Oct 11-13, 2022
3 Nights in Bangkok
Location : Nana Station area, Bangkok, Thailand
Train Ride to Bangkok
The flight from Chiang Mai to Bangkok was cheap - about $20. But adding the luggage cost would double it. It became cheaper to take the train. I took the modern #10 train, 2nd class, sleeper, a/c, upper berth for ~Baht 1000 thru its direct online booking (booking through 3rd parties can add 50% surcharge!). After 13 hours, I was in Bangkok by 7am. Using the vastly improved Google Map, I walked to the right bus station and took the right bus, got off at the right stop and walked to my hostel - CheqInn Hostel. Google made its mapping system, idiot-proof! Google Maps felt like having a personalized travel tour guide.
CheqInn Hostel was the 2nd cheapest hostel I found on Agoda but centrally located near the Nana Train station - B20 more for that convenience. I was on a bunk bed in a dorm room with about 6 people. It was cramped and a/c was shut down at specific times of the day. The infrastructure was old and partially in disrepair, but kept clean by the staff. The Burmese concierge, name Rebel, was particularly helpful in giving tips on where to go. For the money, the hostel was good value.
Nana has a BTS station, aptly named, Nana Station. As such, it was a hub for many activities but it really comes alive at night with all the bars lined-up on the street. It was the bar row of Bangkok, from what I've seen - from sleazy to upscale, with girls of all kinds, but a lot of them were old with sagging body parts. It was sad to be in that area despite the bright lights. I was reminded again that I lived in a bubble the whole time I was in Chiang Mai.
Burmese Mohinga Soup at Phra Khanong Market
I didn't have any plan for Bangkok and I was just winging the day. Since Rebel was Burmese, I told him about my sumptuous morning soup experience on the streets of Yangon. He said I probably had the Mohinga Soup, a hot and sour catfish soup. He added that I could go to .Phra Khanong Market, go to the Burmese section of the market and order the soup there. That was all I needed to hear. I was already off by bus to the market. After asking around where the Burmese area was, I finally came upon a Burmese eating place. The Mohinga Soup was nowhere as good as the streets of Yangon - understandably.
Benchakitti Forest Park
In Bangkok, Lumphini Park is the popular one and it was close to my hostel. But upon looking at Google Maps, I saw a slightly bigger park that was even closer to me. But I've never heard of Benchakitti Forest Park before - maybe because it's hard to pronounce the name. I walked its length and was pleasantly surprised. With its big pond and high-rise buildings off its edge, it reminded me of the water area by Marina Bay Sands in Singapore.
Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre
As I exited the south end of the park, I came upon the Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre - I didn't even know there was such a thing. The building was imposing and inviting. It looked empty but I still wandered inside. There was actually a book fair going on. Mostly young people showed up and the most popular genre seems to be Japanese Manga. Being inside the a/c building was a good reprieve from the scorching heat outside.
Since I was just whiling away my time for Blues music that evening, I decided to check out Chinatown. I'd been there before, but there's always something to discover with every visit. I was still getting used to the more expensive price of Bangkok, which was about 50% more than Chiang Mai, street food included.
Baan Chao Phraya Art Gallery
From Chinatown, I took the river boat along the Chao Phraya River and got off at the Phra Athit boat station, the one closest to my blues bar, Adhere The 13th Blue Bar. As I was walking around, I stumbled upon this pleasant gem - Baan Chao Phraya Art Gallery. I cropped the pictures to present the art not as a painting on a wall but an immersive reality.
Adhere 13th Blues Bar
After killing time the entire day, it was finally 8pm and live music starts playing at my fav Bangkok Blues bar, the Adhere 13th Blues Bar. The first act however, was a hippie-looking guy playing, "Fly me to the Moon". I lost interest fast and I was out before he finished his set. I'll just have to enjoy my Blues from Youtube.
Not sure how many times I'd been to Bangkok, but this one is a little better than the last time when Covid was at its peak and the city was empty, lifeless and expensive. Well, it's still expensive now. By staying a few days here, I'm able to relax my racing mind and smoothen my transition to whatever awaits me.
Next step, board my plane to Cebu, Philippines.
--- Gigit (TheLoneRider)
YOGA by Gigit | Learn English | Travel like a Nomad | Donation Bank
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Bangkok Blogs by TheLoneRider
- Bangkok in Pictures Mar 17-21, 2021
- Bangkok for Passport Renewal Mar 17-21, 2021
- Bangkok with $19 Dec 8-11, 2018
- 30 Days - Goodbye Bangkok Nov 8, 2018
- Revolving Peoplescape of Bangkok Oct 8 - Nov 8, 2018
- Food and Friendship at Dalad Vietnamese Oct 8 - Nov 8, 2018
- Movie Review: First Reformed (2017) Nov 6, 2018
- Doing Online Work at The Work Loft Nov 5, 2018
- Window Seat [His Precious] Nov 1, 2018
- Surreal Odyssey at Bangkok Float Center Oct 29/31, 2018
- Bangkok Halloween with Rinna and Steve Oct 27, 2018
- Push-Ups Oct 22/24, 2018
- Pad Thai at Thip Samai, Bangkok Oct 16, 2018
- Birthday Walkabout Oct 16, 2018
- Coming to Terms with Donations Oct 14, 2018
- Feelin' Da Blues at Adhere the 13th Blues Bar Oct 12, 2018
- Visiting the Grand Palace of Thailand Oct 12, 2018
- A Web Mandate in Bangkok Oct 8, 2018
- 29 Days in Bangkok: Thank You and Goodbye Aug 27 - Sep 24, 2018
- Calling the Bangkok Police Sep 23, 2018
- Movie Review: Mindfulness and Murder (2011) Sep 22, 2018
- Yoga Inversions at Now's Fitness Gym Sep 19, 2018
- Flow Yoga with Teacher Kea at Now's Fitness Sep 18, 2018
- Movie Review: Under Construction (2015) Sep 15, 2018
- Walking Tour of Little India Sep 15, 2018
- Vinyasa Yoga with Teacher That at Now's Fitness Sep 14, 2018
- Abs Workout with Teacher San at Now's Fitness Sep 13, 2018
- Vinyasa Yoga with Teacher That at Now's Fitness Sep 14, 2018
- Abs Workout with Teacher San at Now's Fitness Sep 13, 2018
- Exercise Ball Workout with Teacher Bie at Now's Fitness Sep 11, 2018
- Exploring the Amphawa Floating Market Sep 9, 2018
- Exploring the Tree-Engulfed Wat Bang Kung Temple Sep 9, 2018
- Parting of the Maeklong Railway Market with a Passing Train Sep 9, 2018
- Exploring Damnoen Saduak Floating Market Sep 9, 2018
- Horse Racing at the The Royal Bangkok Sports Club Sep 8, 2018
- Fight Class with Teacher San at Now's Fitness Sep 7, 2018
- Exploring the Bangkok Art Book Fair 2018 Sep 6, 2018
- Circuit Training with Mild at Now's Fitness Sep 5, 2018
- Gentle Flow Yoga with Nuch at Now's Fitness, Bangkok Sep 4, 2018
- A Yogi Lost in a Modern Gym - Now's Fitness Sep 3, 2018
- Abundance at On Nut, Bangkok Aug 30-Sep 1, 2018
- Outside Looking In Aug 29, 2018
- Back in Bangkok After 5 Weeks Aug 27, 2018
- 15 Days in Bangkok July 10-24, 2018
- Peoplescape: Bangkok July 10-24, 2018
- Hatha and Yantra Yoga Fusion July 10-24, 2018
- Revisiting Terminal 21 Mall, Bangkok July 23, 2018
- Rope Skipping, 4mins Full-on July 22, 2018
- Sunday Visit to Chatuchak Weekend Market July 17, 2018
- Fork on the Road: Abundance or Poverty by Choice? July 16, 2018
- Loving Bangkok All Over Again Feb 22-26, 2016
- Hotel Review: Adventure Hostel Bangkok July 11, 2018
- Hotel Review: Riva Surya Bangkok Oct 20, 2014
- Exploring the Shopping Malls of Bangkok Oct 6-20, 2014
- Bangkok's Street Food Delight Oct 6-20, 2014
- Bangkok Revisited 3 Oct 6-20, 2014
- A First Timer in Bangkok December 31, 2005 - January 3, 2006
Bangkok Cost Index
as of Sep 4, 2018: US$1 = Baht 32 = Php 53
- Bht 60 sm, 90 big one mug draft beer
- Bht 13 1.5 liter drinking water
- Bht 220 one hour massage
- Bht 60-80 muesli breakfast
- Bht 60-80 tom yum soup in modest eatery
- Bht 25-30 coffee
- Bht 30-50 pad thai
- Bht 350 Adventure Hostel lodging
- Bht 20-30/load laundry, coin operated machine
- Bht 7 bus ride
Transport Maps of Bangkok
- Chao Phraya Express, MRT, BTS, Khlong boats, Airport Link
- Bus Routes: 1-14
- Bus Routes: 15-30
- Bus Routes: 32-49
- Bus Routes: 50-70
- Bus Routes: 71-88
- Bus Routes: 501-516
- individual bus routes
Bangkok to Chiang Mai by Train from Bang Sue Train Station
For more train info: Bangkok to Chiang Mai trains - departing from Hua Lamphong - MRT (Bangkok)
(I'm using Bang Sue as a starting point because I was closer to it, but you may be closer to the Hua Lamphong station)
- take the MRT train to Bang Sue Station. Take the #1 Exit to the north provincial trains
- Proceed to Counter 2. You will see an information booth, a train schedule chart and the ticket counter. Choose the train and pay at the ticket counter.
- daily train schedule:
- 8:48am - #7 Train, arrive Chiang Mai 7:30pm, not sleeper, B638
- 2:06pm - #109 Train, arrive Chiang Mai 4:05am, sleeper
- 6:31pm - #9 Premium Train, arrive Chiang Mai 7:15am, sleeper, B938 upper deck, B1038 lower deck
- 7:56pm - #13 Train, arrive Chiang Mai 8:40am, sleeper, B768 upper deck, B838 lower deck
- 10:22pm - #51 Train, arrive Chiang Mai 12:10pm, sleeper, 3rd class B270 (non sleeper), 2nd class B438, B728 upper deck, B798 lower deck
Travel Tips for Thailand
How to Get a 60-Day Thai Tourist Visa and then Extend by another 30 Days
This process is BEFORE Covid 19. Not sure what it is now.
- Bring the following to the Thai embassy:
a) proof of money (bank statement will suffice)
b) flight booking to Thailand
c) onward flight back to your country from Thailand
d) filled-in tourist visa form
e) 2 passport pictures
f) hotel booking in Thailand (they didn't ask me for this but better be safe)
g) passport with at least 6 months validity
- After handing over all the documents, they will ask you to come pick your passport with the visa the following day from 4 to 5pm. That's it!
- NOTE: after 2 successful attempts, I was already questioned the 3rd time.
60-Day Thai Tourist Visa
NOTE: There is no need to go back to your country to get the Thai tourist visa. Any major city with a Thai Embassy will do. Apparently there is also no need to have an invitation from a Thai establishment to justify the visa.
- bring the following to the Immigration Office:
a) passport (make sure your Tourist Visa hasn't expired yet)
b) Baht 1900
c) photocopy of your passport + visa duration date stamp + TM6 card (white immigration card) and sign all the copies
d) completed TM7 visa extension form (available at the Immigration Office)
e) one 4cmx6cm passport picture
- submit the above to the Front Desk. They will give you a stub with your number on it. Take a seat and wait for your number to be called
- when your number is called, your picture will be taken. Then go back to your seat. They will call you again.
- when they call you again, they'll give you your passport with your extended visa. That's it!
- when there are no lines, the whole process can take only 10 minutes
NOTE: When your 60-day visa is close to expiry and you want to extend your stay. No need to leave Thailand.
Book Train Tickets in Thailand
Book Train Tickets in Thailand Online by Train36.com
General Travel Tips
- avoiding scams - as a general rule, I ignore the touts or anyone I don't know who call out to me. The calling comes in many forms - "Hi! Where are you from?", "Excuse me! Excuse me!", "Where are you going?". I don't look them in the eye and I remain non-verbal with them. If you reply to them, you just gave them an 'in' to hound you. In order not to look rude, I smile and wave the 'not interested' hand to them, without looking at them.
- power bank - hand-carry your power bank. Do not check it in. You can be called in when you are already inside the plane to go all the way to the loading dock so you can personally remove the power bank...and chances are, you'll have to surrender it to them. And you might delay the plane departure!
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