After almost a full day of traveling with a short layover in Dohar, Qatar I’ve landed in Bangkok. I get my pack and head to the transit to meet my friend.
Picture New York City during rush hour, but 3x’s worse, that’s Bangkok. It takes practically 15 minutes to cross the street. Taking a metered cab can cost a lot because you’re sitting in traffic most of the time. When I was alone & not taking the metro or walking, I’d hop on an Uber motorcycle. It cost 32 baht which is not even 1 dollar for 3.62 kilometers/approx. 2.25 miles.
I stayed at Bed Station Hostel, which became known to me and is recognized by Travel Advisor as the best hostel. It’s centrally located, approximately 30 mins from Suvarnabhumi Airport, a 2 minute walk from Rachathewi BTS Station, 2 stops/12 minute walk from Siam Center (shopping center), minutes from MBK Center, around the corner from restaurants/street food and right across from a massage parlor. I stayed in a dorm style room, which cost about $15 a night. They have AC, one of the most comfortable beds I have slept on during this entire trip, a curtain around the bed to give you some privacy, lockers, breakfast, addicting cookies, and more. The staff is extremely kind, helpful and knows how to entertain their guest. I never had a dull moment there; Bed Station just feels like home.
One thing I underestimated was how bad jet lag was going to hit me. I was literally like this the next day. (less smiling though)
All the walking and partying on Khao San Road could have been part of the problem. It took me almost a week to get my body adjusted to the time difference.
[Thai Fish Massage]
I had no intensions of getting one. It kind of just happened. It tickles like crazy, but once you get use to it it feels pretty nice.
[Boat ride along the Chao Phraya river]
[At the market]
With plans to head to Koh Samet for the weekend while we waited for our visa for Myanmar(Burma) [which takes 3 days/cost 810 baht – $23], that left me with about 2 -3 days to see Bangkok. All I really saw was Asiatique night market. I attempted to see the temples, but the crowds that unloaded off the coach busses overwhelmed me. All I saw were selfie sticks, and a stuffed animal on a stick everywhere. (If you live in NYC you should know what that means. A massive tour group you rather not walk near.) I decided I’d come back another time. I just couldn’t do it especially in the heat. On top of that, if you haven’t noticed, I’m black and in Asia I couldn’t go anywhere unnoticed. Nine times out of ten, someone is making it very clear they see me. Which is okay, it’s all about the approach. [I’ll get more into it later.]
[Street food: Papaya Salad – spicy & delicious]
Traveling from Bangkok to Koh Samet was about 3.5 hrs. We caught the bus from Ekkamai Eastern Bus Terminal, then a boat from Ban Phe to Koh Samet. The first night we stayed at XP Hotel and that same night I lost my phone. I was told countless number of times how Thai people are so nice, and lucky for me I was able to see that for myself when I lost my phone. However, my phone still got destroyed. The next two nights we stayed at Olly’s the only dorm style hostel on the island, and is usually booked out. The staff is friendly, the set up is really cool and I had a great time there. The only thing I couldn’t wrap myself around were the pods aka Japanese coffin style beds. The first night I was out of it and slept like a baby. The second night, I think I was losing it. I wouldn’t say I’d never sleep in one again, but it sure was quiet the experience.
[I call it Harry Potter’s cupboard]
We rented motorbikes and road to the end of the island.
[At the very end of the island]
[Eating tamarind right off the tree]
Imagine being on the secluded part of the island. It’s so peaceful until a number of boats appear at the shore unloading dozens of people.
I had a few people run up to me for pictures. I could be rich if I got paid for every picture someone took of/with me throughout this trip. We went from being on the secluded part to another crowded section in minutes. It did put a slight damper on our ambiance, however, watching the people play in the water, fully clothed with extreme happiness definitely put a smile on our face.
[We crashed a wedding. It was beautiful!
Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to crash the reception.]