Setting out on day 1 in Bangkok, we had to relearn just how to move throughout an enormous new foreign city. We quickly got acquainted and made use of an efficient water taxi system on the Chao Phraya River, one of the cheapest ways to make distance in the urban jungle. Wat Arun (The Temple of the Rising Sun) could be seen as we made our way upriver.
Already wary of the tourist traps we were likely to encounter on our initial exploration, we immediately had to enter full defensive mode when our river taxi landed in the area surrounding the Grand Palace and Wat Pho (the tourist epicenter of the city). We quickly retreated from this area as Tuk Tuk drivers, Palace “security guards” and random passersby volleyed an onslaught of overpriced tour offers and other schemes to pry open our wallets. We hoofed it as fast as we could away from the scene and found ourselves in more local and far more interesting regions of the city.
Eventually we made it to China Town, and were greeted with a heavenly assortment of food stalls lining the streets for blocks and blocks. We spent hours exploring and deciphering the multitude of exotic culinary offerings that were available at our fingertips. Once again, the rule of thumb dictating, “find the longest lines with locals and stand in them” served us very well. Noodle soup with pork bits, dumplings and fried bread for dessert were some of our favorite bites of the evening.