After 24 hours of travel, that weren’t nearly as bad as I had anticipated, I arrived in Bangkok close to midnight. I hopped in a taxi and went straight to my very charming hostel. Time to crash. I woke up fairly fresh to go the next day.
After the cutest breakfast at the hostel, I figured I only had two days in Bangkok so I should hit up some of the major sites. The Grand Palace was the first stop. After I purchased and overpaid (my haggling game is still pretty weak) for my first pair of obligatory elephant pants, I was in. Looking around, it felt like I was on some large communal field trip and our school mascot was the elephant – everyone in matching ensembles. Some words that come to mind to describe the Grand Palace are: overwhelming, stunning, grandiose and humid as hell.
The intricate details of the Grand Palace were mesmerizing. I felt like a little kid just wandering around in awe, observing every little detail in amazement.
Next, I set off in the direction of Wat Pho. On my way, I stumbled upon the cutest little park, Saranrom Park. One of the many reasons I love traveling is that every little discovery seems like pure magic. To anyone familiar with Bangkok, this park is presumably a pretty standard park, but to me, it was an enchanting little oasis.
Onwards to Wat Pho. So the big draw here is the ginormous Reclining Buddha – almost 50ft high and 150ft long. I learned that the ‘reclining Buddha’ is a representation of the entry of Buddha into Nirvana and the end of all reincarnations – no wonder this Buddha looks extra zen.
I spent the rest of the day wandering around the city, hitting up the different outdoor markets and getting my first of many pad thai dishes.
Major takeaway from the day: you’re nobody if you don’t own a selfie stick (unfortunately, I was a nobody today.)
The only thing on my agenda today was Jim Thompson’s House. It was a bit tricky to find, but once I finally arrived, it was worth it. Okay here’s a quick history lesson for you: Jim Thompson was an American architect who was sent over to Bangkok during WWII. Falling in love with Thailand and its culture he decided to stay. He dedicated his life to reviving the art of hand-weaving silk and became famous in the textile industry. He bought and renovated this complex of 6 houses, staying true to the original architecture (most of the houses were two centuries old). In ’67 Thompson went to Malaysia to visit friends and then just disappeared, no clues ever turned up as to what might have happened to him…
So here’s my take – Thompson was a boss. This house was sick. A big magical tree house, surrounded by a lush garden full of towering trees, exotic flowers and koi ponds. #housegoals was rolling through my mind the whole tour. I kept picturing it decked out with beautiful modern decor and lots of plush white furniture. Definitely worth the visit.
The rest of my day was spent journaling and reading at a nearby cafe before I had to head to the train station to take the night train up to Chiang Mai.
My hostel, The Yard, gets 5 stars in my book. Super friendly and accommodating staff, beautiful atmosphere, very clean and an adorable breakfast including.
The Grand Palace
Jim Thompson’s Oasis