So I have been back in the cold and windy Netherlands – Amsterdam – for over a month now… and it is about time I wrote the final chapter of my ‘So what about Thailand‘ trilogy. I can’t keep you guys hanging on a cliff forever.
The trip back from Koh Phangan to continuing my Bangkok vacation went quite smooth. After spending time on an tropical island I was actually looking forward going back to the city again. Although the sun, sea and beach were magic, I will always be a ‘city boy’. Arriving at Bangkok airport felt good, and this time I was prepared! I skipped all the Thai begging me to get into their cabs and walked straight to the area where you could book a ‘meter on‘ taxi. So no more bargaining about fees, just a peaceful ride into the heart of the city.
A royal Phat Tai experience…
With the meter on I felt like I could connect more honestly with the driver. And I was lucky, because his English was good and the guy was very sympathetic. We talked about our cultural differences and the must-sees and do’s during the last days of my Bangkok vacation. One of them was eating the best Phat Tai in town, at a place that was just around the corner from where I was staying. And just before we arrived at my accommodation, something special happened.
A round-a-bout in the city center, packed with traffic 24/7, was being cleared by the police. The taxi driver said that this only happens when a royalty passes, so maybe we are in luck! And after an amount of red BMW’s – the royal bodyguards – suddenly this fancy Rolls Royce appeared: the prince and soon to be next king of Thailand! It was a pretty impressive sight. And after yet another amount of red BMW’s, we were allowed to continue our journey.
I was really looking forward to my third and final accommodation, since it used to be an English colonial building, which only offered room to nine people. When I arrived at Baan Dinso, it just couldn’t have been better. The Thai hosts were friendly as ever and the place looked magnificent! Definitely a ‘must stay’ when you are planning a Bangkok vacation! After checking in it was about time for the best Phat Tai in Bangkok, so I headed out to a restaurant called Thip Samai. The first thing I noticed was the long que outside, with in general only Thai people waiting for their dish. So that already looked very promising. If the locals are eating there, it must be good! I ordered a Phat Tai with egg dish and it tasted so incredibly delicious… for a moment I felt like the king of Thailand too!
On top of the world with a virgin!
The next day I visited the more commercial part of Bangkok, checking out the massive and impressive shopping malls to find myself some discount clothing. Nutty – one of the See Through Resort hosts in Koh Phangan – made a list for me which stores and malls I needed to visit. One of them was the Platinum Mall, a place where all the other stores did their purchasing and where you could find an incredible amount of good quality fashion for budget prices. Once inside I again was confronted with the ever annoying bargaining game, but this time I had a strategy! When I saw a t shirt I liked, I first asked a local what he would pay for it, before stepping out to the owner of the shop. This way I could act and bargain like a Thai, which was a great succes. I also used this trick before stepping into a cab with no meter on, asking a local what it would costs to go from A to B. (tip!)
Another last thing on my to do list during my Bangkok vacation was having a cocktail at one of the highest roof tops bars in the city. I decided to go to the Red Sky bar, which was situated on top of the Centara Grand Hotel, at the 55th floor! The elevator took me up in just a few seconds – my ears almost popped – and when the doors openend… the view was breath taking. Unfortunately I could not see that far into the city, because of the smog. But it felt great to be on top of the world. Since it was ‘The Day of the Buddha’ the Thai weren’t serving any alcohol, so instead I watched my last Thai sunset while sipping on a Virgin Mojito.
No ‘boom boom’ but Nutella
And there it was, the last evening of my Bangkok vacation and Thailand adventure! Pfff… these last hours were pretty difficult, since I did not wanted to leave yet! But I decided to make the best of it. Had yet another Phat Tai and one final foot massage. And while I was walking back to my apartment – ignoring the Thai guys asking me if I would like to ‘boom boom’ – I noticed something remarkable. It was around eleven at night and there was this big line in front of another restaurant in my area, which made me curious. Realizing what all the fuss was about still brings a smile upon my face: the Thai were craving for a toasted sandwich with Nutella! Crazy…
When I opened my eyes after a short night sleep, it was just five o’ clock in the morning. And guess what, when I was heading towards the exit of my accommodation, the Thai hosts were also up to hand me a breakfast to go and wish my a nice trip. Just incredible.
Writing this final chapter makes me sad and happy at the same time. Sad because I still miss the Thai lifestyle and long to go back as soon as possible. Happy because the experience was truly unforgettable and it made me change my view on visiting the eastern part of the world. I am so glad I had the opportunity to experience this great culture and magical country.
Thank you Thailand, see you soon!
And thank YOU for reading about my first ever Thailand adventure.
If you have any comments or questions about this first blog and/or traveling to Thailand, feel free to share them in the comments section below!