The second leg of our adventure has begun. After seven months in Australia, working on the Gold Coast and then travelling the East Coast, we have now landed in South East Asia.
First, stop Bangkok, Thailand. It was a complete culture change to the comforts of Australia. In my eyes, Australia is very much like home (England), apart from the sunshine and beaches.
Arriving in Bangkok was crazy. The first thing I noticed was the smell, a potent odour, which can only be described as sewage waste stench (I later heard that the Durian fruit is the culprit to what makes Thailand smell so bad). I was surprised by how dirty Bangkok actually was. I thought this was going to be one of the most Westernised countries we will be visiting in South East Asia, now I no longer know what to expect. How are we going to cope?
Upon arriving in Bangkok we then had the dilemma of finding our hostel without Google Maps. However, the real struggle was the fifteen minute walk with a backpack lying heavily upon your spine and the most unbearable humidity I have ever felt. Luckily our room had air conditioning. We stayed at Loftel 22, near China town. Looking back we probably threw ourselves in the deep end; we may have found the transition from normality a bit easier if we had stayed near Khao San Road, a popular backpacker area. But where’s the fun in that?
During our stay in Bangkok we visited plenty of temples. My favourite was The Reclining Buddha at Wat Pho (Jessie’s translation: “What Poo?”). The detail inside is remarkable, they are dotted everywhere you turn, it’s actually quite breathtaking at first. It’s all a bit odd though, you are walking along the streets of Bangkok, litter, poverty, smelly, buildings crumbling down around you and then all of a sudden a beautiful temple. How can it be, something so well maintained and extravagant surrounded by such poverty.
The highlight of my time in Bangkok was the Open Roof Top Bar at the Marriott Hotel. Beth didn’t really enjoy the experience like I did, she wouldn’t even look over the edge (she is a little scared of heights). It was beautiful seeing Bangkok lit up at night. It was actually how I had imagined the city to look.
Figuring out the street food situation was a bit of a pickle. We had no idea what we were ordering. We were situated near China Town and Online everyone was raving about the street food down there, so it all sounded perfect. But, it wasn’t easily done; maybe in a more backpacker area it would have been easier. It was actually really daunting. The first night we chickened out and settled down in a restaurant instead. The second night we kind of got the hang of it, ordering fried prawns, chicken and spring rolls. Then, we went for drinks in Khao San Road, here it was much easier. I even got to have one of my favourite meals I enjoy at home, a Thai Green Curry. I was excited to try it in Thailand, because you can’t get more authentic than that.
Overall, Bangkok wasn’t actually what I expected. What did I expect? Maybe I watched a little too much of The Hangover. Nonetheless, I still enjoyed my time. Lucky for me (or not, we will soon find out?), Beth and I will be returning to Bangkok before we leave South East Asia. By then it may have grown on me?
Have you been to Bangkok? Was it what you expected? Would you go back? I would love to hear about your experiences of the city, leave your comments bellow.