I made it am here! Live from Bangkok, Thailand. Bangkok is such a cool city. It is both fun of tourists, locals and something else to see and do. The last time I was here I spent over a week when I originally planned for a few days. This time it seems to be happening again. I want to stay longer but Cambodia is calling me as well.
This post summarizes my time in Bangkok. A personal post with feelings and what I actually did, a journal post lets call it. I am planning a post based on the things you must do and how to get around, stay tuned.
I arrived around 10 on January 31st, after about 24hrs of travel. At the end of my flight I struck up conversation with the girl next to me. She was from Turkey and was headed to Koh Tao get her certification to become a diving instructor. She was lovely and a great first friend here in Thailand.
Home Hug was the first hostel I stayed during my time in Bangkok. The hostel was cheap and for the amount of money it was what one would expect. It had air con, a towel, drinking water and breakfast which was toast with jellgy, coffee and tea. The bed wasn’t that comfortable and the guests ranged from short term travellers to those who called it home. I wasn’t sure what to expect, so it was a surprise. The hostel vibes were okay, since not everyone was a native English speaker I didn’t connect with everyone. The coolest part was that everyone was from a different country.
A retired man from Singapore was great to talk to. He was telling about the business of cement trading, which he used to work in. He told me about Singapore and it’s population, size, transportation and the economy change over the last few decades. We also discussed things around Bangkok that we’d like to see. He also has a niece in Canada who is always urging him to visit. So I tried to do the same.
A guy from Syria. He was in University studying to become a surgical dentist. He was staying at the hostel because it was cheaper and more convenient that getting his own accommodation. We discussed the night life here and how it compares to our home countries. There may have been some flirting going on, haha.
The first day I explored the city with a girl from Poland. We took the river ferry to the Jim Thompson house and golden mount.
And other interactions with people from the Netherlands, Germany, Bangladesh and Pakistan.
My plans consisted of staying at a cheap hostel for two nights and then heading over to another hostel to do a work exchange. As it so happens when I went to visit the hostel, they wouldn’t need me till the 12th, but I didn’t want to wait around. It was unfortunate because I think I would have really enjoyed myself there. However I didn’t stay with them from the get go which might have confirmed my position before the 12th. Once I got there I could tell the person who was running the hostel preferred the guests to stay there for a few nights and see how they got on with everyone. Which is totally fair. It was a bit of miscommunication and was a lesson to ask lots of questions before hand.
I then decided to start messaging hostels through workaday to see if anything else caught my eye. A few potential hostels seemed good but one didn’t need help till the 22nd and another needed 3 weeks minimum. A third which I almost worked at seemed to open to it but it wasn’t a hostel which I was looking for.
Now I am seated in Lumpini Park, which I got to accidently when I was took the wrong bus to get to a new hostel. So a happy accident.
I moved on after 3 days and didn’t really get to say good-bye to everyone. It wasn’t the best hostel for solo travellers as everyone was on different kinds of journeys. It definitely also lacked in cleanliness which was made up through how cheap it cost, 150 bhat approximately 6 CAD a night.
The food so far has been amazing. That is one of the things I love so much about Thailand. So far I have been eating vegetarian not vegan. Also I know fish oil is commonly used and I haven’t been asking for it to be ommited from my dishes, so maybe not even vegetarian, but still not consuming meat and dairy to the best of my ability.
My perspective is that I want to taste things as they are. Eliminating main ingredients, when they may not have something else on hand wouldn’t make the dishes taste very good. Also if not eating eggs then I wouldn’t be able to get a lot of protein. Even the servings of vegetables are smaller and cover in oil.
I found a lovely place around the corner from Home Hug which I had Pad Thai. The first time I ordered I forgot to ask for it vegetarian forgetting that pad thai is usually made with chicken. So I ate a bit of chicken as I didn’t want it to go to waste. The following times I made sure to ask for it made without chicken.
I had fried rice when visiting the golden mount. One afternoon had veggies on rice from a vendor who didn’t speak any English at all. I have also had mango, pineapple and fried banana. Coconut pancakes and mango and sticky rice are my favourite thing to find. All were so delicious.
I love getting to a new country and comparing it to others I have experienced. Whether it is back home or another country. Walking around Bangkok it seems the around corner I am reminded of another place. The rivers remind me of Venice, as they do call it the Venice of the east. The large city parks remind me of those I visited in Germany or even back home in Canada. The more I see and am able to compare the more I realize that we are more alike than we may seem.
I am exploring parts of the city which I never saw before. Staying further away from the city centre has forced me to get to know the local transit especially if I don’t want to pay for a tun tuk or motor bike although both are extremely enjoyable.
The passed through park one day when I went exploring to the flower market.
And Lumpini park which I wanted to go to but ended up here accidentally by taking the wrong bus on my way to a new hostel. Parks like these are always so surprising in a busy city. They are peaceful, green and provide an escape from the busy city streets of Bangkok.
Khao San Lovers
The second hostel I checked into after leaving Home Hug. This hostel gave me a room all to myself. I was in one bed of 12. The other bunk room was full with people from Britain, South Africa, Australia and Canada.
There was a roof top which I hung out on both nights. The first night everyone was together, discussing our adventures, different countries and what its like back home. Everyone else decided to go check out the pinging show, which I decided against, even though I was just as curious as everyone one else.
In the morning I woke up again super early. I ventured out into the city alone not taking a direct route but making my way over the a medical museum I had heard about.
On the way I found my way though smaller neighbourhoods, I passed by a small temple with Monks chanting in the afternoon and was hit on by a Thai man.
It was quite the uncomfortable experience, he would continuously try and touch my hand, and wanted to take my picture. He asked for a picture at one point and pull me in super close to where our cheeks were touching. I felt super uncomfortable, and didn’t know how to react, I was just shocked. Eventually I made up a lie to get him off of my trail.
Finally making it to the surgical museum, which was absolutely amazing. What I really wanted to see were the various bones and bodies that were preserved for research. They had tonnes of small unborn babies, with numerous types of birth defects. Tiny fetuses from 1 week to 9 months old. They had organs tainted by cancer and other injuries. In the second building, up a big flight of old wooden stairs, these remains were sorted and organized in glass and wooden cabinets. Making the seen that much more interesting and foreign. This was the coolest thing to see! Definitely recommend it!
I ended up back at the hostel taking with the other travellers. A few of the travellers left leaving me with a fellow Canadian for the night. Funny enough I usually try and stay away from Canadians, coming so far and find yourself talking to someone from back home is a funny thing. He was from Alberta and by the sounds of it very different from my life in Mississauga. We talked late into the night, some solid good life chats. It would be lovely to see him again in Cambodia.
I then headed off to bed to get up at 4:30 to make my way to Hua Lompong Train station to catch the 5am train to take me to the boarder crossing between Thailand and Cambodia.