After our trip to Tokyo we decided to stay in Bangkok for Christmas and New Year. We wanted to make the most of our time off school so decided we would make it a “staycation”. I was looking forward to seeing what Bangkok has to offer and getting off the beaten track a little bit.
The first place we went to visit, which was by far the best thing we did, was visit the Airplane graveyard. This is only 5 minutes from where I live and something I drive past everyday going to school! Yet somehow, it’s one of those things you never get round to doing. So finally, we decided to go. The airplanes are left there and stripped of all the interior and a lot of materials which are sold as scrap. There are 3 Thai families who squat there and have made it their home, and also an income. As it continues to become more and more popular with tourists, the families now charge you to go in and nosy round (but not in the parts they live in, obviously). When we arrived we were greeted by a little boy, who must have been about 10, demanding 300 baht off me and Rob to get in. Once inside we didn’t hesitate to climb into the plane and start exploring, and what a surreal experience it was! One I would fully recommend to anyone who visits Bangkok.
The cinemas in Bangkok are very cheap and very good so we ended up going 3 times this staycation: Twice to a normal cinema to watch Jumanji and CoCo and once to a vintage cinema called Scala Theatre to watch The Greatest Showman. This cinema was by far the best; as you walk in you are greeted by a grand chandelier and 1920’s inspired decor. The cinema consists of only one screen, set back on a huge stage with grand curtains either side.
I wont bore you with all the details but here’s a list of everything else we did:
Caught the river boat into town.
Caturday cat cafe (my favourite cat cafe and excellent value for money too!)
Cycling and Kayaking in Rama 9 park.
Vanilla sky bar to watch the sunset.
Jim Thompson house.
Visited a penis shrine (out of curiosity – I should add!).
But mostly I have been binging on netflix. In hindsight I feel I probably should have chilled by the pool more (I really need to get a tan!!).
In my opinion, Bangkok does Christmas well (for a country that doesn’t celebrate it). All the big shopping centers, department stores and supermarkets play Christmas music and some even have huge Christmas displays with amazing Christmas trees. It wasn’t too hard to find Christmas decorations to kit out our apartment and we even managed to find a few of our favourite Christmas foods (like crackers and chutney). Christmas Eve was spent with Rob and our friend Kai, eating good food, drinking and playing lots of Uno! On Christmas morning we had a fancy breakfast, opened our presents and headed out to our bottomless brunch at the Radisson Blu where we met our friend Jess. With free flow alcohol from 12 till 3 you can only imagine how things got messy rather quickly. After a few too many bottles of prosecco Rob and Jess decided to sing the 12 Days of Christmas (trying to remember the words with help from tables around us) only to be told to be quiet from a very large table of scrooges. After lunch we headed over to Khao San Road, but with Bangkok being Bangkok, it took us an hour and a half in the taxi! This in itself was a funny journey and I like to think we kept the driver entertained. We tethered our phone up to the taxi and it quickly turned into karaoke, with Rob sat in the front, having borrowed the drivers baseball hat, Jess hanging out of the window shouting merry Christmas to everyone and me and Kai dancing to our favourite songs. When we did finally get to Khao San Road we didn’t last long. After a couple of buckets we were all feeling worse for wear and decided to head home. (It was very eventful but I wont go into our drunken antics).
Fortunately, the new year was a lot calmer! Me and Rob met some friends to see in the new year at a river bar event where we could watch the fireworks over the river. After this we jumped in a tuk tuk and headed over to Khao San Road. After a few buckets we decided to head home! All very boring really – no drunken antics this time!
Living somewhere is very different to visiting for a holiday and I have gone through phases of loving it and hating it. Spending Christmas away from your family, on the other side of the world, is also a very hard thing to do and I have missed them more then ever this holiday. However, having spent the festive season with great friends and exploring Bangkok over the past few weeks, I have really started to appreciate what an amazing city it really is and just how much it has to offer.