Bangkok - Part 2
By our 4th day in Bangkok, we were pretty ready to leave the Silom area. Bangkok is a crazy ass city, which can't really be described to people who haven't seen it for themselves. Never will you be more stressed about crossing a road. Sure, there are green men on some crossings, but it's not like that means anything to the drivers. Also, the motorbikes are just EVERYWHERE. Silom is an area right in the middle of all the action, in amongst the skyscrapers and jam packed with people. A day roaming the streets of Bangkok wears you out 10x more than expected, mainly because of how hard you're concentrating (e.g. trying to make it to the other side of the road alive), but also how hard your senses are working. There are so many crazy sights and sounds happening around you, buskers with karaoke machines and Tuk Tuk drivers constantly trying to win your attention, even after you turn them down they won't leave you alone, my main tip would be not telling them where you're going even after they ask multiple times. Definitely don't tell them you're getting a Uber. Your nose is being bombarded with traffic fumes and sewerage, but also all the street food that surrounds you. Staying in the middle of the city had us worn out.
So on day 4 we moved to a hostel close to Khao San Road, the road of backpackers, basically bars bars bars. The first day we walked down it there was a man passed out on the side of the street, it was the middle of the afternoon and he had writing and phallic drawings all over any showing skin, suggesting he had been there all night.
Our main outing today was The Grand Palace. Probably the most famous and therefore crowded landmark in the city. Honestly, it was pretty hard walking around this place due to how packed it was. To make matters worst, once we got there everyone was forced to stop walking and wait in a fenced off area for around 10 minutes. This was cramped and unbelievably hot, adding to the frustration of not having a clue what's going on. Women have to cover their legs and shoulders when visiting temples so I was wearing long trousers -.- not ok in this heat and crowd. We were kept there until a number of cars with blacked out windows drove past with trumpets playing for them, as soon as they past we were allowed to start moving again. Still not sure if there were important people in the car or not, but by this point I was grumpy and didn't want to wait any longer to be asking questions.
Before seeing the Palace itself, you walk around an area of temples, including the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. Unfortunately for us we came on Coronation Day, meaning there was a ceremony taking place in the temple that afternoon and we were unable to go in. However, the ones we did see were extremely beautiful and all decorated so differently and delicately. Some with bold gold all over, some pastel colours, some with animal statues or half human half chicken statues. The doorway also has two huge guard statues on either side to protect the temples, the style really is unlike anything you would see at home.
The Palace itself is a long white building full of windows. The red roof, decorated with gold spires and pictures. There are surrounding trees, with their leaves shaved to create perfect circles and green marble elephants at the start of both staircases, next to where the guards stand. It's a beautiful sight to see and I would definitely recommend it to any visitors.
Our ticket allowed us entrance into another area of interest (I think gardens? I can't remember), but in the heat we were ready to head back.
That night we ventured out to find a restaurant called Thip Samai, known to serve the best pad thai in Bangkok. Once we arrived there the queue stretched out of the door and down the street, which made us really excited. If locals are willing to queue this much then you know it must be good. Traditional pad thai is served wrapped in scrambled egg, this truly is a skill for a chef to have and it is usually done extremely delicately. As you queue, you stand by the area where the pad thai is cooked. One chef's sole job was to wrap egg round pad thai cooked by somebody else and then placed in his pan, it took him about 3 seconds, crazy crazy fast.
When we sat down and our food came we were so ready, it looked amazing. Breaking open the thin scrambled egg shell, you were met with orange noodles which smelt and tasted better than any other noodles I've had here, I don't know why they were orange or what spices they used to make it that way but man I wish I did. With a sprinkle of some peanuts and a squeeze of lime *kisses finger tips* MWAH. Best Pad Thai ever for about 150 baht (£3.50) each, seriously go there.
Man, I write too much. I still have 2 more days to fit into this Bangkok series. I guess there will have to be a Part 3 coming up soon ;)