Places to avoid when hungover in Bangkok
It's New Year's Day. You probably have a headache, a strange bruise on your leg and a mouth that feels like it's been lined with carpet. And while you might feel like suffering through your self-inflicted misery to enjoy Bangkok’s delights, there are some places you should avoid at all costs. These are they.
Jatujak 'JJ' Market
Enter this mammoth maze of a market heaving with humanity on a long weekend like this and expect to rapidly lose your will to live.
Around 600,000 people head to JJ every weekend. Toilets are few and far between. Many prefer to use the gutters, which you will be forced into at least twice today due to the seething crowds of sweaty tourists fighting to find a bargain before they fly home tonight.
Vendors will laugh at you, pickpockets will target you, amateur entertainers with sound systems the size of cars will pulverize your eardrums and limbless beggars on boards will simultaneously batter your ankles and your conscience.
Are you sure you still want to go shopping today?
BTS: Mochit, MRT: Jatujak Park or Kamphangphet
Klong Toey Market
One of Bangkok’s most authentic market experiences and right in the middle of a depressingly vast slum, Klong Toey Market is a true feast for the senses. Tramp through the rotting vegetable piles, funky dried fish stalls, live fowl and swinging flyblown carcasses set beside a stinking canal.
If the top notes don’t get to you the pans of boiling oil frying everything from suspect sausage to baby chicks (yes, the cute form of chickens) will linger like an unwelcome tuk-tuk driver until you find somewhere to scrub yourself down with carbolic soap.
Near the intersection at Ratchadaphisek Road and Rama IV Road
See above and add some unusual approaches to animal welfare. Shark fin or bird spittle soup might help you live long and prosper, but this is not likely your goal today. A hairy pig’s trotter steeped in thick black molasses -- a fertility ‘cure’ -- is also unlikely to refresh the parts you abused the night before.
Hide from the brutal sun under the covered market stalls and blink your way through stinking leftover detritus and flip-flop flooding rat excrement. It could be worse though. Times all this by a thousand on Chinese New Year, when the gaudy excess, incense, firecrackers and sea of cheap plastic will have you so overwhelmed you’ll want to lie down and allow yourself to be trampled to death by the red-clad revelers.
MRT: Hualumpong, then taxi. Chao Phraya River Express: Ratchawong Pier
The Corrections Museum
Handily located within spitting distance of Chinatown (don’t laugh, it’s a mathematical measure in these parts) the Corrections Museum is an intriguing palace of pain and misery offering an exciting journey through "Thai torture techniques and capital punishment through the ages."
Gasp at the real knives used to disembowel naughty non-conformists, swoon at the lifelike firing squad set-up complete with a crumpled, bloodied dummy tied to a post with a sack on its head and sigh with relief at the lethal injection table, letting you know you’ve reached the entertainment crescendo and can now go home and lie down.
436 Mahachai Road, tel +66 (0)2 225 7320