After cycling the tiring highway to Bangkok, we felt like we deserved a break and decided to spend the weekend of 14-15 March in the city.
After fixing Armand’s rear wheel, we aim for the hotel, located in Sukhumvit area. We enjoy a quiet afternoon resting at the hotel. For dinner, we take the SkyTrain hoping to taste the delicious street food at Sukhumvit Soi 38. Unfortunately, our information about that street is a bit outdated: the Soi 38 is no more. We still find a few remaining stands where we eat delicious spring rolls and pad thai. To celebrate this second capital reached, we end the evening with a drink on a rooftop bar with a splendid view on the city. In the train, mostly everybody wears a mask and you are invited to use hand sanitizer before you exit the gates.
The next day we first head for Chinatown, where we wander from food to trinkets markets. The atmosphere is really nice and Johanna takes the opportunity to buy a patch to cover the hole in her handlebar pannier. We then walked to the Wat Pho, a beautiful temple mostly covered in ceramics with a 45m long reclining Buddha. We continue our walk along the Royal Palace till Khao San road where we take a bus-boat to reach Saphan Taksin area. The boat ride is really nice and offers a beautiful perspective on the city and great view on the Wat Arun, which has been recently renovated. We then head for the King Power Mahanakhon skyscraper, the highest in Bangkok, which looks like Minecraft according to Armand.
The following day is a rainy day: the first in weeks. We spend most of the day at the hotel resting but still pay a short visit to the splendid house of Jim Thompson. Jim Thompson was a former spy who decided to settle down in Thailand before mysteriously disappearing during a hike in the Cameron Highlands. Thanks to his architect background, he designed his house by gathering typical Thai houses joined together by corridors.
Looking backwards, we’re blessed we had the chance to spend that time in Bangkok only a few days before a lockdown was announced in the capital due to the spread of COVID-19. Indeed, while we were there, the streets were still full of people (wearing masks) and the bars and restaurants crowded. Chinatown was maybe a bit less busy than usual but still bustling.
To conclude this article, we wanted to share some real time news about our trip. As everybody is pretty much aware, the COVID-19 pandemic situation is escalating pretty rapidly worldwide and we had to make the difficult decision to suspend our trip and take a flight to Belgium. We managed to reach it yesterday and will use our free time to keep posting articles about the last days of the first part our trip shortly. To be continued. Thanks for all your kind messages.
See more photos in the gallery.