Bangkok

Accommodation: I stayed at Thrive The Hostel for my first night in Bangkok, using Hotels.com portal to pre-book (and pre-pay) a bed in a 4-bed air-conditioned mixed dormitory at a cost of S$7.82 (~196 baht). The hostel is well-located within walking distance to Sam Yan / Si Lom MRT stations and Sala Daeng BTS station, although I ended up using the city buses as my main mode of transport for this trip. Check-in was smooth as my arrival was already expected, the dormitory room I was assigned to was clean enough, and the bed was surprisingly comfortable. Each bed also has two power sockets and a bed light, there is free usable wifi throughout the hostel, and there are large lockers available for use outside the room (bring your own lock). However, the shared bathrooms (with hot water) were below expectations, as many of the sliding door locks were spoilt, and some of the toilets could not be flushed. My second night in Bangkok was spent at Don Mueang Airport due to an early flight back to Singapore.

Sights: I was able to cover Bangkok’s “biggest attractions” in one day, namely What Phra Kaew & Grand Palace (500 baht), Wat Pho (100 baht), Wat Arun (50 baht), and Wat Traimit (40 baht). Interestingly, the number of tourists visiting each of the four places is directly proportional to the cost of the entrance ticket. I would have liked Wat Arun best if it had not been partly under restoration.

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Transport: To get to the hostel from Mo Chit Bus Terminal, I took Bus 77 and got off at Th Silom (I was puzzled that no one collected any money from me on this bus, and I found out later from hostel staff that this does happen from time to time). To get to the Grand Palace from the hostel, I took Bus 47 (non air-con) and was charged 6.25 baht. To get to Wat Arun, I took the ferry at Tha Tien pier near the Wat Pho entrance for 3 baht each way. To get to Wat Traimit from the Grand Palace, I took Bus 1 (non-air-con) and was charged 8 baht. To get to Don Muang airport, I took the 10.25pm train (last one for the day) from Hua Lamphong Train Station at a cost of 20 baht. To get to Singapore from Bangkok, I flew AirAsia at a cost of S$68.38.

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