Bangkok- Khao San Rd

Morning all! I'm writing this from my lovely little guesthouse room in Chiang Mai, which we had to book last night b/c originally we had planned to take the overnight train, but by the time we went to book it, it was full (except seats w/fan-only, which, no thank you!), so, instead we grabbed one of the last flights out of BKK up here (total with bag fee & airport transfer- less than $100! Gotta love AirAsia!). So now we've got bait more extra time here, so I'll try to get a post done about our 2-ish days in Bangkok.

The last time I visited "The city of life", I was visiting a friend living the expat life, so I had a car & driver at my disposal, lived in the fancy neighborhood, and really didn't see the touristy stuff all that much. So, when I was feeling nervous about arriving in this teeming city w/out a hotel already booked, before leaving SF we just grabbed a brand name hotel in one of the 'hoods that I remembered- Siam. It actually turned out to be fine, but way more expensive than we had thought, and not really located where we wanted to be (which became a bit more obvious after a so-so lunch. I had what turned put to be chicken knuckles w/lemongrass, basically. I am no Bourdain.).

So, we immediately dropped our bags & went to the famed Khao San road, where all the other backpackers go. Now, I had specifically avoided this area before, with horrible images in my head of hippies galore, thumping music at all hours, and seedy hostels & people selling drugs all over the place (thanks to the movie "The Beach"). Well, there may be hippies around, but otherwise, what a pleasant surprise!! It's basically a cute little area with touristy stalls selling clothes, nick-knacks, food- so much fresh fruit! - actual restaurants/bars under leafy patios, and many, many spas offering cheap massages. Seriously, the foot massage I got that first day was about the most heavenly 30 minutes and certainly the best $4 I've spent in a while. So much so that I did it again the 2nd day. We quickly fell in love with one of the guesthouse's featuring a fab patio that seemed nice, quiet, well-located, and best of all: cheap! My room was about $27/ night. So dumb not to have just gone there straight after our flight to find rooms, but oh well. So, after a quick cab & night at Siam, we crabbed back over, stored our bags, and then walked over to one of the water taxi piers, all of 5 minutes away.

We then had a lovely morning on & off the river, exploring the markets south of Wat Po, and of course seeing the Reclining Buddha. There apparently was some celebration for the king going on over at the Grand Palace (hence all the marigold lanyards in the flower market), but it was getting hot & about time for us to head home to check-in, have lunch & siesta, so we didn't go check it out.

Tomorrow/soon I'll get to our trip out to the floating market, but now it's time to start exploring Chiang Mai!