It was time to say farewell to our faithful guide/driver Hat. He was so faithful in fact that he even helped us book our van rental from the Thai Border to Bangkok. It would’ve been quite difficult to book it ourselves since not many locals speak English. Good thing he knew other van drivers in Thailand.
Travel time from the Thai border to Bangkok was around 5 hours. You may ask your driver to stop by at a gas station/food court if you feel hungry during the journey. We arrived in Bangkok soon after and found our place of accommodation Mixx Hostel. Mixx Hostel was located on the topmost floor of an old building. There are no elevators so prepare yourself for a good urban hike. We were sweating by the time we got up there. Luckily for us, one dorm type room (good for 8 people) was available.
Note: There’s no air-conditioning from 11AM to 7PM. Guests are encouraged to stay at the lounge and socialize with other travellers. There is free WIFI (not reliable), coffee, and water (also not reliable).
Our first destination in Bangkok was The Grand Palace. Entrance fee is THB 500. It was midweek when we went there, however, there were still loads of tourists. The temples in the palace grounds were beautiful however the number of tourists prevented us to enjoy the place. Taking pictures was pretty difficult. You really have to find the perfect time to get a good shot without a random person in the frame. I hope the tourism office re-review the number of people they allow to go in so that tourists can enjoy their time there. Here are some tips if you plan to visit the Grand Palace:
Bring a water bottle/tumbler. Water refilling stations are available in the palace grounds.
Do not wear shorts (applicable to men and women). You will be asked to buy a malong / sarong before entering.
Sleeveless clothes for women are not allowed. Even if you cover it with a shawl, security will still ask you to wear a sleeved top or a cardigan.
The heat of the sun was very exhausting and the number of people in inside made it even worse so while other people were busy with their tour, we decided to find a shady place and chill for a bit. The crowd thinned out later in the afternoon and the heat of the sun was less intense. It was our time to do our thing.
Our tummies were already complaining when we finished so we decided to leave and find a place to eat. We found a nearby restaurant and ordered some delicious Thai food such as curries, Thai fried rice, Pad Thai etc. Outside the restaurant were fruit stands that sell different varieties of fruits such as mangoes, pineapple, jackfruit, durian, and huge macopas. I bought the macopas since it looked different from what we have in the Philippines. It was bigger, redder (almost maroon in colour) and much juicier.
We headed back to Khao San Road where our hostel was located and decided to explore the different bars, restaurants, and shops. We also tried the Thai street food like mango sticky rice, spicy green mangoes, Pad Thai, roast duck, Thai barbeque and much more. Fried insects were also plenty. We ended the night with a large bottle of the local beer. Nightlife in Khao San Road was pretty crazy people dancing and drinking all over the place. If you’re a party animal, this is the place to be.
We got up early the following (I noticed that we haven’t had much sleep throughout this trip) morning and packed our things. Our next destination was Khao Yai National park, the third largest national park in the world. Travel time is 4-6 hours depending on traffic. There was a lot of wildlife here such as monkeys, deer, elephants, reptiles, colourful birds, and insects. The park also has many hiking trails to offer. Waterfalls were also present inside the national park. Be careful with the monkeys though. They might be cute but have you seen the teeth on those things?! If they see you with food, they will come at you and take the food that you have. They are quite aggressive so it’s best if you leave your food inside the car. I saw one biker who got chased by a troop of monkeys because he had food in the side luggage of his bicycle. I even saw one monkey up a tree chewing on a half-eaten chicken barbecue on a stick. Now that’s scary!
TIP: Khao Yai National Park is so huge, one day is not enough to cover the entire place. It is highly suggested that you rent a van if you plan to go here. There are many spots to visit in the park so be sure to do some research prior to going there.
After lunch, we headed back to Bangkok and took the MRT to Kamphaeng Phet station. We then booked a Grab to take us to Mo Chit bus terminal where our bus to Nong Khai was located.
Click on the links below for the itineraries for each country:
Check out our Indochina 2018 vlog below!