Last 2017, some classmates and I went on a very tight and yet very enjoying Indochina trip and our last stop was a travel to Bangkok, Thailand (we flew from Manila to Ho Chi Minh, then took a bus to Phnom Penh, another bus to Siem Reap, another bus to Bangkok, then flew back to Manila).
This travel to Bangkok, Thailand is a not-so-business trip: we visited government offices, a university, a museum, and a mall. We literally just spent 24 hours in Bangkok, but my heart yearns to go back to visit more historical sites and eat some legit Thai food.
Here are 11 reasons why despite the short trip, our travel to Bangkok, Thailand was still an amazing and memorable one:
1. The hotel we stayed in was very beautiful!
We booked our stay at The Journey Hotel Laksi, and friends, it was amazing. The interior of the lobby and the common area are superb and so travel-themed! It’s like a typical Manila condominium when you go up, so it kinda feels like home in an amazing way. The room was clean white and very well-decorated, and the bathroom is huge! My classmates and I was also able to watch a Thai TV series which we kinda understood despite the language barrier. The plot looks like a typical Filipino teleserye.
2. Bangkok looks like Manila (yes)!
Upon stepping out at the bus stop, I kinda got a Manila vibe at the streets, except that they drive at the left side of the road. The traffic, the expressway, the buildings, everything looks like Manila. But hey, the colors of their taxis are cute.
3. The Bangkok Train Station in Hua Lampong is so busy and has a Grand Central Terminal vibe!
The bus from Siem Reap took us to the Bangkok Railway Station. We will take a cab going to our hotel, but I can’t help but observe the scenes inside the train station. It reminded me of Taipei Main Station in Taiwan but this is like a scene in a big city! I mean, Manila has a very sucky railway system and we don’t have something like this at home! Awesome!
4. Thai street food is so cheap and is the best!
After checking in at our hotel, we tried going out to score some random street food (this is my hobby whenever I travel somewhere, btw) and true enough we were able to find some at the street! I don’t know if we just happened to be staying in some Salcedo Village-ish area, but the street food we bumped into are so clean and yummy! The next morning, ask me where did we have our breakfast? On the street! I had Milo and sticky rice with pork skewers. Yay!
5. We chanced upon a very yummy Italian restaurant near our hotel!
We had a dinner at Farang Restaurant, which serves a fusion of Thai and Italian dishes. Apparently, when I did my research, the term “Farang” is used by Thais to refer to something or someone white or Westerner, hence the name of the restaurant. They actually serve good food and the food were presented in an aesthetic manner.
6. We had a very interesting night at Patpong Night Bazaar
I think it is a well-known fact that the sex industry in Bangkok is rampant (of course, like in other major cities like Manila), and it is very interesting to witness it firsthand. Upon alighting the GrabCar, my male colleague was approached by some guy who has a brochure-like material which has photos of girls with corresponding prices. We also passed by a dark wide road with girls dressed like Sailor Moon and sexy nurses, and you cannot take photos and videos of them. At the Patpong Night Bazaar, you will see items being sold like an ashtray with phallus and sex toys. You will also see dark rooms at the sides with dancing ladies. But aside from that, there were a lot of interesting finds, like paintings, artworks, home decors, and clothes. And they are very cheap!
7. The government complex in Bangkok is so world-class!
The Devawongse Varopakarn Institute of Foreign Affairs, the office we visited, is located at Ratthaprasasanabhakti Building, which is inside a huge government complex where most offices are located. This is my dream for Manila! It’s really hard to transact with two or more government offices because they are located really far from each other and citizens have to travel and spend money commuting from one point to another, which is so inconvenient. Bangkok’s government complex is like a ‘one-stop shop’ and the building looks so modern and comfortable! They also have a tight security inside. They have a food court, coffee shops, and even gift shops inside.
8. Chulalongkorn University is so amazing!
After our government visit, we went to the Institute of Asian Studies at Chulalongkorn University. The campus is so huge and the buildings are so modern. It’s like DLSU with a bigger land area. The library is also beautiful (but I still stand with DLSU Library as the best for me hehe). Uhm, do you have Fellowship opportunities available? I could use living in Bangkok. 😀
9. I was initially not a fan of the Thai Monarchy, but I suddenly am because of my visit at Rattanakosin Exhibition Hall!
The DVIFA gave us a complimentary tour of the Rattanakosin Exhibition Hall which was the best thing ever! The place gave us a glimpse of the history of Bangkok during the Rattanakosin era. Lo and behold, the place has a beautiful library and coffee shop also (my true loves!). They also have a very interactive history of the Thai monarchy. The life story of King Bhumibol actually hit me the most. The museum is so modern, it’s like the Ayala Museum in Makati, with the dioramas, videos, headsets for the sound effects, and interactive stuff. Oh, it has a view deck where you can see the top view of the Grand Palace.
10. MBK Center Mall is sooo crazy!
I live in a city (Manila) with crazy huge shopping malls. However, having been to this 8-storey shopping complex which I heard can hold as many as 100,000 shoppers everyday is just so damn crazy! It’s like a typical mall in Divisoria which sells both counterfeit and authentic items. I liked the food court at the ground floor where I was able to eat some good rice meal with pork.
11. I enjoyed the sights at Suvarnabhumi International Airport
One thing I learned from one of my classes in Urban Planning course is that Suvarnabhumi means “Land of Gold” or “Golden Land” (gosh, I need to brush up my Southeast Asian history asap). Bangkok Airport is so huge, more like NAIA, but I really enjoyed it there because of the shops and restaurants, and how the Thai culture is present in all parts of the airport despite looking so sophisticated.
I have learned so much in my 24 hours of travel in Bangkok, Thailand. Next time I would want to visit Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Ayutthaya, or perhaps the beacch areas like Pattaya and Phuket. Ahhh there’s really so much to visit in Southeast Asia!
For more travel articles about Thailand, click on the banner below: