Spending a weekend in Bangkok might not sound like enough time to check the whole place out, but for me it was. I’ve been living in Cambodia for more than a decade so, Bangkok is a place I frequently visit. Adjusting to the city was one of the easiest parts. More similar to Korea and Singapore (in my personal opinion), the urban atmosphere and quality transport made it definitely easier to get around the city than it is in Phnom Penh.
As I was traveling by myself, i was a bit concerned as to how I was going to find my hotel or how to get out of the airport. However, I found the city rail from the airport to Phaya Thai station to be more than tolerable and quite enjoyable. The whole trip from the air-conditioned airport through the air-conditioned city rail connected to the, again, air-conditioned BTS, the sky train right to Silom road, where my hotel was located definitely left a good impression of Bangkok. (Note: AC is very important to me)
I arrived around 7pm to my hotel with ease and checked into my hotel. The first night I stayed at The Heritage Hotel in Baan Silom which was around $50 a night. It was a bit pricey considering the fact that I was staying alone but I chose a pricey one for safety. Afterall, it was Bangkok. The hotel was great. It was clean, air-conditioned (again!) and had the friendliest staff.. As soon as I unpacked, I made my way to meet my friend/coach who takes a teaching course in Bangkok for the month. I went to the Phloen Chit station which was around 5 stations away from my area. From Phloen Chit station I met up with her and her fellow classmates and went to a mexican restaurant, La Monita.
From there I ordered the chicken quesadilla. I strongly recommend this restaurant, it’s cheap and the food was great. At this point I had wished that I had brought some of my friends to Bangkok, mostly because the crowd I was hanging out with were in their late 20s to mid-30s, so basically more than a decade older than me.
As we were eating and drinking the gang informed me that it was a ‘dry’ weekend during the exact weekend I was there because of the elections. Apparently in Bangkok, you are not allowed to drink during the pre-elections and the elections itself as the government believes that ‘alcohol impairs judgement’, I can vouch for that. The no alcohol rule was to start from Friday midnight, we panicked and decided that we would make the best of the 3 hours of drinking we have left. A bunch of the people that I met wanted to go to a Karaoke, of course some of us didn’t. So my friend and I decided to ditch and go for a beer. We went on the BTS and found our way to Cheap Charlie’s in Nana Station. (The station was only one station away from La Monita so we could have walked, but the two minutes of air condition did us good).
Cheap Charlies is a cheap bar and it has a lot of character to it. It almost looks as if a souvenir cart turned into a bar. Either way we had a lot of fun, mostly drank Singha beer, Jack-coke and vodka redbull (only because I had a long day and vodka redbull never fails to bring your drinking spirit back up!) It was mainly a standing bar and had a metal wire going around it. The metal wire is just to tell you that if you’re within the circle, you’re still in the bar, they got a bit irritated when people stepped out of it as they shouted “get back in the bar!”
It was a very interesting place. The bar closed at 12am due to the no alcohol rule so we walked around and stumbled into another street bar. This one was a legit wagon with two tables. The drinks there were relatively cheap. I found out that drinking in Bangkok is a bit more expensive than in Cambodia. A bottle of beer went up to around 2 or 3 dollars while a draught in Phnom Penh went for 75 cents during happy hour to 1.5 dollars for other times. So we sat on plastic stools, met some more people and our crowd grew to 7 people as opposed from the previous 2. My recollection of the night from this point is a bit hazy. However I do remember that the BTS closed at midnight and we had to take a taxi home. From Nana back to Silom only took 20 minutes and costed 72 Baht, which is around 2 dollars.
It was a pretty long day, however, mostly due to the traveling.
Since I didn’t take photos of the night, here are some photos I found through Google.
Ready for day 2?