Bangkok

9 Oct

The beginning of our trip did not start so well. We arrived at Brisbane Airport in good time on the Monday morning but quickly discovered that due to a security scare in Sydney our flight was going to be delayed. Delayed it was… Twice.

By the time we got to Sydney we’d missed two connecting flights, but luckily got transferred to the latest flight that evening. I don’t know if the gods were smiling on me at this point, but the girl I was seriously worried about sitting with for eight hours on a plane was shifted to a different seat leaving only me with the other girl. The flight was actually somewhat enjoyable as far as nine hours in a confined space can be.

We arrived in Bangkok in the small hours of the morning unsure of whether our hotel would still be expecting us seeing as we were so late. This was when we’d discovered that our luggage was still in Australia and we weren’t entirely sure when we’d get it back. This meant we had to get some rudimentary toiletries and go shopping the next day for some clothes.

Surprisingly, our hosts at the hotel were still waiting up for us and they showed us to our room and we all finally went to bed.

The next day we travelled into the city via train with no real plan of what we were to do. A man stopped us at the train station and asked us where we were from, sparking a conversation that ended up probably saving our holiday. For the rest of the trip we called this random man our guardian angel. He directed us to go to a place called the Internal Booking Office, got us a tuk tuk for a ridiculously cheap price (30 Baht) and sent us on our merry way.

The Internal Booking Office really was our holiday saviour. We had not organised anything for our holiday other than the first two nights’ accommodation in Bangkok and only vaguely had an idea of where we wanted to go and what we wanted to do afterwards. A helpful man at this office told us about things we could do and ended up booking flights, accommodation, transfers and activities for us for what I consider a pretty good price. Now, I’m sure this guy had some kind of commission, and perhaps we could have found a few cheaper options but frankly, it took all of the stress out of the rest of the holiday. We even had spare time to organise things for ourselves so it was still a bit flexible.

This guy also organised a day tour for the following day. The girl who didn’t want to see the tigers went on a separate tour focusing on WWII monuments, while the other girl and I went to see the floating markets, the Bridge over the River Kwai and (best of all) the Tiger Temple.

The rest of the day we spent on the hunt for clothing seeing as we weren’t sure whether our bags would be arriving that day or the next. Clothing sizing standards don’t seem to really exist in Thailand and even finding underwear was a little bit scary. I was seriously worried that I wouldn’t find a pair that would stretch enough to fit even my fairly small frame. But we did, eventually. I bought a few shirts and a pair of seriously comfy pants. We also tried out a fish foot spa… Then we arrived back at the hotel to discover that our luggage had actually arrived.

The following day we went on our day tour. The one I went on included the Tiger Temple, which I was most excited about. I knew that if I did anything in Thailand, it had to be to pat a tiger. I’ll write a separate post about this day as this one is already getting quite lengthy. It was jam packed with interesting stuff and, of course, the thrill of touching a real tiger. It was one of my favourite days of the holiday overall. One girl and I went to the floating markets, which is well worth the trip just for the experience of sitting in both a long-tail boat and a paddle boat. Then we went to the Bridge over the River Kwai, where I learnt how ignorant I was about WWII. Lastly, we went to the Tiger Temple where I got to pat a tiger and kiss a deer.

Bangkok is a seriously busy place. I don’t think it has blue skies anymore due to the extensive pollution, but it still has a certain kind of appeal. The city stretches on forever and ever. You know how, say, Brisbane has a CBD and the rest of the city is kind of spread out but flat? Well, Bangkok seems to be almost entirely CBD with tiny pockets of swampy areas. It’s bizarre. I don’t know if I could have spent longer there than the two or so days that we did, but it was worth the experience. And, seeing as I’m not really a party person, I completely missed the party section of the city. I’m not disappointed about that, to be honest. The only thing that I didn’t see that I will probably return to Thailand is the Chatuchuk markets. They’re only on during the weekend so we missed them, unfortunately.

That, my friends, is a faiiiirly brief recount of the beginning of my holiday and my time in Bangkok. Next on the agenda was Chiang Mai.

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