Ever since I got my first passport stamp at 18yrs old I wanted to go to Thailand. I don’t know if it was the beaches, the cities, the people or the food that had captured my lust from word of mouth. 6 years later I finally made it, and to top it off I was traveled there with my best friend, Lauren.
November 14th, 2013
Currently on a bus to Chiang Mai from Bangkok, technically its day 3 because we arrived at midnight on the 12th. Only had one full day in the city so we started it off early with the hotel breakfast buffet. It’s pretty important to get a full meal if you’re going to be wondering around a new city for hours. We then went to the hotel concierge to plan out our day and also figure out how we were getting to Chiang Mai the day after. Original plan was to rent a car and drive up, but after being heavily influenced not to by every single person we told we decided that wasn’t a good idea. Of course we learned that the train to Chiang Mai from Bangkok had broke and was under construction. All the flights were outrageous and none were direct because there were so many people traveling for the Yi Peng festival, (Americans know it as the Festival of Lights.) Bussing it was our only option. The concierge called four different bus companies and they were all full. The last one had 2 seats left but of course you had to buy them in person and the station was crazy far away. We ended up paying 200 baht for a messenger service to go and try to buy our tickets. (Still having no guarantee) Sidenote: If you’re going to a festival that thousands of people from all around the world travel to, make sure you have a confirmed mode of transportation to actually get there. A bit of a rookie mistake on my end, but all part of the experience.
Bangkok its self was almost a blur. In our 24 hour rush to see the city we accomplished a fair amount. Taking the sky train down to the Chao Phraya river and then taking a water taxi up to the Grand Palace was the best way of sight seeing on the go. The Grand Palace was just that, grand. The detailed roofing was what amazed me most, along with the paintings inside the main temple. I sat down in the temple along side many Thais to try and meditate, try and soak up the power this palace held so grandly to so many people. Unfortunately I was disappointed, constant flashing and loud voices made it hard to concentrate. The disrespect many of the tourists showed in these temples made me sick. There were “No Photo” signs everywhere and people ignored them and clicked away. Such disrespect to another culture just astounded me. After walking around the whole palace we dropped off the skirt Lauren had rented to enter the palace. No shorts, ripped jeans or tank tops were allowed. We ventured to Khao San road next because it was close to the palace and we wanted to find a tailor to get a suit made. Since we were going to be back in Bangkok the last day of our trip we wanted to get suits tailored. Bangkok is known for its tailors and I always take advantage of a countries gift. After checking out a few of the hundred tailor spots we picked one and got measured up, cost 3,000 baht, which is equivalent to $100. The exchange rate varies around 30 baht =$1. After we got $8 hour Thai massages and ate some more street food. We got a tuk tuk around 10pm to take us back to our hotel for 150 baht, which was a pretty good deal seeing that he started his bargain at 400, everything is negotiable. I also learned quickly that this city is all about its street food. Don’t ever eat in a restaurant here, there are a hundred times more street vendors in Bangkok than Starbucks in New York.