The things you learn from Couchsurfers…
Besides free accomodation, couchsurfing is a great way to experience a place differently. Hosts are able to show you the best food stalls, introduce you to local people and give you some quirky facts about the city.
Did you know that the real name of Bangkok is the longest city name on Earth? Yeah, me neither…
‘Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Ayuthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Piman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasit.’
Apparently only few Thai’s can explain its full meaning:
‘City of angels, great city of immortals, magnificent city of the nine gems, seat of the king, city of royal palaces, home of gods incarnate, erected by Visvakarman at Indra’s behest’
Within three months, I passed 4 times through Thailand’s capital. However, it’s hard to love Bangkok on your first visit. Location is key as roads are congested around the clock, tuktuks try to rip you off at every occasion and skytrains only connect a part of the city.
Luckily, I had a great host who showed me some of the best Bangkok has to offer.
Splurging at The Dome on top of LeBua State Tower
As the world’s highest open air rooftop restaurant, Sirocco is THE place to splurge. Try the opulent Chef’s tasting menu or just pop in for a Hangovertini at the celebrated Sky Bar, to enjoy breathtaking views 200m above the streets of Bangkok. Sip your cocktail while listening to the tunes of the in-house jazz band and enjoying a fresh breeze. Fans of the ‘Hangover’ series might recognize Sirocco’s entrance staircase as backdrop for many ‘Hangover Part II’ scenes. Dress to impress
People watching at the backpacker ghetto of Khaosan Road
‘A short road that has the longest dream in the world’ – Unknown
Think noisy hostels, beer towers, cheap street food, roadside fish spas and 7-Eleven tanktops. You either love it or hate it. I’m leaning more towards the latter. But I guess as a backpacker, you should experience it at least once, if only to marvel the variety of wild, untamed humanity on display. Also, if you’re curious, this is the place to try some barbecued insects. Beware of the little flower girls
Souvenir shopping at Asiatique The Riverfront
From casual market stalls to high end stores, from fastfood to upscale dining….Asiatique has it all. Bangkok’s newest attraction is a fusion of night market, entertainment complex and shopping mall. Although it’s not the most authentic place in Asia, it certainly has a different vibe. Heavily visited by locals, the place feels much less touristy as you’d expect. With its cozy riverside setting, it reminded me quite a lot of Singapore’s vibrant Clarke Quay. Looking for a change from the busy city center? Come hungry.
Stay: Suk11 Hostel
Eat: Sirocco, Ratsstube, Chinatown
Drink: Sky Bar, Sofitel So