9-13 September 2016 – I went on a long weekend trip to Bangkok, Thailand with my backpack & passport. I really didn’t have plans of going back until I got a super duper cheap ticket during Cebu Pacific Air‘s anniversary ₱1 sale last year.
You probably saw this already – this is a screenshot of my ticket to BKK last year
Bangkok is a big city with beautiful cultural places to visit & fun activities to experience. I had 4 days in the city so I made a rough plan of what to do & where to go. Let me share to you how the 4 days went & how I reunited with old friends, how I met new people & how everything I planned didn’t push through.
NapPark Hostel @ Khao San
There are a lot of nice hostels in Bangkok – most of them offering good amenities for very affordable prices. I was by myself so I had to look for an affordable but social hostel to look for mates to join me in my plans. After reading through different booking websites & asking in different backpacker Facebook groups, I decided to stay in NapPark Hostel @ Khao San. It is a family run hostel in Khao San. Well, the hostel isn’t really in Khao San Road but it’s a few meters away. No issues at all.
Khao San Road in the afternoon – this place gets really busy at night!
Khao San Road is a small street / area in downtown Bangkok where most foreign backpackers go, eat, drink & stay. It’s an area full of restaurants, bars, coffee shops, hotels & hostels that caters mostly to people travelling on budget. Since I was travelling on budget, I decided to stay in this area of Bangkok.
Now back to the hostel – I decided to get a bed (฿460 per night in Hostelword) in a 22-bed dormitory room. I had no issues staying in such big room because each bed has pull down blinds in on the sides. Guests still have the privacy they need. Each guest is also given a locker for their backpacks & valuables. The bed was spacious & comfortable, the room size was just right. Each bed has a reading light & a plug. The common shower & toilet were always clean. WiFi is fast & free of charge.
How NapPark’s 22 dormitory beds fit in a room
The hostel has a small cafe for breakfast (additional charge). They even have a computer area where guests can do research about their next destination & book air tickets & accommodation. They also offer day trips & activities plus tickets to other towns / cities in Thailand. The hostel also features a nice & spacious common area in the ground floor. This is where guests meet other guests & end up having a great time. I, myself, met tons of really nice people here & had good memories with these new friends.
NapPark personnel were super nice & always ready to help. This hostel is a gem! I recommend everyone travelling solo to stay here when you go to Bangkok. Don’t worry about being with 21 other people in a room; it’s completely safe. You’ll definitely have a good time here, I can assure you that.
Inside NapPark’s dormitory room – each guest is given a locker to use.
One of my favorite social hostel chains, Mad Monkey Hostels, has recently opened their branch in Bangkok (also near Khao San Road). Make sure to check them as well. Another favorite social (& party) hostel chain, Slumber Party Hostel, has also announced that they will open a branch in Bangkok soon! I’l keep you posted about the details.
Prior to flying to Bangkok, I made a rough plan of what to do & where to go for the trip. Here are the list of places I want to visit / activities I wanted to do: go back to the Grand Palace, take a river cruise around Chao Phraya River, visit Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha) & Wat Arun (Temple of the Dawn), go shopping in Chatuchack Weekend Market & Terminal 21 Shopping Mall, visit Ayutthaya for a day, take a cooking class, go to the floating market & of course, party in Khao San Road.
Democracy Monument – Bangkok
I know it looks ambitious of 4-day trip but I really wanted to cover as much as I can.
What Actually Happened
I arrived NapPark Hostel in the wee hours of the morning (2:30 am) so I woke up really late that same day. I went out for brunch with some people I met in the hostel & went around Khao San after wards. I went back to the hostel to wait for Christina, a Filipina friend working as a teacher in Bangkok. While waiting, I booked an Ayutthaya day tour (฿800) for the next day through the hostel.
How about some pad thai for lunch? 😋
My friend finally arrived. We decided to just stay & walk around Khao San area because Saturday traffic is really bad. We had coffee, then went back to the hostel to charge our phones then back to Khao San again to have dinner & drinks. We had dinner in a nice fancy restaurant in Soi Rambuttri. I saw Cath, a friend back in college, having dinner with her boyfriend in the same restaurant where we were. We then spent the rest of the night drinking & partying in Khao San Road.
With my friend Christina! Apologies for my sunburn (lol)
I woke up early to prepare for the pre-booked day tour in Ayutthaya. The guide picked me up at 7:30 am & he drove us about 1-hour plus up to the ancient city. We visited the following ancient temples:
Wat Yai Chai Mongkol
Wat Maha That
Wat Phu Khao Thong
We also went to a local Thai restaurant for lunch in between those temples. The last stop of the day tour was a visit to the Ayutthaya Elephant Camp. The guides encouraged us to watch some elephant shows & tricks. Some even offered elephant rides for a fee. This is something I do not support so my tour buddy Daniel & I just went around the area. The tour group left Ayutthaya a little past 3:00 pm & arrived Khao San Road at 4:30 pm-ish. I immediately went back to the hostel to rest & freshen up.
Met up my Thai friend Exe – met him when I went to Koh Lipe last April 2016
At 6:00 pm, I went down to the hostel common area to just relax. One of the guys who just arrived (hi Jordan! Haha) started to talk & gather everyone in the common area. We instantly formed a group there & started drinking. At 7:30 pm, I left the group in the hostel to meet my Thai friend, Exe, for dinner. He was one of the guys who I met way back in Koh Lipe. We had about an hour of catch up over pad thai (my fave!!) and beer (again haha!).
A group of solo travelers who decided to go out on a random Sunday night 🍺
I went back to the hostel after dinner to meet with the guys again. We all went to Khao San Road, had more drinks & went bar-hopping. Imagine 10 guys & 1 gal from different parts of the world (Canada, India, USA, Netherlands, Singapore & of course the Philippines) all met in a hostel & spent the night like we’ve known each other for so long. It was one crazy & rainy Sunday night in Khao San. We went home at around 2:30 am & still decided to hangout in the hostel common area before deciding to sleep at 4:00 am.
Who cares about the rain? The party must go on!
When you try to fit 5 people in 1 small tuktuk 😂 En route to Siam Paragon & MBK!
The boys (same guys I met the night before) initially planned to go to see the temples for my 3rd day but we all ended up walking around Siam Paragon & MBK Centre (probably Bangkok’s most famous shopping center) to go with Destiny, the only girl in the group, in getting some stuff before she leaves. After hours of walking around, buying this & that & eating in a random restaurant, we finally said goodbye to Sam, who left for Singapore that same day.
Inside MBK! Such a biiiig shopping mall 😮
We all went back to the hostel to rest & sleep. While Dennis & Jordan were sleeping, Aman & I stayed in the common area. We started our pre-game there & joined the group of girls playing cards. The playing group became bigger & bigger with almost every guest joining the game. From a group of less than 10, we ended up this big:
Our hostel group during my last night in Bangkok – photo credits to Danielle!
More of that epic night – this time in Khao San Center!
We all went to Khao San to party (again – 3rd straight night for me). Dennis & Jordan followed us in Khao San & joined the party. We almost occupied 1/2 of Khao San Center (haha). Another epic night in Khao San! We eventually got divided into small groups & went our own ways around the area. We decided to go back to the hostel at 2:00 am & found some people in the common area. Guess what? We stayed in the common area until 3:30 am & eventually everyone went back in batches. Suddenly we became another big group again. Crazy night indeed!
Everyone had fun that night!!~~
It was my last day in Bangkok. My friends & I didn’t plan anything for the day aside from the beer pong before I leave for the airport at night. We headed out for breakfast & then went back to the hostel with big bottles of water & Chang (Yes, at 11am!). We stayed in the hostel common area from lunch time until around 5:00 pm; met new people; talked to the other guests & watched a movie. For some strange reasons, convenience stores & supermarkets (that time) do not sell alcohol in the afternoon. I don’t know why.
Lazy afternoon in the hostel common area. We watched Ted 2! 📀
At 5:00 pm, we went out of the hostel, got some pad thai near Khao San Road & bought some beer in 7-Eleven. We started to play beer pong. The guys from Chile, Nico & Carlos, even shared to us the brandy they brought from home. I won’t forget the Chilean pisco shots I had!
My last ‘drinking’ day in Bangkok 🍺 Played beer pong before I left for the airport!
9:00 pm – I had to leave for the airport to catch my 12.40 am flight back home. It felt sad leaving while everyone is having fun playing beer pong & enjoying each other’s company. Thank God I made it through check-in, immigration & security even if I’ve had alcohol since morning. My flight bound for Manila left Bangkok & arrived Manila on time.
Now to wrap things up… The airfare was definitely a bargain; it’s not the cheapest international ticket I had (click here to know the cheapest international ticket I booked & where I used it) but it was definitely worth it. I made the right choice of staying in NapPark Hostel – it may be expensive than the usual Bangkok hostels but the experience was superb.
It felt nice to finally meet Christina in person after months & years of talking about EDM, Hardwell & rave stuff on Twitter. That day trip to Ayutthaya was a nice experience – it made me remember the temples we visited in Siem Reap, Cambodia way back in 2015. I also had a good time catching up with my friend Exe; it’s been months since we met & shared amazing stories in Koh Lipe.
Chang was probably my best buddy for this trip! 🍺
I feel bad for not going to the other places I planned to visit but I am very happy that I met a lot of cool & amazing people in the hostel. Spending time & drinking with these guys made the trip really fun & memorable (ok, I’m getting emotional – LOL). I may not meet most of them again in the future but I know the good memories we had back in Bangkok will stay in us forever. I will never ever forget the crazy & epic times we had in NapPark Hostel & Khao San Road!
I’m looking forward to going back to Bangkok for some unfinished business – to visit the other temples, the floating & weekend market, etc. Oh, one last thing.. I had too much alcohol intake during this trip; but I had no regrets. No regrets at all.
Kob kun krub, Bangkok! See you soon. 😍
Have you been to Bangkok in the past? If yes, what are the must-see places aside from the Grand Palace? I don’t have a ticket yet but I am now planning to go back there really soon. Feel free to share your experiences to me & to all the readers by posting a comment below. You can also send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Drop me a message on Facebook, drop a comment on Instagram or send me a tweet on Twitter.
Thank you (ขอขอบคุณ in Thai language) for reading! See you next time~
PS. All photos above were shot using my HTC One M8 & HTC Re.