From the quiet city of Chiang Mai, Thailand, Bangkok came as a bit of a shock. The number of tourists and the noise overwhelmed me. Quite similar to how I felt when I went to the mall during the holiday season after coming from our visit to indigenous peoples communities – I stood still for a few seconds at the sight of so many shoppers haha!
Now, how to get to my hotel? This was something I don’t normally do but felt the need to do it. After considering my options – public transportation, taxi, or private car – I took the safest and most expensive way. Justine and Helen were both astounded when I told them this. But, hey, I thought it was necessary and I stand by my decision. See, my backpack was really heavy, I had my laptop with me, and I arrived in Bangkok in the evening. Remembering what Brian, a backpacker I met in Chiang Mai, told me, taking the private car was the most logical option for me. While, I admit, it was a setback in my budget, I do not regret making that choice. I’d rather be safe than sorry.
The transport service I booked measured up to my expectations – equal to the 800 THB I paid for it. After booking, I met the driver just outside the airport and he brought me safely to my hotel for the evening, Nasa Vegas.
This trip’s biggest disappointment: Nasa Vegas Hotel, Bangkok
Looking to have a relaxing stopover in Bangkok? Do not, I repeat, DO NOT book your stay with Nasa Vegas Hotel. It was a good thing that I’ve already created for this trip to be awesome; otherwise, I would’ve spent a lot of energy fuming over how disappointingly disastrous my stay with Nasa Vegas was. And, mind you, I’m quite easy to please, so know that when I say it’s disappointing, it was really disappointing. I will not go into the details as I intend to remember this trip in a beautiful light LOL, but if you want my insights about this, please feel free to message me and I’ll share with you. Also, here’s a link to their reviews on Tripadvisor, if you would like to know what I mean: Review of Nasa Vegas Hotel, Bangkok.
The saving grace of my stay there was that it was where I met up with Helen, the third of our trio. Finally someone I can share my travel stories with while speaking in the vernacular, woot! After doing a few errands, we went for a quick nap to recharge for the next day’s adventure – Ayutthaya, we’re so ready for ya!
Meeting angels along the way: Bangkok’s pedestrians and transport staff, thank you!
After having our breakfast buffet at Nasa Vegas, Helen and I, with our backpacks, headed to Hualamphong Station, where we would meet Justine and which would be our jump off point to our next destination, Ayutthaya!
While I kind of had an idea of how we’re going to get to Hualamphong Station, I still felt the need to ask. For fun and out of necessity. :D And, while not everyone spoke English, I was very grateful that those who could understand and speak the language didn’t hesitate to point us to the right direction. Their smiles, their kindness, their generosity in sharing their time out of their busy lives, gave me warmth and restored my faith in the goodness of people in Bangkok. While I found it ironic that those we encountered in the hospitality industry, the very people who I expected to be trained in welcoming visitors, were cold and unhelpful, I am grateful that we didn’t let that experience taint our view of Bangkok. Later on, I realized that maybe they were just really very tired because of the number of people they had to attend to that day. So, yeah, I choose to remember the people we met on our way to the station as more valuable than that glitch the day prior.
Finding The Red Backpacker: Where art thou, Justine?
Upon arrival at Hualamphong Station, we looked for Justine, who we imagined would’ve arrived there ahead of us. After several minutes of going around, she was nowhere in sight. Where art thou, Justine? :S
Good thing I bought a sim card in Chiang Mai that I didn’t find of use until that time. We inserted it in Helen’s phone and the timing was just great! Justine was already on board the train going to Ayutthaya when Helen messaged her. When I saw an angelic face carrying that signature red backpack, I was relieved! Yay, we’re finally complete!
Doing it the local’s way: Take the train from Bangkok to Ayutthaya
Hualamphong Train Station is a good place to start if you’re planning on going to the provinces of Thailand. If you would like to experience this mode of transportation, I highly recommend that you check this website out: The Man in Seat Sixty-One. This helped me a lot as I was planning this what-resulted-to-an-epic trip.
The train ride from Bangkok to Ayutthaya was a bit bumpy yet peaceful. I also found it that I’m less doubtful now because I’m finally with my loves. While Justine and I have been to numerous trips in the past (Brunei, Indonesia, Palawan, La Union and Baguio, to name a few), this was the first time that we’re going on an out of the country trip together with Helen. As we got on board the train and settled together, I knew then that this trip was going to be a blast. ;)
- Backpacking Thailand: Into the soulful city of Ayutthaya
- Backpacking Thailand: Solo-ing it out in Chiang Mai
- Backpacking Thailand: Stay at D-Well Hostel in Chiang Mai
- How to get to Chiang Mai Thailand
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