Bangkok- Temples 

Bangkok has a total of 44 temples (I counted them from Wikipedia myself!), so if you want to experience some Buddhist culture and marvel at the pretty detail and architecture of these buildings, Bangkok is great. Unfortunately during my time in Bangkok I only managed to visit just a couple of these temples, but they do all vary in size and style.

No matter what temple you are visiting, obviously they are all strongly religious sites so there are some ground rules that need to be followed in order to be respectful to the Buddhist culture. 

  1. Shoes are not allowed to be worn in areas of prayer, so I would advise wearing shoes that are quick and easy to remove and get back on such as flip flops. Buddhists see feet as the lowest part of the body, and therefore it is disrespectful to point your foot towards anyone or anything. 
  2. Cover up. Legs and shoulders along with the rest of you should always be covered when visiting a temple. A lot of places may let you buy or hire something such as a sarong to wrap around you in case you are exposed, but many will not so always be prepared in order to not offend anyone. Don’t rock up in your skimpiest denim shorts and bikini top. 
  3. Be quiet and peaceful when around the temple. People are praying and religious activity is always taking place; do not talk loudly, smoke, eat or drink or crack a hilarious joke to your friends that has you all in stitches. Ensure you are respectful at all times. 

I only visited 3 temples whilst I was in Bangkok, and to be honest I’m not even sure of the names of them all. We had a Tuk Tuk driver who took us to them and then waited for us to visit and then took us to the next one. We didn’t have much time that day so we visited 3 smaller temples as oppose to the main ones. If you have more time on your hands you can get a boat down the river which stops and allows you to visit the various temples along the way. 

Going back to Tuk Tuk drivers, you do have to be careful with this as many drivers try to take you on trips where they earn commission at certain places they take you, regardless of whether you want to go there or not. Others will take you to a certain market or shop to get you to buy something. If you get in a Tuk Tuk and they say they are going to make a stop on the way, refuse and get out. My friends and I were even saying “we want to go here with no stops!” to make sure we weren’t getting ripped off. Generally if they approach you in the street with a map offering you a tour, decline, as it’s probably a bit dodgy and you’re betting off approaching someone else and discussing exactly where it is you want to go. 

Wat Saket or Golden Mount Temple is the only one I visited that I actually remember the name of (I know, shame on me). It was beautiful but did have many stairs, so not a good one if you have mobility issues. Here’s some pictures I took whilst there. 

   
    
   

  

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The Royal Palace is also supposed to be amazing to visit, and if I ever visit Bangkok again I will go.   
Gemma

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Bangkok – Khao San Road

Party party party?-

Crazy Bangkok. 

Bangkok was the first destination on my backpacking trip through South East Asia, as it is for many other backpackers. It can be a bit of a culture shock, but nevertheless it’s a great place to start your trip. You can party hard if you want to, relax if you want to, and sight see if you want to do that as well (who wouldn’t?!). 

I stayed on Khao San Road which I guess is probably the backpacking hub of Bangkok. 
 It’s ok by day but as the sun goes down the craziness starts. The road is lined with bars, market stools, a few shops, and many promotors trying to drag to to see pussy at a ping pong show, or small Thai women trying to entice you into buying and eating their fried insects. Sorry love but that salted scorpion is not for me.. My friends on the other hand were clearly braver than me and did try this “delicacy”. They lived to regret it. 

Sorry for the image quality, but check out that hair!! 

   
 
Bangkok was also where I experienced my first bucket, a rite of passage for any backpacker travelling through SE Asia. On my first night I had some form of vodka concoction in a bucket, as well as some quite delicious Pad Thai from the street. We also went to a rooftop bar and had a fabulous time. So if you’re a backpacker in Bangkok, you need to go to Khao San Road for a crazy night; balloons and prostitutes are also on offer if you’re into that kind of thing. 

 
Accommodation- 

I was in Bangkok on two occasions during my time in Thailand, and ended up staying on Khao San Road twice. Obviously it is a bit crazy and can therefore be noisy, but there are ways around this if you still want to stay here but also appreciate a good nights sleep. We first stayed at The D&D Inn, which as far as I know is quite famous and popular with backpackers due to its central location on Khao San Road. We booked this when we first booked our trip to Asia so I can’t exactly remember the cost, but I think we paid £10-£15 each per night. Not exactly cheap for Thailand but I guess you’re paying for the location as well. 

We had a room in The D&D Inn which had no windows ( I know, prison cell comes to mind right?), but this was actually good as there was no noise from the street. They were in the middle of doing some construction in the main lobby/reception area of the hotel whilst I was there, so it looked a bit shit but it didn’t affect my stay. We spent hungover mornings by the small but adequate and refreshing rooftop pool, and used the rest of our time to explore more of Bangkok. Overall if you’re not looking for luxury and just want somewhere to rest your drunken head, I would recommend The D&D Inn.

  
During my second visit to Bangkok, I again stayed on Khao San Road but this time at Khao San Palace. Although it’s clearly not a palace, it was probably the best hotel I stayed in during my backpacking time in Asia. The reasons for this are that it was reasonably priced, (I think £13 each a night? Not sure), our room (which I think was called the Scarlett room) was the first I’d come across after a month travelling with a decent shower cubicle as oppose to wet room, with nice hot water and a decent shower head. Sounds silly but you learn to appreciate these luxuries whilst backpacking.

The beds were the comfiest I’d stayed in, there was a good tv, air con, breakfast and mini bar. The noise from the street wasn’t too bad either and again they had a rooftop pool. You could also leave your bags in storage if you needed to really cheaply as well which I did make use of one night when I was staying elsewhere. I loved Khao San Palace. They also had a lower standard of room which I stayed in one night which was noisier and more basic, but still just as comfortable. 

Gemma

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