Our Asia Trip Diary – Part Eighteen

Check out Part Seventeen here!

Our week started in the vibrant city of Siem Reap, Cambodia, with a solid 30°C. We walked towards the old market that was near our hotel looking for some breakfast. After spending two weeks in Cambodia, we finally started to get used to the country. We just spend the last days in the famous Angkor complex and were now looking for some cooling down. We got some breakfast and found an exchange shop that would trade our US Dollars for Thai Baht. We needed some Thai money just to be sure when crossing the border the next day! 

After spending the rest of the day near the pool of our hotel, we went outside and got a tuk-tuk back to the Angkor complex for sunset. We went to Phnom Bakheng, a temple located on a hill so there was a beautiful sunset view! We were a bit sad that we didn’t bring a good camera on our trip because this sunset was stunning and we were missing a good lens! 

On Tuesday we took the bus to Thailand, whoop whoop another new country! Kind of. Kobie has been there before but it’s my first time. We got through customs easily and the journey to Bangkok went flawlessly. We got dropped off literally a 2-min walk to our hotel (by pure accident). This gives us some time to explore! We are right next to Khao San Road, the popular backpacker street in Bangkok. The street is filled with street food stands, small shops, fried insects, weed shops and all sorts of crazy! We dine in the street next to it, Soi Rambuttri street; which is a cute and more relaxed variant of Khao San Road. 

The next day we had an administration day. We extended our stay in our hotel quickly (we mostly just book one night via a booking site and then extend at the hotel for a cheaper price), went to a Seven-Eleven to buy a SIM card (this went surprisingly well!) and took a bus to the train station to buy our night train tickets to Chiang Mai for next week! Luckily, we did this now, since most seats were already taken.

Afterwards, we went to Benchakitti Park and Lumphini Park. The first was a well-kept, swamp-like park with many pedestrian walkways and even a skywalk. So cute to stroll through! The latter was a more constructed park BUT there were huge monitor lizards! They were casually walking through the park and swimming in the lake of the park. They are actually harmless if you do not provoke them. 

Benchakitti Park Bangkok
Monitor lizard Lumpini Park Bangkok

Thursday, we visited the iconic Grand Palace of Bangkok. This is a must-see when visiting as the temple of the “Emerald Buddha”, which is located inside the palace, is absolutely magnificent. We arrived at the palace right as they opened and we recommend this because it was still relatively quiet. Thirty minutes later, the place was crowded. We end up spending the entire morning here and going back to our hotel to refresh. 

We then hopped on a bus towards the small harbour of the old town and take a boat to China Town. This was incredibly cheap (normally it is 15 Baht (or ~ €0,42) but they didn’t charge us that time) and so fun! It is definitely extremely hectic and loud and it is more of a speedboat that goes down the river and stops at the small harbours. 

Once we arrived in China Town, we were blown away by all the decoration, the number of people and the amount of food stalls WOW! We completely forgot that Lunar New Year is this weekend and we are in Bangkok, the capital of South East Asia. We tried many different foods like Tokyo Sweets (pancakes with cream fillings), Chinese hot plate, and some other snacks! Amazing vibe, food and sights. 

Friday, we slept in. We realised that we still haven’t taken much time off to just relax and give our bodies some well-deserved sleep. We had some breakfast and lunch near our hotel and took the day easy. 

In the afternoon went to Wat Pho, a temple that houses the most amount of Buddha images in Thailand and a 46 m-long reclining Buddha.  Afterwards, we crossed the river to go to Wat Arun, also known as the Temple of Dawn. It received its name from the Hindu god Arun. The first light of the morning reflects off the surface of the temple. 

Royal Palace, Bangkok, Thailand

We decided to go to Jodd Fairs after walking through the temple grounds. Jodd Fairs is a hip and trendy food market where lots of people come and dine together. The vibe here is relaxed, everyone is having a good time while eating some delicious foods from different cuisines. It is a bit more pricy and definitely out of the city centre, but worth the visit!

Jodd Fairs Bangkok

Saturday, we visited the Taling Chan Floating Market. There are tons of floating markets and they are quite outside the city centre. We arrived around 8.30 in the morning, thinking we were already a bit late since every blog about this place mentions that you need to go early to avoid the crowds. But… There was almost no one. It was also not really a “floating market” but more some food stalls near the river. It is cute, but not quite what we expected so we decide to continue to the next floating market we had marked on our map, Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market. 

Now here was the real deal. Tons and tons of food stalls along a small river and lots of places to sit, relax, watch the water and enjoy the food. There were a couple of boats where they were selling their ingredients but not that many. We buy a pork rib and a Pad Thai to share and it was delicious, we craved some meat after all these weeks with just no to small amounts of meat. 

Floating Markets Bangkok

There was also a free barber and I needed my hair done desperately so this was a truly lucky find! After he did a great job on my hair, he really wouldn’t accept any money so we gave him a coffee

We continued to Terminal 21, a shopping mall that is themed as an airport terminal. Every floor portrays a different city in the world. This is very well done with fine details and real effort. There is a golden gate bridge for San Francisco, a huge Oscar for Hollywood, a red bus for London, etc etc. We walked around the mall and had a few snacks here. 

Terminal 21 Shopping Mall

Today, Sunday, we went to the Chatuchak weekend market. This market is one of the biggest markets in the world with over 8000 stalls! We were impressed, to say the least, and ended up staying way longer than we thought we would! The market is divided into sections with each section having its own products like clothing, interior, food etc. In the afternoon we go back to our hotel to write this blog. Tonight, is Lunar New Year, maybe we get to see some real fireworks this time? Since we didn’t see anything for our New Year in Don Det, an island in the south of Laos. We are curious and we will definitely tell you about it, next week!