Our house sit in Hua Hin, Thailand has ended and it is time for us to move on to our next location. Our next sit is two weeks away and in an entirely different hemisphere. Here is a rundown of our adventure near the Don Muang International Airport in Bangkok.
Hua Hin to DMK Airport
The Don Muang International Airport (DMK) is one of two airports in the city of Bangkok. It is most often used by the discount airlines, like AirAsia, and is in an absurdly inconvenient location. Bangkok has a great subway system… that doesn’t service DMK. Taxis are cheap in Bangkok, as long as you aren’t traveling to DMK. Buses run regularly, but due to traffic, will take at least an hour to go anywhere from DMK. The Don Muang International Airport is the absolute worst… as far as location (the food and shops are delightful).
Thankfully, we found a direct mini bus from Hua Hin to DMK for 200 baht (~$6) each. Our host dropped us off at the Hua Hin 51 Alley New Bus Station. There was a line of windows, each clearly labeled with the various locations. We were immediately accosted by touts, but they didn’t seem to be scammers. We’re pretty sure they just get a commission for walking us to the correct window. Still, there are signs up with the major destinations in English, so it’s probably best to just find the right window on your own.
Pros: The mini bus was a large van with AC and a fan in the back. It was a little hot by the halfway mark, but otherwise had a pretty comfortable temperature. The van stopped once every hour for about 15 minutes and once at the halfway mark for 30 minutes. The whole journey took almost exactly four hours.
Cons: It was a bumpy and uncomfortable ride. There was no space for our bags, either in the cab or between the seats. This meant we had to carry our 50 lbs bags on our laps for the entire trip. Needless to say, my legs were very sore and a little bruised by the time we finally got out. Josh got a little car sick from the tight quarters and erratic driving.
That said, I think I would still take the bus again. Despite the issues, it was saved a lot of time and hassle once in Bangkok, not to mention it was considerably cheaper.
Homey DMK Hostel
On our brief layover in Bangkok earlier last month, we stayed for a single night at Homey Don Muang Hostel. It was the cheapest and most convenient hostel to the Don Muang airport with vacancies. We immediately fell in love with it and returned to stay there again during this trip to Bangkok. It is now rated as one of our all-time favorite hostels.
Homey is located a short walk (10mins or less) from the airport. It is a very exciting and interesting walk past a train station, food carts, temple, and suburban canal. I wouldn’t say that there is enough things to do in this neighborhood to visit for more than a day or two, but it kept us entertained enough between working and sleeping.
We got two beds in a 10 bed dorm for 350 baht ($11) each. The room had a large AC, set of large lockers, and a reading nook. Each bunk had linens and towel, mirror and shelf, reading light, two plug ins, and a thick privacy curtain. Despite the bunks, we slept very comfortably and loved the nice, wide beds.
Down the hall was a toilet that was cleaned regularly and provided toilet paper. On the other side of the hall was a large shower closet with rain shower head, hand shower, shampoo, and shower gel dispenser. Once again, it seemed to be cleaned after nearly every use.
The hosts at the front desk were delightful. They gave us great advice for every question we threw at them and showed honest care for our well-being. The hostel does not provide free breakfast (which is unusual at that price range), but it does provide free snacks… which was even better. In the mornings, we were treated to free coffee and toast. Sometime there would be muffins or bananas as well. Throughout the rest of the day, there were cup noodles, cookies, and bottled water available. The provided food, along with the more local prices of the nearby restaurants, made for a very affordable food budget.
Day to Day
As mentioned, there wasn’t much to do in the area. We could have caught a cab into Bangkok pretty easily, but we were trying to watch our spending due to the expensive airline tickets we had just purchased. So, we spent most of the days catching up on sleep, watching movies, working online, and exploring the neighborhood.
We enjoyed some great street food, strolls through malls and night markets, and a quick exploration of a neighboring temple. Overall, I think we got a pretty good feel for the neighborhood.
We will be returning to Thailand later this summer and are already looking forward to it. Thailand didn’t immediately feel like home to us, but once it did, we were all in. It is a country full of kind people, beautiful women, delicious food, and amazing scenery. Our one month in Thailand was not nearly enough! We can not wait to come back and explore more of this country that we have come to love.
But for now, we are at the DMK airport getting ready to set out on our next adventure. We have two $180 tickets on AirAsia to Melbourne, Australia. This will be our fifth continent in 400 days (we visited Barcelona and Marrakech last March)! I can’t wait to explore the new variety of flora and fauna of the Southern hemisphere… but also to enjoy the more familiar language and culture. I hope they have Mexican food!
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