We stayed in Bangkok for 4 days and we had the most unusual arrival of all, on board a sleeper train! First time on it and may not be the last! Unusual only because we’ve never been on a sleeper train before this but we were all so excited. It was our first time in the city. Although we didn’t get to sleep like babies on the train, we had this energy to counter the urge to just fall into bed from exhaustion.
From Penang we rode a ferry to Butterworth to catch our KTM train to Padang Besar. It took us around two hours to reach Padang Besar where there is a platform that connects Malaysian and Thai services. This is where you change trains and go through customs and immigration process before crossing the border and getting on another train that would take you to Hualampong Train Station in Bangkok.
The border crossing is open from 6am to 10pm.
On board our sleeper train…
Smelly (no shower yet as last bath was before boarding the train 22 hours ago).
Hungry (no breakfast and it was already lunch when we arrived)
No baht (all we had were ringgits from Penang).
What a way to arrive in Bangkok! But that didn’t dampen our spirits. We were in a new city after all and the best we could do was enjoy it.
First impression? Too crowded. Too polluted. Horrendous traffic. Too hot and humid. Noisy. At this point, we were thinking we haven’t really left Manila. But we loved it. I personally love the chaos. Although Bangkok was a big challenge for us, the city being fast-paced and busy and not many people speak or understand English, we embraced the whole situation fully. That’s the only way you can get to know a city. Just embrace it.
Our AirBnB Accommodation
Our host gave clear instructions on how to get to Qube Suites at Phra Khanong and we actually found it without any difficulty. I informed her beforehand that we’d be coming from the train station. You can use my code here to get a discount. If you ever plan to visit Bangkok, I highly recommend Pimpam’s condo. It was a bit far from the city center (around 9 stops) but thanks to Bangkok’s train system, it really wasn’t that hard to reach it. In Bangkok, as long as you’re near BTS (Bangkok Mass Transit System), you’re good. You can go anywhere and it’s easy to navigate the city.
Day 1 was generally uneventful. After dropping off our luggage at the condo, we went to Siam Paragon to have late lunch. It was already 2pm and the food court was still packed. There were so many choices but we chose the most authentic Thai dishes we could find.
What we had for lunch. Not the most authentic Thai dishes but we were hungry and we needed something to eat fast.
After lunch, we did a bit of grocery shopping. We bought coffee, eggs, some chips, water, and bread for breakfast the next day. We wanted to be early for our temple hopping day so a proper breakfast in a cafe or retaurant was out of the equation.
And oh, we also bought bugs in the grocery. A Bangkok vacation isn’t complete if you’ve not eaten bugs!
And we also made a friend over lunch. He accompanied us to the grocery and showed us where to exchange our dollars. Thanks, Paul! You’re the best.
Not fond of DIY tours? You can join one of these tours, and don’t forget to compare hotels, vacation rentals, rooms, or even homes for your trip before you go. And never leave home without Travel Insurance!