Just got back from a mini vacation in Bangkok, Thailand. I am still working in Penang, Malaysia for work and going on 3 weeks here. I meet up with an old friend from Michigan, Jeff. He moved to Thailand about 3 years ago after going expatriate with his company, Valeo. There was a downsizing at Valeo and Jeff left to setup a shop in a mall in Phuket and now living as a foreigner. Jeff has spoken endlessly about Thailand and so I took the opportunity to check it out for myself.
I flew Air Asia. It is a discount airline in Asia and the flight cost about $137USD from Penang to Bangkok. The flight was only 1.5hr long. It was a good bargain compared to American standards, not sure how they can charge so low?
There is also another discount airline in Malaysia, Fire Flyz. Their rates are unbelievably low to many cities around Malaysia. They only do point to point travel, so maybe that explains why the costs are low. It is an argument against the typical centralized model of flying to hubs in the States.
I stayed at Sam's Lodge in downtown Bangkok after Jeff recommended it. It is considered a "Guest House," but pretty much runs the same as a hotel, but much cheaper. I paid ฿1200 (Baht) or about $35/night. It's a really good rate, considering the location. The accommodations are nothing special. The rooms are small and the bath room smaller, but it is clean and good enough for me.
Friday night we took a walk down Sukhumvit Road. It is the main road in Bangkok for tourist and was packed with cars and side walk street shops. The market place was incredible and goes on for blocks and blocks. We had a quick drink at some bar, with a bunch of other foreigners and freelancers. We then had dinner at Bully's Pub. The food was good and you could tell that only tourist eat there.
We decided to head to Nana Entertainment Plaza. It is one the the main areas of night life entertainment in Bangkok. Needless to say, it's a crazy place and it was everything I had envisioned it would be. I have heard all the stories and it is pretty much as the stories go. It was a long night and I got to bed around 5am.
Saturday we ate some lunch at The Old Dutch. I had the best Chicken Fried Rice and Shrimp ever! Then we did some shopping and I got to see the largest textile street shop in the world. At night we checked out Soi Cowboy and Patpong. Two more famous places in Bangkok for the adventuring types.