In 2006, I got hooked to two different hobbies: travel and dolls. One fueled the need for the other: I end up wandering more, looking for places to buy things for my dolls. Unfortunately, both make a pretty big dent on my meager savings.
In previous trips to Bangkok, I would either take the taxi or the Airport Express Bus to wherever I’m staying. Both option has its pros and cons: taxis are more comfortable and convenient, but it can be quite expensive if you’re shouldering the cost on your own. The bus, on the other hand, is a cheap alternative if you’re traveling solo, but you’d also have to deal with the terrible Bangkok traffic. About a month before we flew to Bangkok for the Thailand Open, I stumbled upon this article on CNNGo: Bangkok Airport Rail Link vs. city taxi. I was elated at the news of this new airport transport option that promises to be cheap, fast and relatively comfortable.
Those who follow Just Wandering on Facebook and Twitter would already know that I spent the weekend in Bangkok. If you recall, I was in Bangkok around the same time last year as well. The reason for heading to BKK last weekend was the same as last year’s: to
stalk watch Rafael Nadal at the Thailand Open.
Fernando Gonzalez, Rafael Nadal, Juan Martin del Potro and Ernests Gulbis at the PTT Thailand Open 2010
From Hanoi, I flew to Bangkok. It was just to transit for my flight to Krabi, but of course, it’s never “just” a trip to Bangkok. In the three hours that I spent outside my super charming guesthouse (more on this soon!), I managed to blew whatever money I’ve saved in Vietnam.
Bangkok has gone back to normal. Save for the gutted buildings, there were no signs that this was a city that has been paralyzed by the red shirts a month ago. The malls are open again, the BTS taking people from one end of the city to another.
Hostelling International Sukhumvit is one of the hostels in Bangkok getting high ratings from travelers who have stayed there. I’ve stayed there twice in 2009, and it’s getting high rating from me as well.
The Sukhumvit area is called the embassy row — almost all of the embassies are located there (including the Philippine embassy). It’s also said that Sukhumvit is where backpackers go when they tire of Khao San Road. Sukhumvit is a very quiet neighborhood, and you can walk for a kilometer without anybody asking you if you want to go on a tuktuk ride or buy a fake Rolex. Though Sukhumvit is not exactly a central station, the BTS run along the main road, so it’s easy to get around without having to deal with Bangkok’s infamous traffic jams.
I’ve no trips until the end of the month, so in order to have something to blog about, I’ll be writing reviews of accommodations, airlines and services that I’ve used in my travels last year. I figured now’s the time to do it, as people are making plans for their trips in the coming months. I hope you find these posts useful
This was my second stay at Shambara. I stayed there before, on my first trip to Thailand in 2006. Not a lot has changed: there are still only 9 rooms, the bathroom is still shared, footwear is still strictly not allowed inside, and it’s still always full.
Shambara’s biggest appeal is its location: it’s in an alley off Khao San Road. If you’ve been to Bangkok or have researched about the city, you’d know that KSR is the backpacker’s hub. This is where most of the young and first time backpackers go to stay in Bangkok, because everything a traveler needs is in Khao San Road. Cheap accommodation? Check. Clothes and accessories? Check. Bootleg CDs and DVDs? Check. Foreign exchange and ATMs? Check. Pharmacy and convenience stores? Check. Travel agents offering cheap tour packages to Thailand’s islands and beaches? Check. Restaurants and bars serving Western food and cheap booze? Check. Thai street food? Check. McDonald’s, Starbucks and Apple Store? Check, check, check!
I’m sitting here at Mango Tree at the Bangkok Airport, waiting for the overpriced Thai food that I ordered. Cheap food at Suvarnabhumi meant fast food, and I’m in no mood for Burger King today.
I am leaving Bangkok today, alone once more. The girls took the red eye flight from Bangkok to Manila last night, giving them one whole day to spend in Bangkok and just enough time to shower before heading to work.
Bangkok is evil. This is my third time in Thailand and I still can’t seem to leave unscathed. My wallet cries every time.
We love our toys so much, we take them with us when we travel. That’s my Sayuri and Caine with Cla‘s Addie and Baby Treeson and Rotch‘s Makoto.
Mind you, Bangkok isn’t an expensive place to travel in. In fact, it’s quite cheap. Public transport in Bangkok is pretty efficient, and if you opt to take a taxi, the fare isn’t all that expensive, especially if you’re traveling with a group.