We made it to Bangkok after an extremely long travel day. Our flight from LAX to Bangkok was fifteen hours to Taiwan, ten hour layover there and then a four hour flight to Thailand.
Once we arrived, we used the metro to travel from the airport into the city. We had booked a vacation rental and it proved to be near impossible to find the building. The people in the neighborhood didn’t speak any English (or Spanish) so we had to do a lot of critical thinking in order to find our condo.The directions we’d been given were pretty straight forward “Find the lobby, look for mirrored doors in the middle of this room, inside you’ll see mail boxes, the key is inside the condo mailbox labeled 559/228.” Sounds easy, right? Wrong. We couldn’t find the lobby. It didn’t help that the heat and humidity was out in full force and our backpacks were starting to feel like heavy boulders on our backs in the sun. Also, the cell phone we brought with us to use for local calls wasn’t accepting the SIM card so we were unable to call for help. When we did finally walk into the condo, the air conditioning felt heavenly. I think I dropped my bag on the floor and just sat to enjoy the cold air blow the sweat off my face.
It was currently 15:00 in the afternoon and even though we were tired, we were determined to battle the first jet lag so we set out to explore Bangkok. Our goal was to find Khao San Road and do some people watching and street food eating.
However, we never made it to Khao San Road. After taking the metro as close as we could, we were supposed to take a bus. But without the assistance of wifi and with the language barrier we were unable to locate the bus stop. Some very eager tuk-tuk drivers were very persistent and tried to get us on board. They offered to take us to discount stores so we could buy souvenirs. We politely refused and walked away. The tuk-tuk driver followed us and said the direction we were walking would take us into the part of town full of “thieves and pickpockets.” We weren’t sure if this man was telling the truth or not but we were willing to risk our chances.
Turns out the tuk-tuk driver was right. The area we walked into seemed somewhat questionable. And the lack of businesses made it hard to find anyone to point us in the right direction. So Super Nel and I did what we do best-we trusted out guts and relied on our brains to figure out a solution. We decided to cross the street in order to get a different view of our surroundings and to determine if the two gentleman walking closely behind us were simply fast walkers or following us. Once we crossed the street I saw a building with a sign that listed the business as a hostel. A hostel is the best place to go to get help with your surroundings. Turns out it was a good choice because inside Yellow Duck Hostel we found some friendly faces who spoke a little English. They provided us with a map and showed us which way to walk in order to find a nearby temple and China Town.
China town turned out to be a “must see” for Super Nel because of the tasty street food.
Every street we explored was full of people, cars, tuk-Turks, vendors and did I mention people?!
We tried to retrace our steps back toward the hostel, but it was impossible. Every corner we turned brought us back to a new street. Nothing looked familiar and we had no sense of which way to go.
After more endless walking we found ourselves at a dead end. But we found this beautiful shrine and one of Bankok’s many canals was behind it. The sun was setting and this turned out to be the perfect place to watch it disappear behind the buildings.
In the end, we found a bar and had a cold beer. Super Nel and I decided we would brave a tuk-tuk ride to get us back to the nearest metro station. It turns out, the tuk-tuk rides are exhilarating! It’s like being inside a live version of Mario Kart.
When we finally returned to our condo it was 20:00. We had fought the jet lag off for as long as we could. Now it was time for some much needed sleep.