Bangkok Thailand Adventure
When arriving in Thailand the customs process is extremely slow, it took 40 minutes to get through customs then I still had to claim my bags, which the wait was, and additional 20 minute then you head to immigration.
Taxi – After landing, I went to the Taxi Kiosk, big mistake it cost me $850 Baht, granted it was more of a sedan service the airport provided. Best bet is to look for a Blue bird Taxi this should run about $400 Baht. Depending on traffic, the ride from the airport will be 1 Hour – 90 min. It’s a decent ride and you get to see a lot of how local’s live.
The Gas is between $18-23 per liter.
Motor bikes & Tuk Tuk’s (Three Wheel cycle carts) weave in and out of traffic, traffic laws and rules seem to be suggestions.
River Boats– You can take one of the riverboats up and down Chao-Phraya River; if you take the orange-flagged boat it is only 14 Baht, if you take the blue “tourist boat” its 40 Baht, both boats stop at all the same stops along the river. The boat is standing room only most of the time and it can get very crowded.
The Chao-Phraya River is busy; you see tour boats and Tug Boats driving up and down the river all day long.
Staff is Friendly Room is clean the single rooms are extremely small width is the size of a twin bed and length is twin bed plus three feet. They have a large lock area in the room roomy enough for three sea bags, duffle bags or large backpacks; you have to supply your own lock. The rooms are under the stairs so you tend to hear people going up and down; still it is private. The private room included a towel, which separately you would have to pay $20 Baht. The room also had it’s own AC unit which can get very cold. The bathrooms are also on the first floor there are separate rooms for men and woman. The toilets and shower areas are separate. The bathroom is clean but the shower area has a draining issue, so always ware your shower shoes. The showers does not get hot barely Luke warm. There is one washer and one dryer and its $60 Baht total which is $1.75 to do a load of laundry, ask front desk about laundry soap.
This Hostel is located next to a 24-hour market, which if you are on the first floor sometimes can be noisy.
Starbucks and KFC are right across the street as well as an Asian restaurant. Starbucks information No bagels, no hot tea they did have a cold lemon tea which was delicious.
Booked a tour for 950 Baht
The Tour included the Maeklong Railway Market and the Amphawa Floating market
The tour company was supposed to be picked me up at 11am, which then turned in to 12:30 than at that time I was meant by a tour agent and taken to another part of the city to wait for a van.
We started our day at the Maeklong Railway Market
Maeklong Railway MarketThis market has everything that we’ve come to know and love in Thai markets. Its stalls have displays of fruits, veggies, meats, seafood, as well as sweet snacks, clothing, and flowers.The major difference being that there are train tracks running straight down its middle!
A charming little warning bell goes off over the speaker system just a few minutes before the train comes. Within a few minutes of receiving the warning, vendors pull back their specially designed awnings before the train comes, sometimes only moments before. That’s why the market is locally known as the Talat Rom Hoop (ตลาดร่มหุบ) which translates into “Market Umbrella Close.”
Then we went to the Amphawa Floating Market where we spent the rest of the day and night.
The image I had of a floating market in Thailand is seeing boats selling products on the river not venders selling out of their there are stalls on the side of the river. You can get a boat rider for about 150 Baht, nothing very special to see. Venders selling food, drink, and trinkets, we can see that anywhere. Our tour spent three hours here and we could of spent 90 minutes and been done. The night boat ride was decent if you want to take pictures at night have a good camera. The boat driver does not stop so the filming and pictures are shaky. The ride was about 90 minutes each way from Bangkok.
Warning: They do have toilets at the entrance but they are holes in the floor type toilets; and you have to get a bucket of water and dump it down the toilet and there was no toilet paper.
****The above tour is worth missing.
Dress code: Visitors are required to dress appropriately. These following clothes are strictly not allowed as outer garments for both ladies and gentlemen:The Palace provides an area where you can get free clothes to borrow to enter the Palace Grounds.
1. Shorts, mini-skirts, short skirts, tight fitting trousers, and tights
2. See-through shirts and blouses, as well as culottes or quarter length trousers
3. Sleeveless shirts or vests
4. Sandals (without ankle or heel straps)
5. Rolled-up-sleeved shirts
6. Sweatshirts and sweatpants, wind-cheaters, pajamas and fisherman trousers
The next thing is getting through the security line. Your bags will be searched, and they want to see your camera lenses. You are not allowed to use tripods or long lenses on the property, 35mm or wide-angle lenses are fine.
All bags are screened at the security station; you have to show your camera and lenses.
Entrance fee: 500 Baht, inclusive of access to Wat Phra Kaeo, The Royal Thai Decorations & Coins Pavilion and Queen Sirikit Museum of Textile, which are located within the Grand Palace compound, and to Vimanmek Mansion Museum on Ratchawithi Road. Additional 100 Baht for a rental personal audio guide in English, French, German, Spanish, Russian, Japanese or Mandarin. There is a small shop for soda, water and ice cream just after you exit.
To explore the Grand palace takes about 90 min.
At the information center, you can get a map free in multiple languages. You can also get a cold wet towel, best 30 Baht; it will keep you cool there are not seats and no real shade.
The construction of the Grand Palace began in 1782 during the reign of King Rama I, the founder of Chakri Dynasty, to become a royal residence, and it has been the utmost architectural symbol of Thailand ever since. The Grand Palace served as a significant royal residence until 1925 and is now used for ceremonial purposes only.
The Grand Palace is divided into three main zones: The Outer Court, home to royal offices, public buildings and the Temple of Emerald Buddha; the Middle Court, which is where the most important residential and state buildings are; and the Inner Court, which is exclusively reserved for the king, his queen and his consorts.
The major attraction of the Outer Court is the Temple of Emerald Buddha, the residence of Thailand’s most sacred Buddhist sculpture: Phra Kaeo Morakot (the Emerald Buddha), which was carved from flawless green jade, situated amid gold-gilded sculptures and ornaments, and fresco paintings of the main ordination hall.
Situated at the center of the Middle Court is Chakri Mahaprasat Throne Hall which was ordered by King Rama V to become his residence and a major throne hall. The construction began in 1876 and completed in 1882, revealing an outstanding architectural-style combining European structure and traditional Thai roof tiles and spires. The interior sees sophisticated decorations inspired by European renaissance era, adorned with royal portraits of Chakri Dynasty’s monarchs. The building now only serves state functions and royal ceremonies.
At the far right of the Middle Court is Borom Phiman Mansion, which was also constructed during the reign of King Rama V in neo-renaissance style to become the residence of the crown prince. This most modern architecture within the Grand Palace compound later became the occasional residence of three succeeding kings. The mansion is not open to public and currently served as the official accommodation for visiting heads of state. Borom Phiman Mansion is part of Sivalai Garden complex, where the office of the Royal Household Bureau is. The garden was a recreation area for the royal women and children and is now used for receptions.
Sat between Sivalai Garden and Chakri Mahaprasat Throne Hall is Maha Monthien Prasat complex, home to the Audience Hall of Amarin Winitchai where royal ceremonies usually take place. While on the far left is Dusit Mahaprasat Thone Hall, which is an ideal archetype of traditional Thai architecture.
Getting there: One of the easiest, and most pleasurable, ways is taking the BTS skytrain to Saphan Taksin station, located atop Sathorn “Central” Pier. From here, take a Chao Phraya River Express boat to Chang Pier, and then it’s a short walk to the Grand Palace’s main entrance.
Opening hours: Open daily from 8:30am to 3:30pm except during special royal ceremonies.
The Grand Palace was truly Beautiful and well worth a visit.