Out and About

Sunday was another easy day for me. After breakfast I went for another wander. Walked along a deserted Khao San Rd. The number one night life spot for tourists looked worn out. Like a prostitute who’s been in the business for much too long. I could imagine how it was teeming with people at night, shiny lights luring them into bars, restaurants, clubs or offering more raunchy entertainment than that.

I knew there and then that I didn’t want to be here at night. Even at its quietest I only needed to glance at a place and was asked straight away if I didn’t want to come in by the usual people lurking around outside, trying to get customers in.

Instead I got myself a nice cold brew at the Starbucks around the corner, sat outside and watched the world go by.

Next up was the Phra Sumen fort, an 18th century fortress with a small park. Then the Amulet market which was stuffed with Buddhist charms of all sorts. From the tiniest figurines to wooden turtles and penises. I felt a bit odd in there. The only farang and not even a Buddhist. But I guess that made it an authentic experience.

Typical street in the centre. Some shops with food and tourist tack.
Phra Sumen Fort

Grabbed a mango banana smoothie afterwards and then walked back to the hotel. Got myself a taxi via Grab which is the Uber here and works pretty much the same. The driver didn’t speak any English so it took a few attempts and Google translate for him to tell me to cancel the request on Grab, but he would stick to the agreed price. Fine by me.

Checked in at Khongsittah gym after a 45min ride up North to Lat Phrao. Gym looked very cool with a golden statue out front. Had my apartment to myself and with pretty good Thai standard. Fridge but no kettle. Boo. Air con though and a decent shower. What more do you want.

Had a coffee and Oreo cheesecake at cafe Liebe around the corner, then out to meet the guys from my camp at 5pm for taxi back to the fort funny enough. Had a quick dinner at what looked like a bakery with lots of cakes and biscuits inside, but was actually serving excellent Thai food!

We then all went to a Super Champ Fight night in a backyard with seats reserved for us. The presenter was one of the gym co owners. Cool. Really enjoyed it being quite close to the ring. Out of 8 fights only one was in my weight category and one above, both being male, hahaha. I even volunteered for trying myself at as many kicks as possible in 20 seconds, only to get beaten by an Argentine dancer. Ha, fair play to her, she was quick.

The group then all went off to Khao San Rd., no thanks. I took a Grab back to the gym and chilled. Watched the last of the rugby on telly and switched the lights off at midnight.

Mondays Khongsittha gym is closed so I had another day off. Still didn’t fancy the royal palace so instead I took a Grab to Siam Center, the prime shopping location in Bangkok. It’s an odd place. You’d expect malls and high street shops and they are there. Only everything is dominated by the massive concrete pillars of the Bangkok Sky Train.

It’s one of the quickest ways to get around alright, but it looks like it’s been pretty much shoehorned into the existing infrastructure. If you’re in Bristol, imagine the M32 going across just above Broadmead.

Sky Train above. Mall to the right.

I wasn’t after shopping but instead popped into a bigger post office to send some documents back to England (don’t ask). Another mango smoothie on the way to some gear por… err… gear shopping.

I was near the National Stadium now and once more the only Caucasian person… For the next few hours 😉. First stop was Kee La Pun. A sports shop with a large Muay Thai section. They basically hand you a few printed pages of their stock and you point and choose. A few things I wanted were sold out, but I walked away with a pair of Twins Special for £50 (£90 in the UK) and some handwraps.

Then walked down the main road full of sports shops. And I mean it. Nearly every shop was a sports shop.

Sports shops next to sports shops.

Quick look into the Twins Special shop, the tank tops I would’ve loved to buy simply weren’t the right fit. M was too big, S too small. Boo!

Same luck at the fancy Fairtex shop in the nice I’m Park mall. So I had a… You guessed it, mango smoothie and a sandwich before heading on towards Lumpini and the last shop for today.

Nice view from I’m Park Mall

Took two stops on the MRT (metro) and found the shop hidden in a small street. Super nice lady. Got myself some MMA gloves and a pair of black 16oz boxing gloves for my coach back home. Again a good 40% cheaper!

The old and the new. Another very typical Bangkok scene. I haven’t seen such opposites right next to each other anywhere else.
Spot the Muay Thai shop.
I could’ve bought more… much more, but no space in my suitcase 😥
Another typical Bangkok view.

Chilled a bit in Lumpini Park which was a nice change from all the traffic and concrete. There was a proper outdoors “gym” under an awning. I’m talking metal plates and bars with tyres for weights, dumbbells and lots of bare chested Thai’s pumping iron.

Tranquil Lumpini Park

Didn’t dare to take pictures, they were already staring at me as I walked past. Maybe I should’ve just asked, but I didn’t want to be the stupid tourist. They didn’t know I lift, too 😂

After a break in the shade I went to find Hair of the Dog a local craft beer enterprise with a couple of locations. The one I was after was apparently on the second floor of a mall. The mall was rather a collection of shops along a small street and it took me a while to find my destination and also figure out how to get to it.

Really cool place though with a great selection and well, “great” prices. 365 for a small glass of my peanut butter latte white stout. Never mind, it was lush.

Spot the craft beer bar… And once you do, find the way to it.

There were quite a few craft beer bars around actually. More than enough for a good (and expensive) night out, but without Rich it wasn’t the same.

Went along the main street to The Beer Republic. Much easier to find and busy with expats and tourists. Found a table, ordered some food and got myself a Cambodian stout. Cambodian! And once more it was lush!

Inside The Beer Republic

It was getting towards 7pm now and I’d had enough. Grab back to the apartment and chill time before training finally kicked off on Tuesday morning.

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