After 23 hours on three flights I landed in Bangkok, grabbed my luggage from baggage claim, jumped in a cab, found my hostel. The doors were locked, the lights were off and the sign by the doorbell was written in Thai… Fortunately, like most times when I find myself in a bind while traveling, I had a very nice cab driver who read the sign and called the owners from his cell phone instead of abandoning me alone in a dark alley in Bangkok with all of my luggage. Finally, a bed.
I had two days to get over jet lag and rediscover Bangkok – this time, completely on my own. I stopped by old favorite spots, wandered to new markets, shopped, slept, took photos… these first two days were a blur of good food and tired explorations.
I finally found the Pad Thai I’d been unable to find at home – it was the perfect welcome to Thailand meal.
Kirsten was a little nervous to be in Asia for the first time, and asked me to meet her at the airport when her flight landed at 11:20 at night – exactly 48 hours after mine. It’s always so good to see her, and it never feels like time has passed since we said goodbye.
Even sleeping in, I cannot imagine a more stressful first day in Thailand than the one Kirsten got that day. It was the only weekend day we were planning to be in Bangkok, so we took a morning ride on the BTS to Chatuchak Weekend Market, sans giant backpack. Neither of us were used to the heat yet, and we found ourselves wandering among cages of birds, puppies, kittens, snakes, gerbils, monkeys, and tiny little animals we couldn’t name, in search of food (preferably not too close to the animals).
Unfortunately, we had too much to do and not enough time to leave them behind for long, so we carried them with us on foot, on tuk tuk rides, on boat rides, on the BTS, and on the MRT.
As usual, none of our plans worked out, so it ended up being a tour of Bangkok’s public transportation…
The day ended at Hua Lamphong Train Station, being yelled at for lying on the floor, eating munchies from the 7-Eleven, exhausted and a little disappointed that we hadn’t been able to book a sleeper train, but ready for whatever sleep we could get, and to spend the next week in the islands…