What’s my first impression of Bangkok, Thailand? Spiritual, Beautiful, Friendly, and Ridiculously Affordable.
After a long trek from Los Angeles to Bangkok, Thailand, I’m talking about nearly twenty hours; I was agitated and irritated. Going through immigration and multiple checkpoints tested my patience. I had an eight-hour layover in China, and somehow, I ended getting lost for two hours during my transfer at the Beijing airport.
Don’t ask me how this happened, but not paying attention and a jet lag taking over resulted in me ending up on the wrong side of the massive airport. Already impatient, I had to go through the hassle of explaining that I was lost, but with the language barrier, it became a headache and pain. Once I found my way back to the international terminals where I needed to be, without hesitation, I sat down at a restaurant and had a glass of wine.
My initial journey to Bangkok was a bit hectic. However, I arrived in Thailand, and my attitude was adjusted and simmered, noting it was over, and that I made it. Calmly, I walked outside of the airport, ready to start the adventure. The warmth of the air and humidity forced me to take off layers. I removed my sweater, scarf, and quickly pinned up my thick hair.
I instantly noticed a lot of other tourists and backpackers from different backgrounds. There was an enormous amount of commotion happening; yet, it was the kind of disorder that exploited everyone’s excitement.
Other than prior research, knowledge of transportation was vague, but I was relieved to see a proper system to order a cab. I waited in a massive line filled with other curious travelers and groups for almost 30 minutes to take a position number, which directed me to a cab pick up lane.
I assumed that traffic was not going to be at all like Los Angeles. Though, during that cab ride, my assumptions were incorrect. I sat through an hour of traffic on top of the cab driver getting lost at one point. My impatience and tiredness arose once again.
Nevertheless, noting the agitated mood, remembering that this was part of the journey soothed my emotions. My curiosity somehow lit up wakefulness and sparked the great opportunity to gaze outside; familiarizing myself with the atmosphere of the city.
How would I describe Bangkok? Compared to my previous trips like Vancouver and India, Bangkok sit in between the two. There are well-developed skyscrapers while surrounded by what looked like lower-class sheds of homes and stores.
Every other home is decorated beautifully with gold and bedazzled religious statues or filled with paradise colors of floral arrangements. Without a surprise, Americanized companies like McDonald’s and Seven-Eleven stood at every few feet with entrances filled with street food vendors. Taking over the streets, were your traditional Southeast Asia tuk-tuks, some modernized vehicles, mopeds, and numerous cabs.
After finally arriving at the Airbnb, I took moments to relax on the patio. The panoramic view consisted of the countryside and a spectacular view of the city skyline.
Bangkok embodies a village element but a modernized city at the same time. Soon enough hunger interrupted my zen-like moment, so I hit the streets of the city for some food.
Thankfully, my Airbnb was centralized where many of the stores and restaurants stood near. Walking down a tight alley towards the main street, I stumbled upon locals.
The locals had a warm smile once our eyes met and didn’t seem to make a huge deal that I was a tourist. The community didn’t sit there and stare because you looked different. In comparison to my experience like India, I was a ghost in the streets of Bangkok.
Walking alone, not once did I feel that my safety was a concern. Coming from a city where the homeless fills the streets at times, not once did I see one begging for money. There would be odd smells here and there that would then swiftly taken over by street food vendors. Stray dogs roamed around that seemed to know the in-outs of the semi-cleaned streets.
The warm and delicious meal at a nearby restaurant ended my first night in Bangkok. Before resting, it was miraculous to think of the long trip to get there. Though, with a lot of anticipation of what was to come in the next two days in the city, I was hopeful for a seamless trip.
Visiting Landmarks and Temples (Coming Soon)
Exploring and shopping at the weekend market (Coming Soon)
Want to visit Bangkok? Here is what you need to know. (Coming Soon)