila when it comes to traffic. Bangkok’s traffic is notorious. In fact, we were caught once by the horrible traffic when we visited Terminal 21 and went back to our lodging in Khaosan road.
But despite of, Bangkok is surprisingly easy to navigate with its superb and modern public transport systems in place. The efficient and convenient way to move around the inner city of Bangkok is through their train system. Bangkok has currently two train systems namely; Skytrain and Subway MRT.
The cheapest way to move around the city is through public buses. The city has a vast network of public buses. But please take note that you have to know which bus number to take beforehand and which bus stop or station to drop off as bus drivers or conductors only speak a little English.
But if you are travelling in a group, the best way to move around the city is through tuk tuk or taxis. A trip in this city wouldn’t be complete if you do not ride in Tuk Tuk. This vehicle is a motorized three wheeler which you can find all over the city. This vehicle doesn’t have a meter and the price has to be negotiated. Taxi fares in Bangkok start at 35 Baht but ensure that the meter is on and showing 35 baht.
Just so you know, prostitution is illegal in Thailand, although in practice it is tolerated and partly regulated. This is being practiced conspicuously throughout the country. Also, all forms of gambling in this country are illegal except for the national lottery. One still have to cross the border and go to the nearby country so to gamble and play casino.
Whenever you plan to go to Southeast Asia, this place certainly shouldn’t be missed. A country known for its uniqueness, wonders and culture, absolutely Thailand is an amazing country to travel to.