Our five-week Southeast Asia adventure started in Bangkok, the capital of Thailand and setting of the “Hangover Part II.” Home to an estimated 8.5 million people, Bangkok ranks as one of the largest metropolitan areas in the world (if it were in the U.S., it would rank as the 4th largest metropolitan area behind New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago).
We arrived in Bangkok for the first time on January 27th. Not only did the 9,160 mile journey from NYC take over 24 hours, but the 12-hour time difference took it’s toll on us. Upon arriving at our Airbnb around 3:30pm we promptly fell asleep and did not get up for the next 16-hours.
Exploring Bangkok for the First Time
We finally woke up from our jet-lag induced hibernation around 7:30am. Feeling rejuvenated from our slumber we were ready to head out and explore Bangkok for the first time. But not before enjoying a delicious Thai breakfast prepared for us by our hosts (looking back these were some of the best meals we had during our entire 5-week Southeast Asia trip!).
Our only goals for the day were to buy sim cards for our iPhones and to get lost wandering the city. After figuring out how to use Bangkok’s BTS trains we quickly got our phones set up at the Platinum Fashion Mall, which left the rest of the day for us to explore. We spent most of the morning wandering around the markets in the Ratchathewi District and hanging out around the Victory Monument.
A Walk in Queen Sirikit Park
With temperatures in the 80s and a shining sun in the sky, we decided to spend the afternoon relaxing at Queen Sirikit Park. Compared to the 2+ feet of snow the East Coast got before we left for Bangkok, we were glad to be outside enjoying the warm weather.
The botanical garden in Queen Sirikit Park features many plants and is home to several kinds of animals (there were even a few bushes sculpted to look like animals!). Besides the typical animals we would expect to see in a park, we were surprised to see so many Asian water monitors!
Our favorite thing about exploring the park was crossing the many bridges which connect different sections of the park. Some are your typical arch-shaped bridges, while others are simply stone slabs separated by water.
Shopping at Chatuchak Weekend Market
While we did our fair share of wandering on our second full day in Bangkok, the majority of it was spent at Chatuchak Weekend Market. As Thailand’s largest market, you can find just about anything you need. We didn’t realize it at the time, but it turns out the market is organized into different sections: plants, antiques, pets, food and drinks, home decor, clothes, and books.
By the end of the day we each had purchased a few outfits. Leslie ended up with a couple pairs of shorts, pants, two tank tops and a jar of Tiger Balm for future mozzie bites. Brad on the other hand bought three pairs of shorts and four tank tops. All in all, we spent somewhere around $40 for everything.