Our final day in Bangkok, we hit up the Grand Palace, spectacular… So colorful and amazing. And we had to wear pants and closed toed shoes. When you get off the ferry and walk towards the temple, there are dozens of tuktuk drivers that claim that the Grand Palace is closed. If you believe them, then they will offer to take you on a big tour of Bangkok instead. So, don’t believe them. It’s open.
After the Grand Palace, we toured Khao San road for a bit, which, according to another world-traveler, Dana, is the epicenter of the Asian backpacker world. Well, it sure was backpacker-y, filled with tons of young travelers all looking to get their hair braided, buy redbull tshirts or find a hostel to crash at for awhile.
A really weird thing that we saw all over Bangkok — abandoned half finished buildings. I never really gave it much thought that you hardly ever see back here.. Paul mentioned that here in the States you have to secure a bond that would basically guarantee that the project won’t run out of money, but I guess that is obviously not the case in Thailand. Hmm.. apparently that building is the “Sathorn Unique,” whose development halted in 1997 after the Asian financial crisis… Yikes.
Anyway, after a full day in Bangkok, we boarded the overnight train headed for Surat Thani, on the southern peninsula of Thailand.
Our accommodations aboard the train were decently nice. We got “first class” tickets which meant that we had an actual cabin, as opposed to just having a berth in the main cabin. I mean, it wasn’t super swank or anything — little cockroaches occasionally were seen scurrying around, it was fun. We had two adjoining cabins that we could open up into each other, and a friendly steward named Aud that kept bringing us buckets of Singha.
Thailand Tip #4: Singha makes the train ride fun.