My start to Bangkok couldn’t have been more perfect. I started with some delicious street food. Then spent a hour or so drinking beers in the courtyard and chatting with other travelers while someone played songs on a guitar. And finally got about 10 hours or so of sleep on a comfy loft bed.
Just what I needed after 2 weeks of non-stop travel.
One of the challenges as an older solo traveler is finding appropriate accomodation. I would like to be price conscious and also stay in a place where it is easy to meet other travelers. Naturally hostels would fit that requirement except I can’t really do the shared room thing anymore. I don’t mind hanging out and chatting in shared living space but I really need to have my own space to unwind every night. (“I’m too old for this”). Some hostels provide private rooms but those are limited and often at a premium, even more than a hotel room sometimes. Fortunately I booked my Bangkok stay pretty far in advance so I was able to reserve a private room at the Yard Hostel in the upscale and hipster Ari neighborhood. It is a little of a splurge for a hostel but I am so glad I did. It was probably the best hostel I stayed at during my travels. The hostel is a short walk to the BTS Sukhumvit line and the area contains many hip restaurants.
I stayed five nights to give myself time to both enjoy Bangkok slowly and to give myself recovery time from my fast pace tour I just finished (Egypt and Jordan).
The only bad thing about this hostel is the steep stairs to get up to the bed. If you are afraid of heights you might want to skip this option.
In the common areas people are friendly. Those who worked there also hang out there and get you involved in group conversation if you are a shy loner-type like myself.
In addition the breakfast is included and is very good. I admit I got sick of eating the same thing every day but I think most don’t stay there as long as I did (5 nights).
To save money I choose beers at the hostel. It seemed loose and casual in Bangkok, little did I know about all the weird alcohol rules in Thailand. First off there are many dry days in Thailand. Dry days are either religious days or days of political significance. During those days bars are closed and alcohol cannot be purchased. I hit a few of those during my time in Thailand. In addition, you can only buy or be served alcohol between the hours of 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. – midnight on normal days. For some reason I was always craving a drink between 2-5 pm while visiting the country.
Sweating on the subways
Before my visit the pollution levels were dangerously high. The smog didn’t really bug me at all during my visit but the humidity did, even as a Floridian I sweated constantly.
The sky train and metro were both pretty easy to use. Traffic sucks so it is the best way to get around if you can. They have grab (their version of Uber). Used that once when I was too tired to hoof it to public transport. Didn’t use buses. Many people ride on the back of bikes using grab. I was too scared to do so. In fact, I didn’t do my first motorbike trip until much later in Indonesia.
Luckily the trains take me to everywhere I want to go in Bangkok.