I hope you’re all still there and with me! Happy Tuesday!
So last week I was away from the blog spending lots of time with family and friends in preparation for my biggest adventure to date and now here I am in Thailand!
I have to say it was one long journey from the UK to Bangkok, but as long journeys go it wasn’t too shabby. We flew with Emirates, stopping half way in Dubai for a bit of a breather, a leg stretch and to obviously say we’d been there.
I was a little nervous about doing this as I hate flying anyway, so having to sit through two take offs and two landings was my personal hell, but it actually worked really well and we arrived in Bangkok relatively sane having slept for the duration of the second flight.
We booked our first three nights here in a hotel in Bangkok a couple of weeks after our flight. The idea was to give ourselves enough time to get accustomed to our surroundings without the panic of having nowhere to stay in a huge, new city, and I’m so glad we did.
Phanakorn-Nornlen hotel is an unfussy yet eclectic family run hotel hidden on a small back road in the Phra Nakorn district of Bangkok. As soon as you enter, you are transported from the busy streets to a welcoming hub of calm and relaxation – the perfect escape after a day exploring the city.
The rooms are charmingly decorated, comfy and clean with double beds and ensuite shower rooms and they even offer a very good airport pickup service – which we really appreciated.
We had a great stay and felt super at home and booking in advance was a great way to avoid crazy last minute panics (me) and any potential arguments due to tiredness (me). It really kicked our trip off to a great start.
We would highly recommend them for not only the comfort but the friendliness of the staff too. You can find out more about them here.
I was super excited to see Bangkok and experience it for myself, but for us it really was meant to be a stop over before moving on; a space to adjust.
We spent most of our time really racking up the numbers on our step counter (on our phones, no we’re not stuck in the 80s). We walked for literally hours exploring the city and stumbled across a number of temples and various markets throughout our stay.
We visited The Grand Palace, Wat Phra Kaew (The Temple of the Emerald Buddha) and Wat Arun (another enormous temple), and these are definitely places I’d highly recommend taking time for. They are the main two really and they are breathtaking and really awesome.
We didn’t go into every temple we came across as there really are so many in the city, and it can become tiring. We also tried to steer clear of other tourist hot spots as much as we could. Instead, we skipped quickly through the infamous Kho San Road and Patpong areas on our walks and rather followed our senses (and what Apple maps remembered from the last Wifi link).
This is what we tend to do when we visit most places, and it worked really well here. Not only did we see markets and places that we may not have otherwise, but it also helped to keep us relaxed and slowly adjust to the culture, the money and the people without the pressure of cramming everything in a day by day itinerary.
The key thing is to simply act as if you know where you’re going, and politely say no to tuk tuk drivers – their deals are always too good to be true.
There’s also no such thing as ‘Lucky Buddha day’ by the way and temples are always open all year round. Maybe I’ll write about that some other time though.
Before we left, I read a whole heap of blogs. Many said that three days in Bangkok is more than enough and I completely agree. It’s bustling, exciting and a great place to start, but after three full days I’m so ready to explore some more of the country and of course (most importantly) to get some beach time. Bring on the sleeper train!
Have you visited Thailand before? Any favourite places to visit? Let us know below!
Why am I travelling South East Asia? Read all about it here!