Getting back to Bangkok is going to be a much nicer journey that the bus ride , I managed to get a sleep bunk on the overnight train which I have always enjoyed so after another round of sad goodbyes , its back on a ferry to the mainland and a 2 hour bus ride to the train station.
Leaving Friends is always hard and after almost 25 years of visiting many are more like family now.
The trains in Thailand are great, they are clean cheap and reliable and especially the overnight trains that run south and up to Chiang Mai in the north give a really good option to get around and see parts of the countryside as your going, the train into Bangkok takes you through the cities suburbs and over canals and you can see all kinds of life’s activities going on along the tracks and you slowly complete the journey into the city centre.
Toilets are not the same as the west!!! You had better hope the ride doesn’t get too bumpy when you need to visit the facilities. They are however very clean and well attended as is the whole train. The guards and helpful I always feel safe and have never had any issues with theft.
The main station is right in the middle of the city at the end of Yarowat the famous china town centre so it’s a good point of reference if your only in town for a few days.
I’ve only got a 1 night stop over with an early flight so I went out on a street food hunt, partly for the blog but there was of course a little selfish motivation as I firmly believe Thailand has some of the best food anywhere and the Bangkok street food is right at the heart of the food culture.
I’m not going to pretend I know what most of the food I photographed is, I tend to let my nose and eyes guide me and if I see stalls with long queues of locals I always try and buy whatever it is that has got everyone excited.
After a good few hours walking the streets and eating as much as I can manage, I headed down to the backpacker hub Khao San road to take a look. I think I might be getting old because I don’t get the need on arriving in Bangkok to go out on a huge bender resulting in memory loss and unfortunate tattoos anymore but its without a doubt one of those places that if you want to really go for it, you will find it chews you up and spits you out after a good few days partying. The city never sleeps and I’ve never been anywhere with energy and culture like it. its an absolute must-visit if you are able to. Give your self a good few days to explore as it has a lot to offer.
I settle for a cold beer on a roof top terrace and listen to the debauchery below on the street, it’s a perfect place to think about the incredible trip its been so far from the mountains of India to the most beautiful hedonistic beaches I’ve ever seen and next stop is Cambodia , a place of beauty and endless countryside with a people who, having gone through so much have a wonderful ‘can do’ attitude and a kindness I find truly touching. I can’t wait to get to Phnom Penh and head to my favourite coffeeshop for some decent smoke.
It was around this time COVID suddenly began to become widespread in China and a few cases had been detected around Asia but the seriousness of the situation had not taken hold at all yet, the airports were packed and although mask-wearing is common in Asia it was strange to suddenly see people begin to realise and take precautions.