Date: 25th November 2012
After a crazy night of rain ruined what was otherwise a memorable day, we were relieved to leave Chiang Mai in sunny weather. We reached the airport in time for our Thai Airways flight to Bangkok.
Once we got to Phaya Thai BTS, we switched trains to get to Victory Monument station. We had booked a room at HI-Mid Hostel, which described itself as a stone’s throw away from Victory Monument.
It wasn’t that easy to find and we had to call up the hostel for directions. Once we did find the place and checked-in, we were quite… stunned.
Our double room cost ฿1350 (Rs. 2700/$40/€30) for one night. Hi-Mid calls itself a “boutique hostel” — which is absolutely the case. This place is more like a 1-star or 2-star hotel. You really don’t get the same vibe here compared to your usual backpacker hostel. We didn’t find too many backpackers either. The only downside to this area, which we realized at night, is how few options we had late at night when it came to eateries. Clearly this was not a big touristy area, and it showed.
Date: 23rd November 2012
The next day, Ramesh and I decided to check out Bangkok’s IKEA store.
Ramesh and I withdrew some money from Citibank’s ATM because I read on Citibank India’s website that ATM withdrawals made using our debit cards don’t incur any transaction. Ramesh used his HDFC debit card and I used my Citibank Maestro card. We got very good exchange rates on direct conversion and none of that 150 baht withdrawal fee usually charged by Thai banks.
Once we done with our shopping, Ramesh and I headed back to Hi-Mid to collect our bags. This was the end of Ramesh’s journey as he had to head to the airport to catch his flight back to Bangalore.
I on the other hand had two more days, but decided I just couldn’t stay in this area despite how great the hostel was. I realized I needed to be somewhere toursity where I had all the conveniences of 24-hour 7-11s, eateries and bars. I initially thought of Khao San road but with all my luggage, I dreaded how to get there. So I just hopped on the BTS and chose to see if I could get a room near Nana BTS.
My usual jaunt, Thai House Inn, was closed, so I ended up staying at Maxim’s Inn at the end of Soi 7/1. I got a single room for ฿750 (Rs. 1350/$22/€16), and although I wasn’t terribly pleased with it, I was tired and just wanted to dump my luggage and lie down.
The last three days had been hectic for me — especially our last day in Chiang Mai and then the awesome SM Town concert the very next day!
The other reason I like staying in the Nana area (besides being just 3 stations away from Siam interchange) is because of all the Middle Eastern food available.
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