I just happened to arrive in Bangkok amidst the flooding disaster that gripped the country in October last year, so my honest Bangkok first impressions were subjective. I immediately started freaking out, which you will learn that I do, a lot. What if I couldn’t get to my hotel? Where was I going to stay? Would my tour leave without me? (Breathe, Hayley). All of these questions kept me awake the few days before my flight into Bangkok.
I landed at about 7pm at night into Suvarnabhumi Airport. What an impressive airport that is. It’s huge but you can still easily navigate your way around. Once I had made my way through immigration (standing in the slowest line of course, you know how it is) I found the driver I had pre-booked to take me to my hotel. Lucky for me, he spoke no English, so I just had to hope he wouldn’t get us stuck in flood-waters.
As we made our way to Rambuttri Road (the street behind Khao San Road) the only evidence that floods had hit inner Bangkok was sandbags lining the streets. There wasn’t a drop of water in sight. Once I relaxed I began to admire Bangkok. How there were gorgeous golden temples positioned next to shops; major skyscrapers dot the skyline; and the bright lights of the area I was staying in just draw you in.
When I awoke the next morning I walked around the streets nearby. I have been to Bali a few times so I am used to their shops, but the market stalls in Bangkok were so different. I loved the bright colours of the singlets, t-shirts and bathers. The clothes were also cheaper than what you can find in Bali, which is a bonus. I am a sucker for a bargain.
After I got over my Bangkok panic attack mode, I ended up really enjoying the Thai capital and my Bangkok first impressions resembled that. I didn’t get to see much of the city due to lack of time and the floods, but I did get to see the Royal Palace and the Emerald Buddha Temple, which were both amazing. I would love to go back again to do some more exploring…and bargain shopping. Don’t judge.