You can fly from Chiang Mai to Bangkok in an hour and 15 minutes.
You can take a train in 11 hours or a bus/car in about 10.
We decided not to do any of those. Instead we took 10 days to make it from Chiang Mai to Bangkok and are glad that we did.
Experiencing Sukhothai and Kanchanaburi were great Adventures as was Ayutthaya despite our struggles with it. But it was a bit of a foregone conclusion that we would arrive in Bangkok at some point – almost all visitors to Thailand enter or exit through its largest (by far) city.
We woke to quiet with a little morning mist over the river and then drove 2.5 hours to the hustle and bustle of Bangkok’s Old City neighborhood. We said goodbye to our driver Tavicha who, since Sukhothai, has been shepherding us around the country (including the waterfall) in his trusty white van with blue pleather seats.
He was reliable and patient – he didn’t even complain when the kids sang along at full volume to the whole Encanto soundtrack. (Yes, Encanto fever has infected us on the other side of the world, we even listened to the Thai version for a couple of songs)
After the drive, we settled into our lodgings/waited out an afternoon rain shower. Since we’d skipped lunch, we headed out for a late afternoon dinner. Hmmmm…what to have in a city filled with fantastic Asian food? Thai? Chinese?
How about Italian? We saw this place pop up on google maps and the pizza looked good. We were all in the mood for some comfort food so we headed that direction. It was down a back alley but cute once we got there.
Nobody ordered pizza but what we had was tasty. And we checked, there are Thai restaurants in Italy so we can have a curry while we’re there in a few months to even things out.
Right outside the restaurant and on the way back to our hotel was the most famous backpacker destination in the world Khao San Road. This famous street – part market, part food court, part party – is on our list of things we want to do while in Bangkok so we figured it’d be great to check it out the first night. Known for getting at least 20,000 tourists on a slow day, at 5 pm on a Thursday, during Covid, after afternoon rains, it was…pretty much dead.
As we’ve said, Asia lives at night and 5pm doesn’t count. Oh well, it gives us a good excuse to go back another day at a little later hour and hope we get an Adventure on that iconic road.