Arriving in Bangkok in the early afternoon was nice because I could easily catch a local bus to the main area/downtown (only had to wait at the airport for about 20 minutes), but saved a lot of money doing that instead of the easily catching a Grab. At first the bus wasn’t full but then we stopped again at the end of the airport area and picked up tons of people so it was crowded and I had to take care/keep track of all of my bags in this packed public bus with more and more people boarding. I got off at the stop I thought was closest to my hostel and then after walking 5 minutes I saw the same bus again and could have waited to get off (I had even asked the lady collecting money and she had nodded at me to get off but oh well). It was so disgustingly hot and gross out that I was sweating just walking 5 minutes and my hostel wasn’t easily noticeable from the main street and very difficult to find on Google maps. I realized after asking someone, that I had to go down this alleyway from the main street and there wasn’t even a sign, but by looking the map I had a feeling so I just went for it. I had to stop again at a hotel on the way as I still didn’t see a sign and they told me to keep walking down this one gross alleyway with stray cats and trash..what a mess. I arrived at the hostel which seemed okay and checked into my cabin-like room (it was like a motorhome but one bedroom). The only issue was that it smelt a bit like mold and the bathroom was kinda gross because you had to shower right by the toilet, but it was private and cheap.
I napped for a little because I was so tired and then decided I should get out and explore where I was, which turns out, I was only 2 blocks from the main famous road (Khao San Road) with all the souvenirs bars and restaurants - basically a tourist trap with street vendors for everything from food, clothing, massages, smoothies, insects, etc. It was similar to Pub Street in Siem Reap with tons of people out and about but this was one long road as opposed to a cross-road. I was shocked by the amount of chaos and decided to look for a shirt for the temples the next day since I knew I needed another t-shirt to cover my shoulders. I saw so many vendors with the same shirts and elephant pants so I knew I would need to check out a lot and bargain before actually purchasing one. I went to a few and told them I would be back, one was rude, one was really nice, and the other one serious. I tried to get more money out of the ATM but it was impossible after going to 5 different ones so I started to freak out a little but thankfully I kept walking and went to another ATM where it worked. I found a shirt after trying on a bunch and then decided to get food so I walked around to check out the menus but it was intimidating with them throwing it in your face and tons of tourists just out and about, very distracting. As the sun was setting, I decided to stop browsing and look something up online and found this well-rated pad thai restaurant which was further down and thankfully got to experience another side of the area (after going down this sketchy alleyway, which is normal in this area apparently) and sat down next to this couple that was probably from the states and annoying to listen to but they left and I sat and people watched as I ate my first real pad thai (it was decent). I decided to walk around since I was really full and got a smoothy of this Lychee fruit I hadn’t had before and it was really yummy but definitely didn’t need it order that, and then went back to my hostel but for some reason, after having the large beer, I wanted to party a little. I could hear music a little further down near the hostel I had seen earlier playing beer pong and when I walked past it, there was a guy saying, “Come drink” and I smiled and kept walking and then decided to go back for a beer and ordered one but then no one really talked to me, everyone was in the pool or playing beer pong so I headed back to my hostel where there was this guy sitting outside watching something on his laptop. He wasn't friendly so I just sat there on my phone and finished my beer. So I called it a night finally and showered and went to bed.
I set an alarm pretty late because I didn’t get enough sleep the past few days and it felt nice to be able to sleep in a little. I walked to this cafe that had really good ratings and then was off to explore all the temples. It was another really hot day and there were tons of tourists at the Golden palace, but I decided to fork up the money and still go because I feltl like you’re only in Bangkok once. I’m glad I went, but it was a pain to have to deal with so many people and ask to take pictures all the time and then inside the palace, you had to take your shoes off so I didn’t really like that part (so many germs in one space). Then I walked to the ferry boat to take me to Wat Arun temple that was suggested by the Chilean girl, Paola, and glad I went because that was very beautiful as well. I was tired and hungry so I got a coconut and bargained to get these elephant pants I wanted, and walked towards this lunch spot I had researched called The Family. I’m glad I got there when I did because it was last call before dinner and eventually snagged a table right on the water with cushions. The owner was definitely from America and his Asian wife opened up the restaurant a couple years ago and for some reason it just started to boom. Even though there’s only one cook and it takes forever to get your food, at least 45 minutes, it’s still booming with foreigners. I ordered the papaya salad that I had read about and asked for “a bit” spicy and it was more medium spicy, which I later talked to the owner about because he had mentioned that that was one of the more difficult things is not just the customer service and swarming tourists coming and going, but people ordering too spicy food, because the spiciness in Asia is double or even triple what most people are used to, and I can agree with that because the salad was very spicy, not just a little or "a bit".
The sun was setting and almost reopening time for dinner for the restaurant, so after watching the multiple cats play and beg for food, I walked back to my hostel, which btw I needed to finish eating my coconut I had ordered before lunch. Thankfully one of the street vendors sliced it open for me and I bought some jackfruit (not sure why I bought a whole package of it but wanted to try it). Anyway, I tried to find a place to sit and eat my coconut but there literally wasn’t a bench or table or anything to sit on, not even a sidewalk. I mean, that’s one thing in Asia, there’s really no sidewalks. If there is a sidewalk, people just post-up with their carts or table and tiny chairs to sit and eat on or mopeds drive on them (similar in South America) - I don’t get it. I ended up walking past this one bar that was made out of an old truck (really neat) and the girl working at first gave me a hard time about being seated as she was just then setting up the tables but then her brother working, said it was okay to sit down. I ordered a drink so she would get off my back and tried eating the coconut but the plastic spoon kept breaking so I gave up. I really should’ve asked about the massage place that was close by (I had looked up) before getting a drink because it turns out I had to wait 2 hours for one and the lady would not bargain with me on price, but it ended up being fine. So I walked back to my hostel and organized and went through pictures before my massage. The massage was actually pretty nice, it was much better than the one at the Vietnam airport as I felt very relaxed afterwards, but had decided to go get this pad thai that a friend told me was rated the top in the world. So after that massage, I had to walk through these crazy crowded roads and it was actually pretty far away, like 25 minutes and also through these alleyways that were pretty sketchy as it was nighttime. When I made it, there was a long line, which I thought was for some type of show because the doors leading into this one place looked as if it was a theater but then shortly afterwards realized after waiting in the smaller line next door to the cashier window, that it was for dining-in. I obviously decided to get mine to go and waited about 30 minutes before walking back the longer/safer way to my hostel. I unpacked my meal (that was packed ingredient by ingredient in plastic- ugh) and thought it was pretty delicious as the noodles were sort of wrapped up in an egg (which is different than what I’m used to), but the more delicious thing was the OJ that I had also heard about and it was definitely the best OJ I have ever had..not positively the best pad thai, but close. Then I showered and went to bed as I had to get up a little earlier to catch my flight to Phuket.
In the morning, I went to this other coffee shop I had looked up and it was a little further than I hoped but made it in time to order a strawberry pancake and cappuccino. I was hoping to chat with the hostel receptionist on where I could catch the public bus but she wasn’t there before or after I left for the cafe so I decided to just get a Grab because it was too hot and I wasn’t about to walk 10 minutes with all my bags in this heat and really zero time on my hands. It was nice to eat the jackfruit I had bought and get to the airport with 2 hours to spare. I did some research at this stand-up coffee shop as I charged my phone and then it was time to board before I knew it.