It’s an interesting time to visit Bangkok since the country is still in mourning from the passing of the king.

With many streets and parts of main attractions like The Grand Palace closed off, queues of somber citizens clad in black can be found in and around the city. Even during this sad period, the locals have been graciously hospitable, offering advice on how to get to destinations (and not in a scammy way) and offering us free, delicious (and spicy) food from their buffets that feed the mourners making the pilgrimage.

Thais paying respect to the king at The Grand Palace.
Thais paying respect to the king at The Grand Palace.

After trying to navigate the security lines sprinkled with tourists just as confused as we were (only parts of the palace are accessible to tourists at certain times), we opted to return in January when we’d be back in town. It works out quite nicely since we’ll still have plenty of things to see and do on the second leg of our Bangkok visit, such as Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha) and catching a Muay Thai Fight at Ratchadamnoen Stadium.

A Short Respite from Traffic Fatigue

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We checked out nearby Madame Musur, a laid back and charming spot on the way to Khao San Road, for some good eats and drinks, including papaya salad, khao soi, chicken satay and refreshing coconuts. Our newfound appreciation for coconuts on this trip has us seeking these life-giving miracle of the gods at every corner. Stay hydrated kids!

On the Way to Khao San Road

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I wasn’t a huge fan of Khao San Road itself, the backpacker’s paradise of cheap drinks, hostels and novelty fried scorpions, but it was nice to see it in person. We actually found the little side streets and market stalls nearby much more pleasant and relaxing. Speaking of relaxing, we capped the day off with my first legit Thai massage and I’m still hurting (in a good way) two days later.

Next stop, the floating markets!