On Monday, 5/8 it was time to make our way back to Bangkok. As with everywhere we’ve been, it was easy to book a bus back to Bangkok from Koh Chang that included a van and a ferry that was to take all day. Since we were in Koh Chang for so long, we were able to ask around at different travel agencies to get the best price. It seemed to be that everyone we asked kept being cheaper and cheaper so once we found 550B for a full day of travel – we took it!
Even though we didn’t want to leave Koh Chang and would have rather delayed the departure time, we choose the 8:40AM van to leave. This, what ended up to be a great decision, was because we had experience with Bangkok traffic over a month ago and we did NOT by any means, want to get stuck in the traffic around 5/6PM.
So we made sure to get up in time to get one last free breakfast and we were on our way.
Final shots of the resort 👌🏼
We were the first ones to be picked up so we swiped the best seats for the 6 hr bus ride. The way the van is set up is four rows – one first row of three across, all sitting together. The next two are made up of one seat on the nearside window, an isle and then two more to the left. The last row is just two to the left. We have learned, after a LOOOOOOT of van rides that leg room is the first priority so the two seats along the window were our best bet. Long story short – it was a great thing to get picked up first!
From the ferry, still on Koh Chang:
View of the entire island of Koh Chang:
This guy had a sweet bike on the ferry:
The trip ended up being a bit longer than 6 hours with the ferry, traffic, a rest stop and picking up and dropping people off. By the time we were dropped off at Victory Circle in Bangkok, it was 4:30PM and 8+ hrs. This was probably the first time we knew where we were going to stay before we arrived in a location. And even though I love the excitement of finding places, it was a relief to be able to navigate Bangkok with an immediate purpose.
Fun little van:
Not unusual to see fruit being transported. We noticed a lot on its back into Bangkok.
We stayed with our friend Steph, who we met in Chiang Mai over a month ago and met up with again in Koh Lanta. She lives and works in Bangkok as a 1st grade teacher! Bangkok has fantastic public transportation so we hopped on the BTS (Bangkok Mass Transit System) which took us nearly right to her apartment.
Not tired at all:
Once we arrived (and were finally able to find it), we settled in and grabbed dinner, baked goods and called it a night.
Bangkok at night. Steph’s building has 40 floors.
What we thought was a long day of travel was NOTHING compared to what we were about to experience……
THE NEXT DAY
Our adventure back to the US started the next day on 5/9 where we had to entire day to explore Bangkok. We had been delaying getting souvenirs and gifts for people until the end of our trip with the thought that a. we didn’t want to carry things around for 5 weeks and b. we would be able to find it in Bangkok.
Boy were we wrong. We spent the day going from market to market and mall to mall in search for the gifts that we found earlier in Chiang Mai, Pai and Ao Nang and did not in fact buy. Even though we didn’t find a single thing that matched what we wanted, we walked 10+ miles all around Bangkok and got to play true tourist for a day!
Steph joined us and help us navigate around so we felt like pros. She has only lived in Bangkok for 1-2 months so she hasn’t been able to explore the area like a tourist so we were the perfect excuse! We found plenty of street food, fruit, shakes, coffee and elephant pants throughout the day.
Sad about it being the last day…
This ferry is used to get across the river and is most commonly used by the locals. It’s 5B to get across this one was pulling up to the side.
Bangkok was a lot different this time around. When we arrived 35 days ago we were jet lagged, exhausted, overwhelmed and hungry and didn’t know which way to go or what to eat or how to get there. This time we were confident, knew exactly what we wanted to eat, and (kind of) how we wanted to get there. We used the BTS and the local river ferry to get where we needed to go. The BTS is so easy to use and so clean! As an added bonus – it has air con.
When we struck out of luck at the markets, we headed to a few of their huge malls. The malls themselves were overwhelming but they had their own markets! One of which we found Khao Soi at, Charlie’s favorite dish! It is a northern dish and the south really hadn’t heard of it. We were sure we would be able to find it in Bangkok but assumed it would have to be in a restaurant. NOPE! Market Khao Soi is the best.
We headed back from the market around 5PM to catch a break from all of the walking. At this point – we had walked almost 7 miles! Our flight wasn’t until 4AM so we had the time to relax for a little bit. Steph’s building has an infinity pool on the 40th floor so we HAD to check that out.
The building also had a bowling alley on the 40th floor! It doesn’t work and has been in the final construction phase for years now, but hey, it looks cool.
The infinity pool was amazing. It overlooked the city and was absolutely breathtaking.
Every single body of water we went in this trip was pretty warm – ocean, pool, it was all the same. This is because the sun is so hot and it’s nearly impossible to keep it cool. The worst was when the water was a low tide and little pools were leftover. The sun would just bake the beach and these patches of water were hot.
I got into the infinity pool expecting the same thing but long behold, a pool 40 stories up on a breezy night in Bangkok is actually cold! It was crazy and was ironically the only night we didn’t want a cold pool because the sun wasn’t out to dry us off.
We quickly headed from the pool to the night train market. With the BTS and walking, it took about an hour to get there and made it by 8PM. We felt like we had all night but by the time we calculated when we needed to leave for the airport, we only had an hour and a half! There were tons of vendors and street food – chicken, bbq, seafood, shakes, etc. We were also able to meet back up with Andrea, who teaches in Bangkok and who we met in Chiang Mai!
We headed back from the market around 9:45PM to pack up our things and make our way to the airport. Even though our flight wasn’t until 4AM, the last BTS runs at 11:30 and we had to rush to make that……those travel details to come next!