Meet China

20 hours in Bangkok

We left Phuket bright and early at 7am for our 1200 baht transfer back to the airport at the top of the island. It took 1.5 hours to get there, where we checked in, grabbed breakfast, and boarded a plane headed for Bangkok.

When booking our flight from Thailand to Chengdu, China, we had two options: a long layover in Shanghai, or a long layover in Bangkok. Trying to fit as much time as we could in Thailand, we went for option number 2 in the capitol city.

Going to Bangkok we had no place to stay and no itinerary for what we should do. We had a rough checklist – namely the Grand Palace – but with only 20 hours there, we didn’t know what to fit in.

Once we got there, we decided it would be nice to have a place to sleep (we really considered just sleeping in the airport though lol) and we got a free pickup from the airport with our hotel. From the hotel we caught the metro (40 baht) to the sky train.

Now the sky train is something everyone told me to try in Bangkok so we wanted to ride it for a short time. I think my expectations were a little too high, or maybe we didn’t ride it long enough, but it was just like a metro raised into the air a little haha. We paid 22 baht for 2 stops and hopped off at Siam, where there were huge malls and a KRISPY KREME and Forever 21 (I’ve forgotten what these American places look like! It’s been so long).

We grabbed a late lunch at a noodle place then caught a taxi to the Grand Palace. Unfortunately, with our late airport arrival it was closed and we couldn’t go inside. (Our plane arrive around 2pm and the Grand Palace closes at 3:30pm)

A nice guy standing by the palace waiting for his daughter to get off work recommended we take a boat ride up the canal – we paid a tuk tuk driver 10 baht each for a ride to the pier where we bartered with a boat driver. His normal day price is 1200 baht per person for an hour, but he offered 600 for an evening ride. We walked away and then he yelled 400! 400 baht ok?

The boat ride was nice – the canal had houses built all along the sides so you could see local Thai people and a little glimpse into their lives. The sun went down really fast though, so we enjoyed the quiet waters and warm evening in the dark.

After the boat ride we caught a tuk tuk to China Town. I heard really great things about China Town in Bangkok and wanted to ironically check it out and see how it compared to the China we know.

Also, we almost died in that tuk tuk because of the maniacle way the man drove. With 4 people squished into the back, he sped in and out of cars and we were on 3 wheels at one point I think. I’m sure he was pretending he was in Fast & Furious, cackling to himself as we screamed and held on for dear life.

smiling before our tuk tuk driver almost killed us

I’ve never been more relieved to get out of a vehicle. (Don’t get me wrong though, riding in a tuk tuk is part of the Thailand experience and all our other drivers were great)

China Town was, well, just like China. In fact it looked more like China than Hengyang does. The lanterns and lights everywhere aren’t a common thing where we live, but the Chinese snacks and foods being cooked in the woks were dead on. Since we get enough of China back in Hengyang, we just took a short walk around and then decided to tuk tuk back to Siam for 100 baht.

After walking around the giant mall we took the sky train, metro, and taxi back to our hotel to catch a little sleep for our 6:30 transfer back to the airport.

I’d love to come back and have more time to explore Bangkok – there are so many ancient temples and historic sites, as well as modern buildings and amazing foods to try.

At the same time, I’m extremely grateful for the long relaxing week we had in sunny Phuket. I’m definitely glad we decided to spend most of our time there, as the rest of our traveling will be filled more with Chinese temples and cold weather.

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