Thailand, Thailand, Thailand, known for it’s incredible islands, awful bus rides, lounging, partying, and drugs. Well to most people anyways. Halez and I approached Thailand a bit differently. In the beginning planning stages, and without knowing any geography of the region, I did a lot of research on each island south of Bangkok. In the later stages, when I did more research and we had an outline planned, we deferred. You hear a lot of great things about (some) of the islands down south, but not enough for us to make it a priority. They are extremely touristy (which we hate) and some of them down right trashy. Getting from one island to the next seems to be a bit nightmarish with the Ferries and Buses, sticky hot weather, and they are loaded with a bunch of drunk people. Fun in some regard, but when you are also going to Vietnam and Bali? Yeah, we’d take those beaches over the Thailand ones any day. We hit up the 2 major cities in Thailand and spent a couple days at each, Bangkok and Chiang Mai.
Bangkok was intense. I’m not a city girl, I’ve retreated to a small mountain town 2 years ago and I have no plans to leave any time soon. When I go to a city I get overwhelmed after 24 hours and look for the nearest escape. Truthfully, the only reason I was excited for Bangkok was because it was the start of the whole trip. Besides the weather, culture switch, and new environment, I really wasn’t too jazzed about it in comparison to the other places we’re going. It was completely nuts. Motorized scooters, Tuk Tuks, and big vans all weaving in and out of each other on narrow streets. People waving things in your face trying to get you to buy stuff, or yelling at you across the street trying to get you to sign up for a tour. On the plus side, the alleys are loaded with markets and you can buy any thing just about anywhere. I wouldn’t buy any meat on the street though, that seems to be why most people wake up the next morning with the shits. It’s pretty easy to see why when you walk past an old lady slicing up raw chicken on a wooden stool, under the baking sun, surround by flies. It’s pretty easy. Veggies only. We decided we were fancy and ate at really awesome organic, fresh restaurants and paid a bit more for it, but the food was absolutely delicious. The best part were the cocktails and fresh juices everywhere. I had so many beetroot ginger carrot (etc.) juices I was in heaven.
We heard the river was a really great place to hang out but that proved wrong. The river was, in as many words, trashed. Filled with garbage and darker than your wooden table. We wondered what fish could actually live in there and would we dare order some? We did a lot of walking around and hitching rides on Tuk Tuks. We went to the Grand Palace but something seemed to be going on because a lot of the roads were blocked off to the Temples, someone VERY important apparently was in town. I went to Lumpini park which was gorgeous, had a big running/biking paved path that looped around the park and a ton of old school workout equipment. Ran to the park, did the loop, watched some Tai Chi and ran back home. After traveling for so long it was great to break a sweat and let myself be freeeeeee!
All in all, Bangkok was kind of what I expected. Huge city, pretty gosh darn Americanized, clean but dirty (just got with it), loud, and crazy traffic everywhere all day. I never really felt like I left the states, it was super modern. Glad I got to experience it, but would not be on my list to rush back to.