This is a very long overdue JBR. I want to start by saying a huge think for all the help and support from everyone on here that helped make our trip safe and fantastic.
We flew to Bangkok on 23/11/12 after a year of planning for a surprise for my partners 30th. We travelled as a couple and booked all our accommodation before leaving. To be honest we wouldn't do this again as there is no need and it's gives you more freedom to travel when there. We used flew with Cathay pacific and booked extra leg room. Found it to be a good service and was well looked after. Flew via Hong Kong but spent little time in the airport before flying on.
We stayed in a variety of accommodations during our travels and will post up individual reviews on each.
We arrived on 24/11/12 and took a taxi to the hotel. It's was a relatively easy job and we followed the advice on here about getting a taxi from outside from the official booth. We were given the slip with the address of where we were going and the journey was un eventful. Found the hotel without a problem and went to check in. We stayed at the Navali river resort and booked a standard room. (See review). We decided to head straight out and walked to Kho San road. This was an easy 5 minutes walk away and very easy to find. Found a fantastic foot massage place called Charlie's and treated my tired aching feet whilst the other half had a bottle of beer (big foot phobia). As we are both foodies we sampled the food straight away choosing to hit the vendors and sampling some chicken and rice. We headed back to the hotel and decided to go for a swimming the hotel roof pool. It started to rain the lovely Thai storm and it was amazing sitting by the pool watching the thunder storm overhead. That night we headed out to the road that runs parallel to Kho San for a meal. Avoided all the restaurants and sat on the side of the road at this little kitchen on the street. Sampled about 6 different dishes and a couple of beers for a grand total of 8 quid (could get used to this). Headed back for an early night as we'd been up about 40 hours but laying in the hotel we heard an almighty bang. Went to the balcony thinking the worse but actually saw the most amazing display of boats with fireworks sailing down the river. Perfect first day.
Day 2 thought we would get the boat to the grand palace today from the boat stop outside the hotel. Be careful here we were quoted 800 bht per person but found this was the incorrect price and it was actually 40 bht each. Over breakfast decided on a change of plan and decided to go to Amphrawa floating village and Maeklong railway instead. Got a taxi to victory monument and then went to stand 9 to get the minibus the rest of the way. This cost 80 bht. Explored victory monument whilst waiting for the bus and of course sampled more food (sticky rice and pork). Bus journey was an experience 90 mile an hour weaving in and out of the traffic. We ended up missing the stop for the railway so went straight to Amphara. Was really quiet when we got there but after much searching for a bag and a western toilet (not ready to squat yet) the market was the hive of activity. Decided to eat at one of the river boats. Ben not quite ready to eat the fish so stuck with chicken. Was fantastic. Caught the bus back to Bangkok after a busy and hot jaunt round the market. Got dropped back at Vice Mon and had another look round. Much busier now with all the vendors out selling. Tried more food of course. Was going to take a bus back to the hotel, found the stop with much help but stood waiting for an eternity and decided to take our first Tuk Tuk ride instead. Spent some time getting manis and pedis (even convinced Ben to get one) then went back to restaurant from night before. (Wish I could remember the name). Back to the hotel to pack for our trip up north to Kanchanaburi.
Day 3 Decided to go see the grand palace today before going to Kanchanaburi. Left our bags at the hotel and just took an overnight bag with us. Caught the boat to pier 9 and headed to the palace. Was approached straight away to be given directions but decided to ignore them and follow the hoards of tourists. Had on 3/4 shorts but still had to rent a skirt to cover up. We honestly found the palace overwhelming and although I wouldn't say don't go it wasn't really one of our highlights hence not much to say about it. After leaving we were approached by a guy who had been sat praying. It started of general but then moved on to talk about tours and places we could visit. After 10 minutes we convinced him that we didn't need a guide and went on our merry way. No harm no foul. Headed to Wat Po and had a look around. Again obviously very touristy and decided to make it brief and head to the terminal to get the bus to Kanchanaburi. This was an effort in itself. We caught the boat back to pier 12. Totally lost but found this vendor on the side of the street with no tourists anywhere. With much hand gesturing we ordered 2 of what ever they had which was a fish and chicken noodle soup of some description. Tried to get directions to the southern terminal but had no joy. Instead sat and soaked up the atmosphere for an hour before moving on. After a while of walking we found some shops on the side of the road and with a little time and effort got the translation for the bus station written down and a taxi hailed. Made it to the bus terminal and went to stand 80 to get the bus to Kanchanaburi. Took about 2 1/2 hours and was relatively comfortable.
Day 3-5 Kanchanaburi (see separate JBR)
Day 5 After an amazing 3 days up north we came back to Bangkok for the night before traveling to Cambodia. We wanted to be back in BKK for tonight to celebrate Lo Krathong. To sit on the river and watch all the floating flowers down the river was amazing. The locals have a real party with music and festivities in the street. We went to china town tonight as well and ate at another vendor on the roadside with a garbage truck as our view. The food as always was amazing and even found the best mango smoothie.
We had such an amazing time in Bangkok and although it was a whistle stop tour we felt we did plenty. Everyone we met was helpful and friendly. We didn't encounter any scams whilst out the re (this came in Vietnam) but I think the fact I was on here researching everyday prepared us for the worse. We will defiantly be back for more and can't wait. Cambodia JBR to follow in Cambodia forum.
Thanks for reading
Kerrie and Ben