City of Angels
Moisture saturated the tiny window holes of the plane as dawn cracked over the horizon, at first giving my Canadian eyes the decieving impression of frost. But there is surely no such thing here.
Rather, it was a taste of how overpowering Bangkok would be to all the senses, including smothering humidity and heat.
My feet touched Asian soil for the first time some time on Tuesday morning (I think) when I questionably decided to leave the Tokyo airport during a six hour layover, after a nine hour flight from Vancouver. It was exhilarating joining the masses packed on the subway, my blonde hair screaming foreigner. I got off at Shibuya (Tokyo’s Times Square), grabbed some dumplings and after doing a quick circuit headed back to the airport.
It was 5am local time in Bangkok when my time travelling was complete. I was so delirious from only snatching probably two hours of sleep during my whole journey that I thought my luggage was lost. It was, in fact, just at the belt that was actually for my flight. Phew!
I couldn’t check in to my hostel just off Khaosan Road until 2pm, so I dropped off my bag and walked the two blocks to the legendary Road. Discarded drinks and trash hinted at the previous night’s party in the backpacker’s haven ,which likely only ended two hours prior. Now sleepy vendors were setting up their clothing stands and lighting fires for kebobs and noodle dishes. I was single-minded in my purpose, to hunt down a Thai massage. After such a long journey, the $6 half hour massage was a slice of heaven.
For the rest of the morning I wandered around the streets in a zombie-like fashion, and got quickly accustomed to some of the local scams and the endless temple outfitting stores, the smell of golden spray paint wafting onto the street.
Taking a walk in Bangkok is truly, as I already mentioned, an overpowering experience. Within one city block the smells of Buddhist flower and incense offerings mix with spices from street vendors, and also the sewer. You will undoubtedly walk past two 7/11s, get offered a Tuk Tuk (motorbike taxi) about a million times and maybe have a scorpion or tarantula shoved in your face (for eating, apparently). The stream of traffic is endless, motorbikes signalling to one another with their horns.
I could go on with colourful descriptions for days, but you get the point.
The rest of Wednesday was kind of a write off, but yesterday I thought I would get all the tourist sights out of the way. Starting off with tourism central, I qeued up for the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew, house of the Emerald Buddha. Then I hit Wat Pho, which was really neat. Definitely the biggest Buddha I’ve ever seen, the reclining Buddha fills the cavernous hall (see photo).
In the afternoon, having enough of the Bangkok heat, I decided to retreat into the air conditioned MKB Mall in Siam Square. Next door was the Bangkok Art and Cultural Centre, which had some awesome street photography and exhibit about climate change. To top off the day, I headed to Saxophone Pub, where Thailand’s version of Michael Buble was heading a seven piece jazz band.
Thus far, although I’m so ready to break out the bikini and head to the southern Islands, there are things I love about Bangkok. #1 obvs is cheap and delicious street eats. Did I mention delicious, and also everywhere? As well, there are gorgeous temples everywhere. And cheap beer.
Bangkok is my first stop in a three month backpacking circuit through South East Asia, after quitting my job in April to go see the world. So here we are.
Stay tuned for more from paradise. 🏝️✌️
Note: If you’re wondering where my photos proper are at, I won’t be processing them until after my trip. I’ve gone laptop-less, hence the crappy phone photos.