October 1st, 2016
I’m not sure the next time I’ll make it to this hemisphere, so I’m going to try and maximize my travels over here. This sounds quite expensive, yes I’m far from rich, but travel is surprisingly really manageable. Well for one I’m in closer proximity to places like Thailand, mainland China, Japan (all on my wish list) so flights are cheaper than what you’ll see from the US. Two, I utilize my student status and take advantage of websites like Student Universe that provide student discounted rates for flights. Three, accommodation is also not expensive. Whether you’re a big Airbnb user, or prefer the comfort of a hotel, the rates are pretty reasonable at the locations I’ve looked at. It’s even better if you travel with a friend or two to split that cost. Just have to plan well and stick to your budget.
Anyways, yes I’m currently in Thailand! To be exact I’m writing this sitting on a tour bus with a group of travelers, earphones in listening to “A Seat at the Table” going to check out temples in Ayutthaya, and then take a boat ride back to Bangkok. This is actually day 2 of my stay in Thailand. Yesterday I went to the infamous Chatuchak weekend market in Bangkok, which I’ll get into. First, I’ll talk about my initial impressions of Thailand.
So we took the red-eye flight from Hong Kong to Bangkok, which was around 2 hours 20 mins. Short and pleasant, except I ate a sausage/pork/idk what kind of meat bun it was that turned my stomach upside down. Which was a common theme here in Thailand, but anyway haha. We stayed in Sukhumvit, a very busy touristy area in Thailand with a bunch of hotels and restaurants. There are pink cabs everywhere, stray dogs running around, and very weird smells. Thailand’s infrastructure is also quite underdeveloped. I noticed as soon as we got off the highway that there are no streetlights here. Drivers just have to be aggressive when they’re turning at an intersection; I’m surprised to not have seen an accident. It makes sense why Thailand is ranked 2nd in the world for traffic jams. It’s densely populated, and many automobile companies manufacture here like Toyota and Nissan. There’s an abundance of cars with only so much road, and no direction for traffic that during peak hours you can be stuck in a delay for up to seven hours! This is what I was told by a local. Some vans actually have toilets in them because they have to be prepared for such delays after work. So to avoid the jams you have to be heading out in the morning around 6 am, which is why I had to wake up around 5:30 for this tour I’m on.
That’s another thing, Thailand thrives off of their tourism. Which is why they treat visitors so well. Most exploring you do will have to be done with a tour-guide who assures you have a safe and pleasant experience. All of my touring was done with an English-speaking tour guide. We got picked up by car from our hotel and dropped back to our hotel, yea talk about service. There are also the swindlers outside the hotel that try to rip you off for a cab ride, or give you a bike ride around the city, “I’m good bruh”.
I’ll tell share my adventures in part 2.