I have been dreaming of this trip to Thailand for the better part of a decade as my dream trip and it was everything I could have wanted and more. These last two weeks have been spent going out, scuba diving and relaxing between said activities. As this is my last “day” (we leave for the airport in roughly ten hours), I thought I would write and reflect on the trip now while it’s most fresh in my mind and the sticky air is still surrounding me.
That being said, I will omit little to nothing of my trip, from scams, fights, adult shows, tears… the lot. I want to remember this amazing trip for all it was and being honest with my readers is a big step to being honest with myself and face my problems head-on.
One final note: please excuse any formatting issues and lack of photographs especially for the scuba diving portions of these posts. I am working on my iPad and don’t have access to my computer for the media formatting and picture downloading. I will update following posts as the pictures come in and saying so likewise in future posts.
Our first top on this two week trip was Bangkok.
Wednesday, 12 June: We started traveling early on the 11th, my brother Ryan (21) first catching a flight from Tucson and us both meeting at LAX for a series of more flights. We flew from Los Angeles to Seattle to Tokyo before finally arriving in Bangkok late on the 12th (time zones are weird). All flights were smooth and uneventful; I read, watched movies and YouTube videos. It didn’t even take leaving the airport before we met our first “scam.” I downloaded the Southeast Asia version of Uber (Grab) and hailed a ride to our hostel. Of course, being in Thailand, the app is all in Thai so I was having a bit of trouble navigating it. We went out of the airport to the ride share area where a man holding a phone approached me and asked to see my phone. Assuming this would help with the language barrier, I showed him the ride I hailed. It wasn’t until we were in his car that I realized he had cancelled my ride to take us there himself. All in all, not the worst thing to happen to anyone ever (I had my maps open to make sure he was taking us the right way), but just goes to show you have to stay on your toes and be assertive! We arrived at our hostel late at night and crashed.
Thursday, 13 June: We hit the pavement early the next morning, too excited to sleep. We walked to the Grand Palace, where we marveled at temples, royal residences and government buildings… with about a million Asian tourist groups. We made our way across the river to Wat Arun, another impressive temple. The mosaic work and statues on all these temples were especially impressive. After a sweaty morning, we treated ourself to a tuk tuk ride back to the hostel and hung out at the pool.
There, we mingled with other guests, drank and played games. That hostel (Bed Station Khao San Road) was probably my favorite the whole trip for the atmosphere, location and amenities. I certainly got too carried away with the fact that alcohol is literally served by the bucket, which is about four shots and a splash of mixture, and the fact that the winner of a billiards contest I befriended didn’t want his reward bucket certainly didn’t help my state.
The drinks and conversations (I couldn’t comment on how intelligent they were) were flowing before we were led to the famous Khao San Road a block over for a night out, at which point I was three buckets deep. I only somewhat remember dancing a lot (because most people commented on it the next day), eating a few scorpions street vendors offer to the drunkest of the lot and buying a lewd bracelet whose phrase I’m too ashamed to share. I can’t remember what set me off exactly, but I think I felt excluded for whatever reason and got too into my head and excused myself. I sat on a stoop of what I think was a hotel and cried, had a panic attack and chundered. I texted Ryan and a girl I met at the hostel something really unintelligible, probably trying to communicate where I was, before I was found by a group of first year British guys from our hostel who helped me back to my room. It was strange because something like this has never happened to me before. I get a lot of things when I drink (talkative, friendly, dancing queen, karaoke nightmare), but never sad or anxious despite my usual acute but constant state of worry sober. Needless to say, I didn’t drink for the rest of the trip. In the immortal words of Chess, “One night in Bangkok makes the hard man humble.”
Friday, 14 June: We took the day to rest and recover, getting a Thai massage. I’ve never gotten a professional massage before so I don’t have much to compare it to, but the masseuse but her whole body into my massage, which was more of a deep stretch than anything. I didn’t love it but I didn’t hate it, except the bits in the neck, that I hated.
We continued to rest during the day until two Americans from our room (Noah and Alex) proposed we go out to a ping pong show. Like the good girl I am, I literally thought it was a ping pong game until they explained to me what it is, which made me equally parts intrigued and disturbed. We hung out at the hostel until the Americans’ university friends (Ben and Bryan) showed up for drinks before going to the show. We went to Khao San Road (both Alex and I remained sober) where the others drank and inhaled balloons full of laughing gas (widely available in the area). I tried a small balloon and it just makes you dizzy for a few seconds and then you come down, but for whatever reason Ben and Bryan were big fans. We negotiated our way into a ping pong show and I can best describe it as a vagina circus. The lovely ladies performed different acts starring their between-me-down-there including the title show: shooting ping pongs from their vaginas into a basket on the other side of the stage. After that, Ryan wanted to go back to the hostel but sober and alert, I didn’t want the night to end. I tagged along with the four American guys to Soi Cowboy, an area my friend recommended to me. We walked up and down the road swatting away what I can only assume were ladies of the night. I wanted to go to a ladyboy show, but the others weren’t interested. We went to a strip club for a bit until we had anough and headed back to the hostel, ending the night.
Saturday, 15 June: Our last day was really low key, especially since Ryan slept for most of the day after I slept most of the day yesterday. We did, however, go to the Chatuchak weekend market which was a bit disappointing. All that was being sold was basically crap but that didn’t stop me from buying a coin purse and a dress (I figure even if it didn’t even last me until the end of the trip, I wouldn’t lose sleep over the $10USD I spent total).
We went back to the hostel where we spent the remainder of the day, Ryan relaxing and me mingling with a Londoner called Marley. The night took a turn when Marley thought my towel was his and he unraveled it, dropping my key card in the cracks of the pool deck. Thankfully, the reception understood and issued a new one to me for free. I told Marley to come to the Full Moon Party in a few days as he would be on a neighboring island and said goodnight early so I could rest up for my early flight to Koh Samui the next day.
Both Ryan and I agreed that we stayed the perfect length of time in Bangkok. In fact, if it weren’t for the amazing atmosphere the hostel provided, I don’t think I would have had such a good time. I enjoyed going out and would spend a few days in Bangkok to do enjoy the nightlife, discover new temples and try my luck at other markets, but the other attractions seem over-commercialized and a bit of a tourist trap.
Once we got to the islands, we felt that was the “real” Thailand… stay tuned!