Now for the Thailand Leg (Part 2) of my Thailand and Cambodia Itinerary. If you haven’t checked out the first part yet, I suggest visiting the Cambodia Leg.

Watching the sunset with the view of Wat Arun (Temple of the Dawn) at “The Deck” of Arun Residences

Overland Travel Back to Bangkok, Thailand from Siem Reap, Cambodia

Day 8

  • 11:30AM Taxi ride back to Poipet – $30
    This is the part where I was traveling solo since Kawajan and Bubbles had already returned to Bangkok a few days earlier. In Siem Reap, we arranged for a taxi to pick me up at 10am for $20, which I thought was a OKish deal since I was supposed to have the taxi all to myself. When the taxi driver came, he told us that he wanted me to wait so he could find 4 other passengers to share the taxi with and still charge $20 – total rip off!. We refused that taxi driver and went into town to find another taxi driver willing to take me to Poipet immediately since I was already running late on my schedule. If you have the time, search for shared taxis at the city center, $30 is quite expensive for the budget traveler.

  • 1:40PM – Arrived in Poipet, Cambodia
  • Crossed Poitpet – Aranyaphratet, Thailand Border Gate
    • Passed through Cambodian immigrations
    • Passed though Thai immigrations
  • 2:15PM – Arrived in Aranyaphratet
  • Searched for Bus to Lumphini Park in Bangkok. Found a lot of buses stationed at the carpark area and was informed that the next bus to Lumphini Park was scheduled to leave at 4:30PM (bummer!)

  • Explored the Ronglua Market area while waiting for the next bus. Ronglua Market is huge and offers a lot of cheap stuff like clothes, bags, shoes, camping gear.

  • 4:30PM – Boarded bus to Lumphini Park

  • 5:15PM to 10:30PM – Bus ride from Aranyaphratet to Lumphini Park – 200Baht (inclusive of 1 cup of purified water)
    While we were entering Bangkok City Center, the bus conductor and passengers informed me that the Red Shirts (Anti-government protesters) were having a huge demonstration in Lumphini Park at the time and that the bus can only drop us off a few hundred meters away from Lumphini Park because of the horrible traffic and road blocks. Another bummer! At the time of my arrival, the Red Shirts were having their demonstrations near Khao San Area and I was surprised to find out they moved all the way to Silom, where I planned on spending the night (with the intention of avoiding the Red Shirt conflicts).
  • Walked a couple of blocks to Lumphini Park
  • Passed by the Red Shirts Demonstration in Lumphini Park (they were across the road from where I was at) and huge number of Thai Gov’t Army Men and supporters stationed in Silom area

  • Explored Silom (Bangok’s Commercial Center) and Sathon (Financial Center) for some nightshots.

  • Explored Pat Pong, Bangkok’s Red Light District. The place was almost vacated at the time because of the growing reports of a looming clash between the Red Shirts and Thai Gov’t

  • Spent the night in Silom

Bangkok City Tour

Day 9

  • 8:30AM – Left for my tour of Rattanoksin Island area where some of the Bangkok’s most popular attractions are located such as the Grand Palace, Major Temples, Khao San Road (Backpacker’s Haven), and exquisite buildings of the Thai Royal Family.
  • Walked to Sala Daeng BTS (Bangkok Mass Transit System) Skytrain Station

  • BTS ride from Sala Daeng to Saphan Taksin station – 20B

  • Sightseeing in Saphan Taksin Area
    • Wat Suanphlu (Thai-Chinese Temple)

  • Walk to Saphan Taksin Pier for the Chao Phraya River Ferry
  • 9:30AM – Ride Yellow Flag (Tourist Express Boat) Ferry to Maharaj Pier (Tourist Pier, No Number) – 18B

  • Chao Phraya River Sighseeing aboard the Ferry

  • 10:00AM – Disembarked at Maharaj Pier
  • Walked to Grand Palace Entrance
  • 10:15AM to 12:00NN – Grand Palace Tour (entrance fee = 350B (inclusive of a pass to Vimanmek Mansion)

  • Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha)

  • Lunch at side street food stall near Grand Palace Entrance
  • Explored the Thai Royal Grounds (Sanamluan) Area in front of the Grand Palace
  • Wat Mahathat Yuwarajarangsarit Rajaworamahavihara (Temple of the Great Relic)

  • Royal Grounds

While I was walking around the royal grounds, an overtly friendly local approached me and initiated a conversation. He talked about visiting a few attractions in the northern part of Rattanoksin (which was really my next set of destinations) and recommended I get a tuktuk to take me around. He even taught me a few Thai phrases that I can use with my tuktuk driver and that the whole tour should only cost me 40B.  Incidentally, there was one tuktuk conveniently parked a few feet from us … it was obvious that both of them were in cahoots and there was come sort of “catch” or “scam.” I had a few hours of free time since my plan of mall hopping was cancelled (because all of the large malls like Siam Paragon, Siam Center, and MBK was closed for a week already because of the Red Shirts) so I decided to hire the tuktuk driver for the tour.

  • 2:00PM to 3:30PM – Tour with the Tuktuk Scammer – 40B
  • Wat Benchamabophit (Marble Temple)

  • Ananda Samakhom Throne Hall (This wasn’t part of the tour but I insisted to the driver to take me here)

  • Wat Inthrawihan (Temple of the Giant Standing Buddha)

  • Wat Saket (Golden Mount) was part of the arrangements but I told them to skip it since I was already running a bit tired and wanted to reserve my energy for the other attractions I planned on visiting.
  • Random Jewelry Store I don’t know where. Basically the reason why the tour costs only 40B is because the driver gets a 5L gas rebate for his tuktuk everytime he delivers customers to this jewelry store. The driver admitted this himself :)
  • 3:30PM – Tuktuk dropped me off at Wat Pho (Temple of the Giant Reclining Buddha)
  • 3:30PM to 4:00PM – Wat Pho sightseeing (entrance fee – 50B)

  • Walked to Tha Tien river crossing to Wat Arun
  • Ride river ferry crossing to Wat Arun – 3B

  • 4:30PM to 5:00PM – Wat Arun sightseeing (entrance fee – 50B)

  • Ride river ferry back to Tha Tien – 3B
  • Walk to The Deck (Bar) at Arun Residences
  • 5:20PM to 7:00PM Watched the famed sunset across Wat Arun from The Deck

  • Ride river ferry (Orange Flag – Express Boat) from Tha Tien to Saphan Taksin – 13B
  • Travel back to Silom
  • Pack-up stuff and get ready for return flight to Manila

Flight Back to Manila from Bangkok

  • 9:00PM – Taxi ride from Silom to Suvarnabhumi (Bangkok) International Airport (BKK). Passed through two expressways. Total expenses for the taxi ride = 365B (245B metered taxi fare + 45B for 1st expressway + 75B for second expressway)
  • 9:30PM – Arrived in BKK
    • Checked-in for return flight at BKK
    • Check-in at Cebu Pacific Counters
    • Passport Control

  • X-Ray Counters
  • Walked to boarding gate

  • 11:45PM – Waited at boarding gate

Day 10

  • 12:50AM to 4:20AM – Bangkok to Manila Cebu Pacific Flight (5J932)
  • 5:20AM (Manila Time) – Arrived in Ninoy Aquino (Manila) International Airport