Finally able to post my first blog about my first days in Bangkok, Thailand!
The day before yesterday I took off from Rotterdam airport to Istanbul. There I waited 13 hours with a companion traveler for our flight to Bangkok. Why not spend the day in Instanbul, you ask?
As a matter of fact we tried to do so, but we didn’t want to get through immigrations before we were well informed on the current situation. It took us a lot of time to find a traveldesk. Somehow the service employees at the airport did not seem as helpful as we had hoped.
With every question at a desk (of any kind) the employees didn’t understand English well, some of them not even willing to answer the questions of passengers. They just made a “I don’t know” gesture and send them away.
Due to contradicting information on tourist information and visa information after being send from desk to desk, we decided to stay on the airport. When the immigration desk closed up right in front of us when it was finally our turn and another one sent us back, because of wrong visa info, we were almost over the first half of our waiting time of our transfer.
I spend my time eating, sleeping, watching 12 years a slave, walking across the whole airport (did not miss a single gate!) and listening to music.
Around 1.45 we finally took off for Bangkok. Sleeping half and already confused about the time. Tiredness took over.
Day 1: Bangkok at night
At 5 or 6 pm we arrived at the Good Day Hostel. This hostel is very neat and has incredibly friendly staff.
After a bit of rest in the room we went out to walk Petchburi Rd, where all big shopping malls are, to eat some delicious shrimp soup and see a bit of Bangkok around our hostel.
We walked by a sacred.. I’ll just call it a kind of altar of Shiva. Quite a large number of people prayed there in front of the statue. Altars or sacred temples and structures are a very common sight. Lot’s of houses or buildings have them (in smaller varieties) to keep spirits away. And with that I guess the negative ones. I haven’t really soaked up all knowledge about the Buddhism with a hint of Hindoeism religion here yet. Still learning!
Day 2: getting around, building experience
Today we started our day with booking tickets at the Railway station. Missinformed my someone who seemed to like a authentic service employee we booked a bus tour to Chiang Mai. After some help provided by our kind Thai receptionist, she confirmed it was probably ok and not a scam, but since my travelguide and traveler stories do not really advise to take that bus (theft and what not) we’ll let those tickets go after all to not risk any “dramah”.”Probably” didn’t cut it. Since the tickets are not too expensive for us, better safe than sorry!
From the Railway we continued our day trip to the centre of Bangkok to visit the temples and palace of the King. We bought a lie of a man who presented himself as a legit tourist information employee at (at our defense) a actually legal information cabin. He directed us to a boat trip before entering the Palace, because it was “full”. Scam 101, when someone says it’s full or closed, it never is! This we learned afterwards. It is absolutely crowded at the Palace before 2 pm, but that is all?
A litte overpriced, but not something I didn’t like, we took a boat that took us over the main river in Bangkok. I liked it still, because it gave a good impression of the way of life around the canals. And I saw three huge lizards, I mean huge.
After lunch we visited the Temple of Wat Pho, the reclining Buddha. It’s that I’m not really Bangkok savy yet, but I would have liked to visit some more (:
After that we tried again to get into the Palace, but my companion was not dressed properly. I had a sarong with me to cover my legs. Being humble means a great deal.
Next stop was Khao San Road. Maybe you’ve seen in the movie The Hangover.
And the last stop before the rain came another small temple.
Closed the day with some good food!
A girl has no name
A lot of people think I am Thai or at least a bit. Looking at my face they’re not sure where I am from until I start talking. That’s when the tourist bell rings and the prices rise?
Tomorrow I’ll fix a train ticket to Chiang Mai and meet up with a colleague! After Monday it is time to travel on my own. Looking forward to meeting new people!