Bangkok promises fascinating experience to every traveler. It welcomes you with sincere smile covered with delightful atmosphere; excites you even more with any adventure awaits you behind every door.
Well at least, the last time I checked, Bangkok didn’t disappoint me on that one.
I departed Kuala Lumpur late at night, heading to Bangkok after a long exhausting interesting day of solo traveling. I had my back-pack with me; and a back-ache. AirAsia landed me (and many other passengers, of course, since I didn’t own any private jet) almost midnight in Bangkok. It was 11.20 p.m. (GMT +7.00) as I arrived and went straight to tourist’s information center for a map; bought myself a local pre-paid card; and headed to the taxi stand.
I didn’t know how to pronounce my hostel’s address, so I just handed the hostel’s address and its map I’ve printed back home to the officer in taxi stand.
She called the taxi driver, showed him the address and the map, they spoke something in Thai language (which I completely didn’t understand), and she said to me:
“Okay, 450 Baht..”
“Oh, okay.. should I pay here, or…?”
“No, no, pay it to the driver.. this is your driver..”
And so we headed to the taxi.
Lost in Translation: Chapter 1
My father warned me to ask the driver about highway charge, etc: will it be on me, or is it already on my bill. So I asked the driver:
“So, 450 Baht, is it including the highway charge?”
“Yes, 450 Baht…” (hmm, he looked confused, this is not good..)
“The toll gate, should I pay another Baht for it, or..?”
“Euum… no English… 450 Baht…” (with guilty look on his face..)
“Oh, okay, just drive…” (yea, I kinda hard to express how I was feeling about it.)
So there I was, on a cab heading to my hostel, with me (who completely didn’t have any idea of where my hostel might be located other than what’s on my map), and my cab driver (who apparently doesn’t speak English). And all I can do was stay alert, tried to capture as many as impression from anything outside my taxi, tried to get any landmarks in case I got lost; and continuously read any signs on the road, compared them with directions I got from Google Maps on my cell phone. Haha. Okay, this is ridiculously exciting, I crave for more!!!
Finally, about half an hour later or so, we found the 37 Jareonkrung Soi. Ah, thank Goodness!! I hopped off the cab and continue my quest of this The Chilli Bangkok Hostel. The hostel located on a narrow street (or Soi, in Thai language). It was most closely compared to the student dorm location in Cisitu, Bandung, in some way, hehe. Despite the location, which actually not that bad either, I like this hostel. It is a small, clean, minimalist hostel; worth every cents.
The Chilli Bangkok
Okay, before telling you further about the great times I had in Bangkok, I’d like to introduce you my hostel. I found the hostel in hostels.com website. There are several room types here, i.e. single private (for 390 Baht / night); standard 2 bed mixed dorm (for 300 Baht / bed / night); standard double bed private (for 650 Baht / night); and standard twin private (for 325 / bed / night). All rooms are air conditioned and ensuited with bathroom.
I booked for standard single room for two nights in Bangkok. My room was in the 3rd storey. It was a small but decent room. Although I can’t open my door fully because the lavatory was located right behind my door; the space within the room was just enough for a single bed; the toilet was just fit tight, I would still recommend this hostel anyway. This hostel is an option, especially for those who don’t really fond of clubbing and expect less noise.
Every morning, from 7 – 10 pm, they provide you fresh coffee downstairs in the pantry. Downstairs, you can also find a washing machine for 10 Baht, computers with internet access for free, and a common room with pantry.
This was just perfect for me, who traveled alone, and spend most of my days outside the room.
To The Downtown
The hostel is not located in the heart of the city like Shukumvit or Khao San, but I kinda like the quiet homey atmosphere. It took you 2 minutes walk to Bangkok Rare Stone Museum; 5 minutes to the nearest 711; adding up 2 – 3 minutes from 711, you’ll get to Si Phraya Pier. Looking for a bus to downtown? Walk straight down the road to south for 5 minutes, and you’ll find a bus stop. Nearest MRT station, Hua Lamphong, is located within 10 – 15 minutes’ walking distance.
Getting to city center is quite easy, too, from here, whichever city center you mean. You can easily hop to bus #1 and pay 6,5 Baht (approx. Rp. 2000,00) to get to Grand Palace complex. It is a 15 – 20 minutes trip via Yaowarat, Bangkok’s Chinatown. In the mood for a little cruise on Chao Phraya River? You may excited to experience Bangkok’s waterway. Take a boat from Si Phraya Pier to Chang Pier or Tian Pier to get to Grand Palace. Chang Pier located closer to Grand Palace, but if you wish to start the journey from Wat Po temple, Tian Pier is closer. The piers are, however, is only separated by 10 minutes walking. You have to pay for 15 Baht per trip for normal boat, and 30 Baht per trip for express boat. The normal boat is the one with orange flag, while the express is with blue flag. The express boat’s conductor speaks English more fluent, if it’s in your consideration.
I, myself, prefer to take the bus to Grand Palace and go back to the hostel using the boat. The easiest way to get to Shukumvit, however, is by taking boat to Central Pier and then get to the sky train (BTS) on Saphan Taksin, 5 minutes walk from the pier. Or you can also try to get to Hua Lamphong MRT station, take the MRT and exchange it with BTS in Siam station.
Well, the journey hasn’t begun yet, folks.
Tell you later about the shrines, Khao San Road, and Mah Boon Krong.
All I can say for now is 2 days are not enough. I haven’t had enough of Bangkok just yet.