Experiencing the 'World's Best City': Krung Thep, Siam

Phra Si Rattana Chedi (Golden Stupa) in Wat Phra Kaew Bangkok, Thailand
Phra Si Rattana Chedi (Golden Stupa) in Wat Phra Kaew
Bangkok, Thailand
If you are lost in translation and world geography (like me), Krung Thep is the local term for Bangkok in Thailand formerly known as Siam. This Kingdom is the centre of the Indochinese Peninsula (IndoChina) and got a three-peat in the 'World's Best Cities' in Travel and Leisure magazine. That says a lot and not many cities will get that coveted title. You'll be amazed as I am what this city can offer. As my first-time travel abroad destination, I'm very satisfied with my #perstaym. I will not give you any itinerary on this post. Heck, leave it to the seasoned backpackers and travellers. There are many guides and what to do have been written. Even their own tourism department will give you the best possible information out there. So, I'll just share my two cents on enjoying Mario Maurer's birthplace. 

Bangkok City: A Backpacker's Haven

Bangkok has always been a brimming example in Asia on tourism. I'm not exaggerating when I say that literally all races from the world could be seen at their international airport. I felt local there because of the same look and color. Even the people there thought I was Thai, and was speaking to me in their native language. 

Ease of transportation: The readily accessible and reliable means of transportation, IMO, was a major factor why tourists and backpackers alike flood the streets of the city. I have lived for almost 4 years in Metro Manila, and I haven't seen that influx of foreigners in our streets, train stations,  or anywhere else. To think, it was low season when we got to Bangkok City (July). I've imagined the ten fold tourist count when the locals there told me that info.

Suvarnabhumi Airport

From the Airport, there is a MRT station below

BTS Skytrain in Bangkok
BTS Skytrain in Bangkok

Your home away from home: Aside from the transportation which made Krung Thep a favorite tourist destination is the variety of accommodations, from cheap but very contemporary and functional hostels to extravagant hotels which were surprisingly much cheaper than the same caliber hotels in the Philippines. They are scattered all over the city, that are positioned strategically near any attractions. You can't go wrong booking online for hostels. I recommend The Yard Hostel in Ari, and Lub D Bangkok either in Siam or Silom. Tip: It's much cheaper booking these hostels in hostelworld.com. Another tip, you can always check other hotel booking sites before booking personally at the hostel. A 150-200 baht discount will cover you 2 - 3 meals! For a 5 star hotel, you can't go wrong booking Amari Watergate Bangkok. With it's 23 years and counting in the business, you can expect high quality service and luxurious stay. 

The Yard Hostel

Rustic Vibe in The Yard Hostel

The Yard

Lub d Bangkok Siam

Lub d Bangkok Dormitory

Hallways at Lub d Bangkok Siam

Amaya Food Gallery at Amari Watergate Bangkok

Amaya Food Gallery at Amari Watergate Bangkok

Pool at Amari Watergate Bangkok

Food and Local delicacies: Well, Thai food has always been a fave of mine. It might get a biased vibe, but hey, this is my blog. Just kidding hehe. It's a no-brainer why Thai foods made such a prominent impact around the world. It's flavorful, unique and most of all, the distinct signature of the Thai nation. It represented their country well in the realm of the international cuisine industry. If you ask someone randomly from anywhere in the world, they would be familiar with Pad Thai, Tom Yum (Goong), Gaeng Keow Wan Kai (Green curry), or Som Tum (Spicy Green Papaya salad). Well not the latter two, but they should be!

Read my Instagram post on their food. Used my IG for microblogging.

Thailand wouldn't be "Amazing" without its native delicacies. This was on top of my priority!!!( I really love Tom Yum and Pad Thai! ) Searched every street for the best Pad Thai and Tom Yum. As I found out, all of the local foods have the same taste as though all of the people here cooked it on the same kitchen. There was little difference except for the added ingredients. Best Pad thai and Noodle soup was in Chinatown, Best Tom Yum and Green Curry in Ari, just below the Ari Station of BTS. I wouldn't mind food tripping here all month long. It is a foodie's paradise! Fell in love with their food (and beer 😂). Just to give you an idea, one full serving of Tom Yum is about 40 - 50 baht. Thats 70-80 pesos, and you will be full already with a 10 baht rice. "Busolved" ka na!!! Try heading to Chinatown in BKK, and eat your heart away. All of the street foods were Amazing!!! #AnythingDantless #PERSTAYM #Bangkok
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Even the streets foods are infused with that flavorful taste. Not the roasted cockroaches or crickets though, or it might have since I didn't get the chance to taste them, lol.

Wats up Bangkok!?: Here comes the "Amazing" in the Amazing Thailand tourism campaign: The "Wats". I have been to the 7 of the 10 must-see Temples in Bangkok. Do note and a warning: wear pants without any holes (tattered) and t shirts that cover your shoulders and proper foot wear (some require you to remove you shoes, others, closed off shoes). They are pretty strict on these policies as you are entering sacred places. If you have read the linked article above, all of the Wats there are near the Grand Palace. It's a freaking two day walking tour but its worth it! I'll create another article for all the Wats around Bangkok. There are too many photos on this post already ha ha.

These temples are landmarks for the country's milestone thru the centuries. Each of the temples share a tale to tell that is weave in the Thailand's history.

Wat Phra Kaew in Grand Palace
Wat Phra Kaew in Grand Palace
Temple of the Emerald Buddha
500 Baht Entrance fee

Wat Pho
Temple of the Reclining Buddha
100 Baht Entrance fee

Wat Saket
The Golden Mountain
20 Baht Entrance fee

Loha Prasat
180 Baht Entrance Fee

Wat Traimit
20 Baht Entrance Fee

Wat Mahatat
20 Baht

Giant Swing in front of Wat Suthat
20 Baht Entrance fee in temple Area
More than the Wats: Something hit me when I was to depart Bangkok. More than the tapestry of their cultures and customs,  it was the people's love for the nation, for their leader and King and for their faith that has pushed the country thru any adversities. I admired that from the "free man" (Thai) of this great nation. I am hopeful that these traits would be seen in my own country, the Philippines, as profoundly as the Thai's. Yes we have bayanihan, and all sorts of Tatak Pinoy, but to be a nation with one goal, that remains to be seen. Its hard coming from a full blooded Pinoy to say these things, but I am striving for that goal, contributing as much as I can, to look forward to a much needed return of the comeback of the Perlas ng Silanganan.

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