One, or rather three nights in Bangkok, and the world is your oyster!

Well, as I wrote in the last post, there’s more to the Bangkok trip than just the meeting with all the different companies that offer internship possibilities. The meeting with all the sponsors was the kick-off to the rest of the night which took the majority of the class to different places around Bangkok. One group went to Khao San Road which is the backpacker capital of Thailand and offers really cheap beer and party. Another group went out with a few of the sponsors and actually ended up club hopping until the wee hours of the morning.

The view from our hotel, The Rembrandt on Sukhumvit Soi 18
The next morning when it was time for the breakfast at the Rembrandt hotel there were more than a couple of people who were really hungover, so a really nice hotel buffet breakfast was much appreciated. After having re-stocked the bodies’ supplies of energy, salts and fluids it was off to do some shopping. A big group of people went to one of the more interesting shopping malls in Bangkok, namely the insanely big and maze like MBK. 7 floors so big you can’t see from one end to the other that are bursting with fake goods and souvenirs of all different types at prices that need serious bargaining. Despite the astronomically high asking prices the final price that you actually pay(if bargained correctly) is usually surprisingly low. I bought a bunch of t-shirts at 150 bht each which is equivalent to roughly 30 SEK or USD 5 for the international readers. A pair of Dickies shorts were also bought at the very reasonable price of 50 SEK(USD 8).
A night in Bangkok just doesn’t feel complete without a beer or three so for night two the brave bunch of the class went out for a couple of beers. A much more chilled night than the first night at a much slower pace, seeing how everyone was quite worn out from the night before. During one of the rides in a taxi we had gone past a street that looked like a really nice bar street with lots of neon lights. The neon lights and proximity to where we were staying made it an obvious choice. Little did I know that I was taking everyone to Soi Cowboy, one of the more infamous red-light districts of Bangkok. We rather soon discovered that we had navigated to somewhere where we did not intend to be and thus settled down at one of the two bars on the end of the street that did not offer any shows. The next place we ended up in was probably the most interesting place of them all as it was something that is extremely foreign to us to have temporary bars on the sidewalk next to the biggest street in town. It was a really cool experience and definitely something to recommend! The night ended early as we had planned a much earlier start the following day.

Hotel breakfasts are the best. They serve up the biggest array of food that one could wish for. Everything from eggs any style and bacon to yoghurt to fresh fruit, you know the feeling. Thanks to an early night in people were up much earlier and really enjoyed the breakfast. The plan for the day was sightseeing in the afternoon with no scheduled activities for the morning. I had taken on the mission of ensuring that everyone had the literature needed for the logistics course and therefore I had to go ahead of the group and catch up with them later. I met up with Roy to try to get a good deal on a boat trip for the sightseeing and we reckoned that we could get a good discount on the trip because we were a large group.

Long-tail boat cruising on the Chao Phraya river in Bangkok
The original asking price was 650 bht/person for a trip lasting an hour on the Chao Praya river and the adjacent canals that would drop us at a pier close to Wat Pho(home of the reclining Buddha) and the Grand palace. We were happy with our bargaining skills when we managed to cut the price to 350 bht/person almost half of what the original asking price was. When Håkan arrive to finish off the deal it rather soon became evident to us that we would  have been seriously ripped off if we would have settled for that price. Apparently the going rate for a long-tail boat is roughly 1000 bht/hour and we would have been paying triple that.

Khao San Road - the backpacker mecca of Bangkok
After discovering that the Grand palace had shut half an hour before we arrived we made our way yet again to Khao San Road for a dinner which everyone attended. As per tradition this was not the last stop for the night and after the next stop on Kh San Rd it was off to an English pub to gather everyone together and after the pub there were two different teams, one that went home to the hotel and one that went on to one of the bigger night clubs, Narz which is short for Narcissus.

The Sunday was totally dedicated to shopping and the main attraction was the Chatuchak weekend market which is one of the crazier shopping experiences that Bangkok offers. Almost 5000 small shops are crammed into one enormous shed-looking building that gets really hot on a sunny day. The market offers close to every single commodity that money can buy at very reasonable prices. If you set out to walk down every isles and just look at every shop it would probably still take you a full two days to do so, so to go through the shops to find what you’re looking for is a tremendous task. If you ever go to Bangkok, you need to visit this market, no visit to Bangkok is complete without seeing JJ market(short for Jatujak(another spelling of Chatuchak)).

And on that bomb shell it’s time to end this post.

So until next time, peace out!

// Sebastian

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