Day 5 was pretty much a repeat of Day 4. Our plans to go to Khao San didn’t exactly materialize.
We both slept in and missed breakfast at the hotel. I wanted us to go swimming in the morning, and M promised me we would, but the morning person he is NOT crapped on our plans and broke his promise, and he firmly said he doesn’t want to wake up and doesn’t want to swim. Yes, I sometimes hate him.
As if on cruise-control, we went back to Siam. By now we had discovered Laem Cha-Roen, so we went straight there for lunch. We had a round of raw mango salad, vegetable-fried rice, garlic-fried squid (pure bliss), and a prawn stir-fry which were washed down with fresh coconut water. In all honesty, I went there for the crab omelette, but changed my mind when I saw the menu. One of the biggest regrets of my life are not getting to try the whole menu, the way I’ve tried Din Tai Fung‘s over time.
As we aimlessly strolled through the mall, mapping out every inch of it, I saw an Aveda. Note: prices at Aveda in Bangkok are SO much cheaper than Dubai, so I decided to get a haircut because why the heck not? Said haircut only cost me around AED 175. Steal? Yes. While I got my haircut, M decided to check out electronics’ stores. I enjoy crockery stores. M enjoys electronics stores.
Once again, we went back to Food Republic, this time we ordered two Thai Milk Teas (known as Cha Yen in Thai) from Sweetscoop, and sat down to read the books we had purchased from Kinokuniya the previous day.
Thoroughly sick and tired and bored of the Siams by now, we decided to head back to the hotel to empty our backpacks, freshen up and go explore a different part of town. We still hadn’t seen Silom, for instance, for the Riverside at night. I also hadn’t seen the oodles of backpackers I was expecting to see in Bangkok, and Google suggested we check out a certain Khao San road. Khao San Road was famously describes as “the center of the backpacking universe” in The Beach by Alex Garland.
Image Source: Google.
We went to Phong Phrom station, and the ticketing guy told us to go to Phaya Thai BTS station in order to get to Khao San road, and to then take a cab to Khao San road which was just “5 minutes away from there”. When we got to the station, we found ourselves right outside….MBK Center.
As soon as we climbed down the stairs to look for a cab, we found ourselves at the Annual Durian Festival (which also had other fruits)! The all-you-can-eat “festival” was more like two small lanes of pop-up tables, and 4-5 rows of folding seats, seating (mostly) elderly locals, and that to me is exactly the kind of place I want to be at in a foreign land. Not at a tourist-trap, guided-tour of a temple, but right there, in front of a folding-table, sampling exotic fruits with elderly locals. I was the only one there with a backpack and Go-Pro, but got no weird stares. We fit right in.
I’m not a big fan of durian, but M LOVES it. During this entire trip, he ate SO much durian, without ever having to buy any. He just got away with sampling it everywhere he went. In his defense, he wasn’t being cheap, he just couldn’t eat an entire durian at any given time, and could only handle a few bites at a time. There were other fruits too. We also tried this unusual fruit (I can’t remember it’s name, CRAI), and it’s texture was very meaty. Almost looked like a chicken breast. It was marinated in soy sauce, fish sauce, shredded coconut and other spices. It was extremely unusual and made me very happy.
By now it was already 10pm, and when we asked the cab how far Khao San road is, he said it’s 30 minutes by car. We weren’t really sure if we wanted to venture out there, especially at this hour because we were worried we might not be able to find a cab back. Yes, I know, M and I are scaredy old cats. M was also worried we’ll get our pockets picked or have drugs slipped into our pockets because Khao San is Backpackers’ Central. If my sister heard us, she would call us bourgies (which is what the kids say instead of bourgeois these days). We some mango and sticky rice to go, we went back to the hotel.
What we could have done instead: We could have actually gone to Khao San Road, or to a night market. The options were Rod Fai Ratchada night market, JJ Green Night Market, Asiatique, Rot Fai Srinakarin, and the Patpong Night Market. Details on these can be found here.
To read about how we spent our first day in Bangkok, click here