Our train from Kuala Lumpur arrived at mid-morning. Our next train ride will not be until 7 PM later that night so we had a lot of time to kill. We had our breakfast at the station’s cafeteria. We were really happy upon seeing a ‘carinderia-setup’ complete with a working television (I hoped they were playing Transformers). They were serving food & drinks like rice with viand, ice tea and soda. I was really fascinated at the familiarity of their language to our own. Here are some of the words we learned while hanging out in Padang Besar.
Minuman – drinks
Milk – susu
I know the last word would ring bells to our Pinoy readers. Iced milk there is called ‘Ais Susu’, literally translating to Iced Milk.
All the viands offered were ‘de-sarsa’ as Filipinos call it. A bit spicy to our taste but not too much. However, Chie and I felt we were at the back streets of Manila. Welcoming the familiar food and indulging ourselves until we were bloated. :-).
6 PM has finally arrived and we boarded the train bound for Bangkok at half past 6. Good thing we decided to move out to the waiting area because there were no electronic billboard or even voice-overs officially announcing the next trip. We prepared ourselves for another long overnight trip. This time it was almost 15 hours, expected to arrive in Bangkok at around noon.
The following morning we had our breakfast in the train. I did not know if there was an in-house restaurant where we can actually dine but a staff was showing us their menu and we decided to have our early morning meal. Our bunk beds were transformed by the accommodating train staff from a comfortable night nest to a four-seater dining table. It wasn’t so bad after all since who would not feel relaxed eating while seeing this view out of the window.
|The best breakfast|
At about 11 AM, we arrived at Hua Lamphong Railway Station in Bangkok. We had Ringgits changed to Baht and exited to platform no. 12. Once out at the exit, I approached the tourism information desk and inquired on how to get to Khao San Road. The friendly guy we spoke to advised to take the motorized tuktuk at 100 Baht for the two of us since the taxi drivers may not be so familiar with the place.
|Hua Lampong in Bangkok|
The City of Bangkok has notorious traffic at times. Being there reminded me of downtown Manila. It was a bit sad because we happen to pass by a road accident where one person died. We think he/she was hit by a vehicle while crossing the road. It happened near a market. Our hearts went out to the family and friends of the victim we saw crying at the side streets. Oh well, I hope they’ll come to terms with what happened. 🙁
We stayed at New Joe Guesthouse. It is located in a street directly adjacent to Khao San Road. I have reserved 1 Twin Air-conditioned room at 400 Baht per night but we were presented a room key for a fan room. I no longer argued since it was also a way to save money.
|2 beds fan room with private bath|
Reservations at New Joe Guesthouse can be done via e-mail while full payment is made upon arrival. The building where this hostel is housed is not new but what we loved about our stay here is we have our own bathroom (finally!). Our room was located on the second floor near the stairs. They offer internet access at 1 Baht per minute downstairs at the lobby. After checking in, Chie and I went out for lunch and took a walk along the Backpackers’ mecca which is Khao San Road.
|Welcome to Khao San road|
Khao San road is ideally located about a kilometer north of the Grand Palace. The street is decorated with numerous stalls, guarded by various street vendors and is surrounded by cheap hostels and guest houses. At night, Khao San road and its adjacent streets come alive. Backpackers from different nations congregate here either to shop, party, people-watch or to just simply relax and have fun.
|Strolling along Khao San is never boring.|
While doing our late afternoon stroll, I saw this oh-so adorable tom cat just sitting on the sidewalk! I think he was somebody’s pet since he was wearing a pet collar. Klang-Klang (I just named him Klang-Klang) was very approachable and didn’t bite at my first touch. While I was holding him up, other travelers walked up to us and played with him too. He didn’t appear to be afraid of humans and that was what I liked most about him. <3
|He is so cute! Yum!|
In the evening we had the privilege of meeting my co-PTB member Regin Reyno of Regin’s Travels.
|With new friend Regin Reyno of Regin’s Travel|
We talked and hang-out along Khao San road, took a short rest at the park adjacent to the shiny Grand Palace and experimented on exotic foods I never thought we will be eating. Our night with him was filled with fun and ultimate laughter! Though we ran out of time, we sure felt we have known each other for a longer time since our love for travel bound us right at the very start.
The three of us bid our goodbyes at around 3 AM. We reluctantly went back to our hotel room knowing that Regin would have to endure a whole day with his students with only a few hours of sleep. Our first day in Thailand was productive, though packed, we ended up completely enjoying it.
Day 6 & 7 Itinerary and Expenses
MYR 4.40 – Breakfast at Padang Besar train station
MYR 1.80 – Mineral water
MYR 105.30 – Traing ticket to Padang Besar to Bangkok
MYR 15.00 – Breakfast at train
Sub-total: MYR 126.50 or Php1694.93
THB 50.00 – Tuktuk Ride to Khao San Road (per head)
Free – Dinner (courtesy of Mr. Regin Reyno)
Sub-total: Thb 50 or Php 55.55
Total: Php 1750.48
conversions done via oanda.com