Tag Archives: backpacking bangkok

Reblog- Backpacking Thailand by backpackies Anonymous

We are suffering from the “travel” itch again! It was time for us to go somewhere. Anywhere will do.  Sitting in Penang for too long was driving us nuts. Don’t get me wrong, Penang is a wonderful place. But it was time to just pack our bags, and go for some GO GO dancing! Some RnR.
Bangkok was cheap and it had a direct flight from Penang. We kept going into Air Asia’s waiting lounge. Which meant that we had to wait for hours, till we actually got RE-directed to the PAY page. Only to be kicked out with an ERROR message telling me that the transaction did not go through. Yes, we feel your pain especially when you plan out to wake up at 2am just to sit in front of the computer, hoping to be the first person to score some CHEAPO flights. We hear your pain. There is nothing much you can do, but try and try again. I think the best time to surf for cheap flights, especially when their PROMOTIONS are on, is during the 3am – 5am window. Some say its between 7am to 9am. But 9am is basically your cap, as you know people nowadays. The first thing they do at work is UPDATE FACEBOOK and BUY cheap flights.

Long story short, we were off !!! We paid RM 205 per person one way from Penang to Bangkok. Which was dirt cheap. These are some of the pictures we snapped throughout our travel.

Checking in on Air Asia. Look at the mess behind the counter! I bet you if you throw your over weight bags over there, without her noticing, i don't think you need to pay for excess luggage

Oh come on! Penang International Airport is such a beautiful airport. Where is the soap for the sink man! Why are all the dispensers empty?

What's to BRAVO about this picture?

To date, i still do not understand the meaning of the toilet signs at the Penang International Airport.

Sawadee Krup! Welcome to Bangkok. See how enthusiastic my girlfriend was when she heard i was going to revisit Patpong? (For the writeup of course!!)

When you reach Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok.  Once you get off the plane, there will be shuttle buses waiting to transit you to the arrival terminal.

From the plane you will need to take a shuttle bus to the terminal

About 4 years back, the only transportation out of Suvarnabhumi Airport was just the taxi. At that time, the taxis would cost between 400 THB to 800 THB for a normal cab to central Bangkok. Now the times have changed. You have a couple of options. Here is a list of options and the floor in which you need to go, to get it.

We wanted to take the Airport Rail Link to town because we heard it was fast and cheap.  Check them out here > Bangkok Airport Train
Unfortunately, when we arrived, the train had left and the next train was going to arrive 30 minutes later. I decided that we should take the taxi. My reasoning was, since there was 2 of us, and it would cost around 380 THB for the 2 of us to get to town by taxi, which was about 170 THB more expensive than taking the train. Train for one way was 90 THB per person/ per way. And 150 THB per person/return.

Because our first guesthouse was not located along the main BTS SKY TRAIN lines, this meant that if we were to take the train, we would still end up either walking from the nearest BTS station or taking a taxi to our guesthouse which was somewhere in SILOM.
We stayed at Just Beds. And the place is simply a steal!  You have to got to check it out. We will blog about this in the next blog.
So to get to the trains, there are plenty of signs that will lead you there.

Naaah! this is the way to the airport bus counter

The train counter is on B floor.

Just in case you decided to wait for the train, the Thai’s are very considerate, where they have made their chairs comfortable for you to rest on. Just make sure you don’t fall asleep and miss the train !

Along the way you can find plenty of chairs where you can sleep on, if you have an early/ late flight and want to skimp on hotels and taxi fair to Suvarnabhumi Airport

We proceeded straight to the taxi stand, where you will have to tell the person at the counter where you want to go, and he/she will write your destination on the piece of paper which you will then hand over to the taxi driver.

Organized taxi booth to any where in Bangkok can be taken from here

Watch out for peak hours where the traffic in Bangkok is utter madness. In case your flight arrives around 4pm to 6pm. Then we suggest maybe by taking the train, it will certainly save you plenty of time, instead of getting stuck in the taxi. This is only IF your guesthouse/hotel is in the city center like Silom or Sukhumvit.

Riding pillion on a motorcycle is probably the fastest way to get from point A to point B. It might not be the safest though. Average fare for a bike like this starts from 20 THB to 30 THB for short distances. They might charge you more, because you are a foreigner.

HAILING A MOTORCYCLE – What i normally do, which i know is ” SICK ” to others is that, i will have a Thai person write down my destination on a piece of paper. I will first ask how much the charge is. Then i will act deaf/dumb and show the piece of paper to the rider. After getting down, i will just pay the man the money without saying a word and walk off. It has worked before for me. I hope it will too for you.  Unless you are not as CHEAP as me.

Taking the famous Tuk Tuk on the highway would be suicide! Bargain hard for the right price first

I think the maximum you can get on a tuk tuk is 3 adults or maybe 5 kids. Depending on your size really. The tuk tuk driver often is reluctant to ride with more than 3 adults on board. Maybe 4 girls will do the trick? Who knows?

Because our guesthouses we were staying was located around Siam Square and Silom, we opted to ride the Sky Train often. It was not only faster but air conditioned as well. We hate to bargain- if its not for shopping purposes.

We ended up traveling around mostly by Sky Train, because it was cooler (air conditioning) and because we were staying in the city center, it was easily connected to all the malls, restaurants and famous attractions

Check out this TUK TUK that we saw in Ayuthaya! Ayuthaya is about 2 hours by Minivan from Bangkok. Its a nice city to walk around and see the ancient ruins.

Woah! Speed racer is in town

Another thing you should know about the working Thai’s is that, they are very trendy! Taking this in to account, make sure you dress up when you are heading to the clubs or to a nice restaurant!

Every where i turn , everywhere i see, i see everyone playing with an I phone!

I practically lived off street food in Bangkok. There was just so many types of food by the road, and all of them were delicious!! I wouldn’t say that they are cheap. I prefer the word “Affordable”.

You got to love the street food in Bangkok

Sometimes it makes you wonder, with all the smog and soot from tuk tuks and the infamous Bangkok traffic, that are the fruits sold by the road side dirty?

I saw these kebab’s on sale along Khao San Road! Lovely! (It is not common Thai street food, but because its on Khao San Road, everything is westernized

We caught a vendor feeding this squirrel alcohol! Poor squirrel!!

And of course, every single Thai is really friendly. This Mama San was apparently the leader for this pack of “Beach Boys”. They stopped to get the same meat skewers as me, when i managed to slide in a shot!

The next day we went sightseeing. One of the must see’s in Bangkok would be the Grand Palace. You will have to see it at least once.

Wat Pho was our next destination.
Wat Pho is one of the largest and oldest wats in Bangkok (with an area of 50 rai, 80,000 square metres) and is home to more than one thousand Buddha Images as well as one of the largest single Buddha images of 160 ft length- the Reclining Buddha.

Wat Pho is also famous for its Traditional Thai Massages. The temple is considered the first public university of Thailand, teaching students in the fields of religion, science and literature through murals and sculptures.In 1962 a school for traditional medicine and massage was established.The temple is home to one of the earliest Thai massage schools.

On the way back from Wat Pho, we went through the amulet market, which has the biggest collection of Amulets for sale in Bangkok.
But amongst all these holy stones and amulets, its amazing what you can find ! This is truly AMAZING THAILAND!

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My virgin visit to Patpong Bangkok by backpackies

My first night out in Bangkok and the ‘helpful’ receptionist at my Guesthouse already points the direction to the nearest night market – PATPONG. (Of course everyone has obviously heard of PATPONG, except me who still thought it was the BEST night market in Bangkok.

I was staying at Just Beds a nice small boutique hotel which had rates that were quite reasonable. (I will blog about it a little while). It was stated there on their website that it would be a 10 minute walk to Patpong. But i thought since i was going to be tired from all that wonderful shopping that i envisioned in my head, i took a taxi there. The cab costed me 50 THB something  (please dont get me started on the sang (cents)) The zeros 0000 behind the notes are already confusing me enough.

There are two ends to Patpong sandwhiched between Silom and Suriwong Roads, just down from the Sala Daeng Skytrain Station and is home to the city’s most popular and renowned night market, many fine shops, restaurants, five star hotels and the main draw of all, some of the city’s most boisterous nightlife.

ping pong show pat pong night market

Welcome sir...to patpong! You wanna see show...banana show, ping pong show...tiger show

The Patpong area as we know it today, was founded in the late 1960s when a number of bars were erected for the US servicemen who were enjoying R + R away from the battlefields of Vietnam. By day the area was home to the offices of international companies, including a number of airlines, but by night it transformed into something far more exciting.

When the troops pulled out in 1975, Thailand’s increasing tourist trade discovered the area and since then Patpong has been a magnet for tourists and locals alike.

pat pong bangkok

some soi's are so narrow even the skinny lady boys have a hard time squeezing in between the taxi and the road side stall to get pass traffic!

Small shopping stalls overflow into the side streets of Silom and Suriwong but the main shopping is in Patpong Soi 1 itself.
(Soi means small street in Thai). There are plenty of things to buy here, ranging from shoes, fake watches, souvenirs, jerseys but all with over hiked up prices just to cater for the farang (white man) market. So if you are buying something here, make sure you bargain hard.
(This is what we normally do. If they open a price, lets say 500THB, we offer 50 THB. I know its ridiculous but it’s also shows how much we are prepared to offer, which isn’t a lot. Then you need to bargain up while the seller bargains down. Bargain till you meet a middle point where both of you are happy. What ever it is, just try to enjoy yourself. No point, if you guys and up yelling 4 letter words and being angry about it in the end. I have seen many people who cannot handle stress end up like that.

patpong bangkok

jerseys of every team and every player you can think of

patpong night market bangkok

flower soap handcrafted

patpong bangkok

creative pillow covers - very colourful with nice 'meaningful' words

patpong night market

zooming in on the wordings so you OLD fellas can read what it means

bangkok night shopping market patpong

glasses galore!!

Girls will love Patpong. But generally we noticed that all the street markets sell almost the same things. Here you will find plenty of sun glasses, earrings, hair accessories, hand bags and shoes.

bangkok patpong night market

stitch and donald makes smoking marijuana so illgally happy

Patpong has developed and it is not just known as a red light area.  Patpong is more diverse than any of the city’s other bar areas and is home to open air bars, live music venues, pool halls, gogo bars and other specialty bars.  You truly are spoiled for choice.

bangkok patpong

angry bird fever is madness in bangkok

Even if you are a shopping freak, you still got to eat don’t you? All around Patpong are small food stalls selling the local snacks and meals. Most common you will see is fried or BBQ food stuff. Below you will see a fried chicken stall selling every single part of the chicken FRIED!
Did you know that in Thailand: Fried chicken skin is a delicacy?

patpong night market

fried chicken!

The sushi stall had quite a variety going on for 5 THB each . I missed the Unagi Sushi, though i don’t think they have it.

bangkok patpong night market

fresh road side sushi

We passed by this stall selling pork rice. Man it was so good that if melted in our mouths. I would definitely go back there for another. A normal plate with pork meat, vegetables and 1 egg costs about 45 THB.

bangkok patpong night market

fatty pork rice served with vegetables and egg

patpong night market bangkok

Yummy pork rice, that is cooked will its so soft that it half melts in your mouth

patpong bangkok night market

Fresh seafood any one?

I kind of doubt how clean it is though since it is directly beside a busy road side. Mostly they will taste delicious after covered in tuk tuk smoke.

patpong bangkok thailand

steamed soft bread dipped in a mix of pandan kaya and coconut milk

bangkok night market

after a full tummy we venture further into patpong

They have a whole group for this??? Kewl….. i didnt know that. Did you??
As you reach the Suriwong end of Patpong. If you turn left, you are a very horny man. If you turn right you are gay.
We turned right just to be sure they got their left and right -RIGHT!
We discovered a street and here is what we saw..

patpong dream boys

Check out the patpong dream boys

patpong lady boys

Dream street in patpong- every girls fantasy?

DREAM BOYS, BEACH BOYS, SCHOOL BOYS, CREAM BOYS….you name it…..they are all TOY BOYS!
Of course there are toys here for sale as well in case you got bored with your toy boy.

patpong bangkok

A variety of tools for everyone

patpong bangkok boysThis guy even gave me the happy pose! He is really loving his job.
You get to sit with girls, kiss them, entertain them, free drinks, and you get PAID! What a job….

Of course just on the other street are where all the lady boys or KA TUEYS (thai) hang out. They were so friendly that one of them kept flashing her panties at me. What a syiok i got! (SHOCK)

patpong night market bangkok

of course Patpong is crawling with lady boys as well

Just ignore the lady boy on the right. He/she is just trying to be friendly.

What we were trying to figure out was, out in the middle of all this fantasy we were suddenly hearing some hymns….from a choir. And here was a group of students trying to collect donations from all of those poor farangs who have just went shopping in PATPONG.

pat pong night market bangkok

And all of a sudden we see this band of innocent school children collecting donations

PATPONG besides being a famous red light district and shopping market, it is where you will find great bars and clubs to hang out at. We were sitting in one of them, sipping our over priced beer as we watch how the touts try their best to pull tourists into a ping-pong show.

We hope this give you an overall of what to expect in Patpong, Bangkok. If you guys have any more questions about Patpong please do add us on facebook at backpackies is on facebook.

If you want to ask us where the best ping-pong shows or tiger shows. I’m sorry we do not know. (Seriously).
Good luck and happy travelling.

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Ayutthaya a wonderful day trip or an overnighter away from hectic Bangkok by backpackies

The ancient city of Ayutthaya (Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya) was the second capital of Siam after Sukhothai located 87km north of Bangkok.
Founded in 1350, Ayutthaya is actually an island surrounded by three rivers: the Chao Phraya river, the Lopburi river and the Pa Sak river. It’s ideal location between China, India and the Malay Archipelago made it the trading capital of Asia and even the world. By 1700 Ayutthaya had become the largest city in the world with a total of 1 million inhabitants. Many international merchants set sail for Ayutthaya, from diverse regions as the Arab world, China, India, Japan, Portugal, the Netherlands and France. Merchants from Europe proclaimed Ayutthaya as the finest city they had ever seen. Dutch and French maps of the city show grandeur with gold-laden palaces, large ceremonies and a huge float of trading vessels from all over the world.

All this came to a quick end when the Burmese invaded Ayutthaya in 1767 and almost completely burnt the city down to the ground.

Most of Ayutthaya is now temples, palaces and shrines made of stone.
Ayutthaya’s ruins were officially recognized in 1991, when the Historic City became an UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Ayutthaya is a popular day trip attraction for travelers from Bangkok. It’s certainly a change of atmosphere away from the bustling hectic street jams and people. Since its only a 2 hours by train (1 hour plus by mini van), and it is fairly easy to navigate around this city, you do not really need a guide or follow a tour. And of course, we at backpackies always encourage you to do it your self.
“Most travellers are asked to buy tickets from Khao San road, then packed into a speedy tour which involves a lot of stress. Do not let these travel agents tell you differently.”
“Ayutthaya isn’t hard to get to !”

There are a few ways to get there from Bangkok. The train runs right through town, buses run multiple times an hour, and public vans shoot back and forth constantly.

We took the scenic third class(free seating, no air conditioning) train for 14 THB.

train to ayutthaya

Our train ticket to ayutthaya

We passed through kilometers of bright green rice paddies, fresh water ponds, and herds of water buffalo on the way.

ayutthaya day trip

Green scenery along the way

You will need to board from Bangkok’s Hualamphong Train Station. There are second class seats (A/C) for 245 THB. Check time tables from Bangkok Railway.

bangkok train to ayutthaya

Sexy train attendants

train from bangkok to ayutthaya

Where is the train?

Minivan: Starts from Victory Monument. Take BTS Skytrain to the Victory Monument station, and go right on the elevated walkway – keep on it until you cross a large road, then descend – the buses are parked at the side side of the main traffic circle). The cost is usually ~70 baht, takes around 1 hour or 1 hour 20 min. It’s quite convenient since you don’t have to go to bus terminals (nearby Mochit) but the only problem is that the minibuses don’t have much space to put big bags and have to wait until the car is fully filled.

Cruise boats: Another alternative is you can also take a tourist cruise boat up from Bangkok. You will stop at Ko Kret and Bang Pa-In along the way. You’ll need to book in advance as there are no scheduled services, just trips for tourists. It’s a fairly lengthy trip (at least one whole day) and some of the larger boats offer (pricy) overnight tours. — Boat from Ayutthaya to Bangkok leaves 11:30AM daily (arrives Bangkok ~4PM) = 1350 baht/person PH: 08 97662672
Travelling by boat to Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya is popular and unique experience as you get to see the lifestyles of the people on both sides of the Chao Phraya River. You may just sit back and imagine your self travelling through time, just as how the trade ships did it back in ancient times.

Continue : The train ride takes roughly 2 hours. When you arrive at Ayutthaya train station, you will need to cross over to the island which is a short ferry ride. (4 THB)

ferry at ayutthaya

Taking a ferry across the river to the island

Getting around Ayutthaya is pretty easy. U Thong Rd is a ring road that goes around the city. Most temple ruins can be found at the north-west of the island, while accommodation and nightlife is clustered around the north-east. As non-Siamese peoples were not allowed to live inside the city walls, the sights from foreign nations can be found outside of the island.
Of course almost every travel guide will advice you to rent a bicycle, and cruise to explore the ruins. There are plenty of places where you can rent bicycles. (40 THB a day)
The faster alternative is to rent a motorbike. We rented one for 250 THB. Its much faster which means less time under the heat. We did this so we could cover more ground so that we have more things to write for you guys  🙂 . Well, that’s our excuse for being lazy, what’s yours?

There are plenty of Street food around, especially around Ayutthaya University (Rochana Rd and Si Sanphet Rd). Grab some food to go and eat laying in the shade of the trees growing around the ruins.
Some sites have an entrance fee of 30 to 50 baht.

ayutthaya temple ruins

There are plenty of temples and palaces around Ayutthaya to explore. We will be posting up the different temples you can see here in the next blog.

ayutthaya bangkok

baan lotus guesthouse

Our guesthouse Baan Lotus

Room rates:
Aircon room, 600B
Fan room, 450B
Dorm, 300B

baan lotus bangkok

Our Room

baan lotus ayutthaya toilet

toilet of the guesthouse

ayutthaya night market

pizzas and cakes

ayutthaya night market

frutis and vegetables

ayutthaya night market

ayutthaya night market

Fruits seller. The fruit juice was at 25 THB a cup!

ayutthaya night market

ayutthaya night market

fresh grilled fish covered in salt

If you are here on a day trip, you can sit by the river enjoying a beer and then back to Bangkok by either a speedy van ride back to Bangkok or a lazy train journey.

The next trip, we will cover the names of the temples and also what to expect inside the temples.
We will also be trying out the night river cruise. Stay tuned to backpackies.
If you have a facebook account, make sure you join us there as well. Backpackies is on facebook

We would like to personally thank Theresa Goh and her partner Harpal Singh for providing the information and resources for us to write this

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