Getting to India from the United States can be a bit of a journey. Rather than grimace at the thought of all those flights, booking a stopover in Bangkok seemed like a great idea. I could adjust to the time change, explore the city, eat some great Thai food, and then continue on my journey! Read on to know how I spent my stopover in Bangkok!
My roommate’s friend gave me some great advice about things to see in Bangkok. She mentioned that I should make sure to see the Grand Palace and “some buddhas.” She also told me not to skip out on having a drink at the Banyan Tree Hotel rooftop bar, Vertigo. All great advice! So I arrived in Bangkok late in the evening, and I was really excited to be there. I arrived during the time of some political protests, and it appears like I got out just in time, as many many people have now died in the streets of Bangkok, and the hotel I stayed at has been barbed wired shut.
I got into my room at the Courtyard Marriott, and I found it to be pretty nice. Fairly minimalist, in typical Courtyard fashion, but the bed was very comfy, there was a desk, an HDTV, and a large shower and nice bathroom area.
When I woke up in the morning, I decided to go for a jog before heading out to explore. However, about halfway through my jog, I realized that I was just too excited to spend the morning at the gym! I quit the jog, showered off, and went down to the Courtyard’s free breakfast buffet. I thought it was actually a pretty decent buffet. There were fresh pastries, made to order eggs, noodles, fresh fruit, etc. Definitely very nice.
Based on the concierge’s advice, I had planned on taking the SkyTrain (their public transportation rail system) from the Ratchadamri stop near my hotel, but before I could even get there, a Tuk Tuk driver pulled up and offered to take me anywhere I wanted to go. I mentioned to him that i wanted to take public transportation, but he was pretty insistent. He finally gave me an offer I couldn’t refuse. He said he would take me to a bunch of temples, and eventually to the Temple of the Emerald Buddha & Grand Palace, for only 22 baht. That’s like 66 cents. I asked him what the catch was, and he told me he would have to drop me off at two stores along the way. I was not obligated to buy anything, but he got a kickback from the stores just for dropping me off to browse. DEAL!