Asia,  Thailand

The Great Birthday Trip Part 1: Bangkok, Thailand

Part 1: Off to Siem Reap!  But First, Bangkok

The plan was simple: Hubby and I ony had  5 days to spare so we needed to use our time wisely. This was going to be a birthday trip– we wanted to celebrate my special day in Angkor Wat in Siem Reap– so two days before my birthday, we set off for Bangkok only to spend one night in a hostel, before going to Cambodia by land the next day. We planned to stay in Siem Reap for just a couple of days, then go back to Bangkok to explore the city for the rest of our holiday.

Manila to Bangkok

Four months prior to the trip, I was able to snag roundtrip tickets to Bangkok for half the price. (This should explain why we didn’t take a direct flight to Siem Reap.) It was during one of those crazy Cebu Pacific seat sales which was really a grand event as far as I’m concerned.

just landed!

The flight from Manila to Bangkok took about three hours. We left Manila at around 2PM and arrived in Bangkok a little past 5PM.

first glimpse of the Suvarnabhumi International Airport

It is easy to get intimidated by the gargantuan Suvarnabhumi International Airport. Luckily, I’ve been to this airport before so finding our way around wasn’t that difficult.

passport control

Lining up at the immigration area was also an uneventful affair and we were able to pass through in no time. About twenty minutes after landing, we already had our passports stamped and  our checked-in packs on our back.

Airport to Downtown Bangkok

There are several ways to get to the city center from the airport. One can take a cab, a bus or the train. We took the airport express train via the Bangkok Airport Rail Link because it was the fastest and most convenient.

taking the express train to the city

It wasn’t the cheapest option, though, but the convenience made up for the difference in price.  Roundtrip tickets cost 150 baht and are valid for two weeks. You can also buy one-way tickets for 90 baht per person.

hubby studying the free city map we picked up from the airport
getting down at our stop

Dinner at a Carinderia

By the time we got to our stop at the Silom station, we were already famished and thinking of food. So we entered the first restaurant we saw and sampled our first carinderia-style Thai dinner.

authentic Pad Thai noodles. believe it or not, this was really yummy!
beef for the hubby. don’t get turned off by the lackluster presentation, though.  this really tasted great!

The food was surprisingly good and cheap. Predictably, I had my Pad Thai noodles while hubby had stir-fried beef. It was simply the best Thai food we’ve ever tasted (so far)! Please be warned, though that  it is best to stay away from carinderia food  if you have sensitive stomach.

The Hostel of Cool

Since we were only sleeping for one night and getting up really early to catch the bus to Siem Reap, we decided to stay in a hostel. We chose Saphaipae Hostel in Silom. Saphaipae is the biggest hostel in Bangkok and is about 5 minutes away from the BTS Skytrain.

the Saphaipae dorm

It is relatively new and very cool. It has several types of accomodations– the huge 33 square meter deluxe double room, the 26 square meter superior room, and the dorms.

the superior  room

Since we’ve never tried sleeping in a mixed dormitory before, we decided to check into the 10-bunk mixed dorm. Beds here cost 350 baht a night. Not bad for a boutique hostel!

Luckily, there were only two other people (boys) when we got there. And they were just about to go paint the town red as we slipped under our warm comforters and called it a day.

To be continued…



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