Yes, you read that correctly. Coup. On May 22, 2014, the Thai military took control of the government and enforced curfew and martial law, banned political gatherings, censored the media and detained and arrested politicians.

As fate would have it, I had a flight to Bangkok booked for May 23.

So on my last night in Delhi, I weighed my options:

Cons- Coup. Potential imprisonment. Border crossings could be tricky.

Pros- Thailand. Already spent $200 on ticket. Nowhere else to go. THAILAND.

And as I half-joked to my parents, I'd rather be a political prisoner than spend one more day in India.

Silom

So off I flew to the Thai capital. And I'm glad I did. While I felt lukewarm about Bangkok the first time around, on my second visit I came to adore it.

And really, the coup didn't change much. Yes, there was that pesky 10 p.m. curfew and the local TV channels were completely blocked. But mostly, it was Bangkok as usual: temples and Thai food, shopping malls and duck soup.

(I have to admit, I did break the curfew as one night my travel buddy and I sneaked out at 11 p.m. for a massage. Gasp!)

After six weeks in rural India, Bangkok might as well have been Boston. It was so modern.

I spent my entire first day lapping up modernity at Siam Paragon, Bangkok's swankiest shopping mall. I nearly died of bliss as I sipped a vanilla latte, scrolled through my phone and savored the long-forgotten feel of air-conditioning on my face.

I also stopped at H&M and the beauty country to stock up on Southeast Asia essentials: MAC Studio Fix and Bobbi Brown bronzer. And in the spirit of the girliest, most self-induldgent day ever, then I got a mani pedi. And they had OPI which never happens.

So after I got that out of my system, I went hunting for two of my favorite things in Southeast Asia: food and wet markets.

IMG_2581

IMG_2583

Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market

Khlong Lat Mayom is a floating market on the outskirts of Bangkok, with colorful wooden boats, delicious food and bright umbrellas. And it was a locals-only affair- my travel buddy Joe and I were the only tourists there!

Another perk? The vendors gave out free samples. Don't mind if I do.

Khlong Lat Mayom_lychee

Khlong Lat Mayom_floating_market

Khlong Lat Mayom_tables

Joe and I noticed all the locals were eating fried carp- or rather, some sort of crispy bottom feeder. So we hurried over to get ours too.

Khlong Lat Mayom

Well, it wasn't very good so we tried again. Our second lunch (ahem), was a spicy seafood salad. Delicious.

Khlong Lat Mayom_thai_food

By the end of the morning I decided that out of all the markets I've visited in Bangkok, Khlong Lat Mayom is by far my favorite.

Khlong Lat Mayom_market

Chatuchak Weekend Market

On Sunday we headed to the Chatuchak Weekend Market, or JJ's, to score a few bargains and see what all the fuss was about. Chatuchak is enormous; I found the sprawl a bit overwhelming but most enjoyed stalls 2-4, where trendy Thai designers hawk their wares (Thanks Alex in Wanderland for pointing me in the right direction!)

While I came armed with plenty of baht and the intent to more or less buy a new wardrobe, I only walked away with a pair of feather earrings. In the end it was too sticky to try on clothes, and at nearly 5′ 8” tall, I'm not exactly Thai-sized anyway.

Chatuchak_clothes

Chatuchak_thai_necklaces

I really wish I had bought one of these.

But no matter, I still enjoyed spending an afternoon at Chatuchak, and relished the opportunity to have some bánh cuốn. Hey, I love Thai food, but sometimes I just need me some Vietnamese.

Vietnamese food chatuchak

Taking the Ferry to the Lots of Temples

As I learned on my last visit in Thailand, the Chao Phraya River Express Ferry is the best way to squeeze in lots of sites while enjoying a breeze.

River_cruise_bangkok

Monks_river_cruise

Our first stop was Wat Pho, the beautiful, gold-coated reclining Buddha…

Reclining_buddha

then the surrounding temples, which were also stunning…

Temples_bangkok_2

and to finish, the stately Grand Palace.

(Note- make sure you dress respectfully for all these temples! Ladies, think shawls and long skirts.)

temples_bangkok_3

Temples_bangkok_tiles

But soon we were sweltering in the Bangkok sun so we retreated back to the hostel.

river_cruise_bangkok_2

river cruise_bangkok

A huge reason I liked Bangkok more the second time was due to the upgrade in accommodation. While last time I bunked up in a cockroach-infested hostel on Khao San Road, this time I stayed at Lub d.

Lub d has two locations: Siam Square and Silom. We chose Silom, a ritzy district where the sois are filled with cheap and tasty eats.

My friend had never stayed in a hostel so I figured Lub d was a gentle segue into the backpacker scene. And Lub d was everything I had bargained for; clean, beautifully designed and staffed with incredibly sweet and helpful employees.

Lub_d_hostel_bar

Lub_d_hostel

And across the street from Lub d Silom is a stall serving one of the meals of my life. There's only one menu item- duck soup- and it will blow your mind. Have you ever see anything so beautiful?

bangkok_noodles

bangkok_street_food

Coup or no coup, I loved Bangkok. And I honestly think I'd fly back just for that soup- though I'll pass on the government overthrow next time.

Would you have flown to Thailand in the middle of a military coup? Am I crazy?

Lub d generously hosted our stay for two nights. As always, all opinions are completely my own.

(Note- buy MAC makeup before you get to Bangkok because it was crazy marked up.) 

. . . . . . . . . . .

If you enjoyed this post please consider sharing it! Also, I’d love to keep you updated on my adventures in Denver and everywhere else, so feel free to subscribe to Ashley Abroad on Bloglovin or by email in the sidebar.

Ashley Fleckenstein

Ashley Fleckenstein

Ashley is an American travel and lifestyle blogger who lives in Uganda. Since college she has au paired in Paris, backpacked the world solo, and lived in Colorado. She's been to forty countries but somehow still gets lost in her home town. Her work has been featured by Buzzfeed, Forbes, TripAdvisor, and Glamour magazine.
Ashley Fleckenstein

Latest posts by Ashley Fleckenstein (see all)

shares