Monthly Archives: January 2015

Bye Bye Bangkok, Bye Bye

It looks like my time in Asia has come to an end as I sit on the train bound for Suvarnabhumi Airport. In a few short hours, I’ll hop on a plane to Stockholm and Bangkok will be left behind.

Even though a 12-hour flight will separate me from Thailand, I’ll have many memories to keep me company. Despite the rough start, I have to admit that the country has grown on me and that I’ve had a wonderful time here.

In some ways, Thailand is definitely a backpacker’s haven that has called to wandering travelers for decades. I believe you can still find authentic people and places, even if it might be difficult to identify at first glance.

Many travelers say the Thai are friendly and generous people. I’d have to agree with this assessment for the most part (tuk tuk drivers are another story). The staff at many of the hostels and guesthouses I visited were warm and welcoming. They went out of their way to help when they could, but mostly they provided you with the space you need to relax and totally unwind.

Even though I’m excited to finally experience Europe and catch up with some friends, I’ll admit that I’m sad to leave this part of the world. This simply means I’ll have to make my way back here one day . . . hopefully soon.

So long Thailand. Until we meet again.


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Filed under Thailand, Transportation

Crazy Bangkok Nights

When I got back to Bangkok, I checked into U-baan Guesthouse again, and it was like coming home. Joy greeted me and we caught up on what had gone on since the last time I was here. Then, Joy sent me up to my room with a sly smile. I knew something was definitely up but wasn’t sure what.

Later that day when I got ready for bed, I realized what that evil glimmer in Joy’s eyes was all about. It turned out that she took my joking request seriously and put me in a room with some “hot guys.” The first night there we had an American and a Spaniard in addition to myself and a girl from Germany. The second and third nights another American joined us so I shared the room with three dudes.

One thing all this backpacking has taught me is that if you plan to share accommodations in a co-ed situation, you should be ready for some funky smells emanating from the men in the room. The odors could be anything from sweaty clothes to toe jams. But, despite this, they always smell good fresh out of the shower and, if you’re lucky, they look good fresh out of the shower too. So, I guess you just take the good with the bad. Luckily, these guys were the exception to the rule and the room smelled fine.

On one of the nights, the entire hostel went out for drinks together at Khaosan Road. Yes, I promised myself I wouldn’t go back after my first visit with Marilyn because it definitely wasn’t my scene. But, since I was leaving Thailand soon I figured, what the hell?

We all walked to the main road and caught two cabs to Khaosan Road. From here, we walked along until some of the guys found a good deal on Chang beers. Buy two and get the third for free. In Thailand, beers are pretty cheap, and this made it a downright steal. I’m not normally one to drink beer. I don’t like the taste or the smell of it. But, Changs aren’t that bad, especially when the come in huge glasses that probably hold 750 ml.

After our drink, we headed down the road to another club. I ordered a strawberry daiquiri to get the beer taste out of my mouth and chatted with one of the American guys. He was interesting because he lived and studied in China and would be working there as soon as his work visa came through. While we talked, I realized I felt a bit tipsy. I hadn’t had anything to eat since breakfast and sculling nearly a liter of beer in a short period was not a good idea. But, the good thing about Thailand is that there’s street food everywhere. So, the American guy and I went to grab a bite. With some food in my stomach, I felt better.

While I was eating, the rest of the group finished up their drinks and met us. We debated what to do next and half of the group decided to go back to the hostel. The rest of us, my entire room and a Swiss guy, decided to head to another club. The club was pretty good – lots of locals mixed in with tourists. There was live music on stage that switched with each set. We found a table right up front and quickly got ourselves a drink.

Shortly after we arrived, the guys began to attract the attention of the local girls. The guys were all more than six feet tall and obviously Western. I’m pretty sure they fit the requirement of a sugar daddy, but I can’t confirm whether these girls were working or simply working it. I guess that’s the risk you run when you party in Bangkok.

Soon two girls shimmied their way into our group and we all danced together. It got a bit weird when one of the girls got a little too touchy feely with me. At some point, she wanted to dance with me more than the guys, which the guys didn’t mind all that much (of course). Like most guys, they just stood there and watched.

After a couple of hours, I was ready to head home so I hopped into a cab with the Swiss guy and was in bed an hour later. The other guys stayed at the club and didn’t make it home that night. I’m told they had a very nice night cap. I’m sure they did.


Filed under Nightlife, Thailand

Chillin’ in Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai is my type of town. It’s bigger than a village but smaller than a city. It’s a bustling big town with a small town attitude. It feels like an artist’s haven or an entrepreneur’s dream. It has all you need if you wanted to pick yourself up and move to a foreign country, and this is why many expats move to Chiang Mai.

Once you experience Bangkok for the first time, the frenetic energy and 24/7 action can become wearisome. The constant hustle and bustle of Thailand’s capital can grow frustrating. But up in Chiang Mai, the activity is more subdued. Of course, you can find many nighttime activities to keep you busy, but you can also relax and chill out in relative solitude if you so choose.

I enjoyed the vibe of Chiang Mai so much that I extended my stay and simply lived. I went to the mall or checked out a movie. I went into town for some Mexican food (the first decent Mexican in ages), then wandered through tiny lanes on my way back home. I picked up some ice cream from 7-11 or waited patiently while the guy around the corner stir fried up my late-night meal. This existence was glorious and one that I could easily continue endlessly.

However, far too soon it was time to return to Bangkok in preparation for my flight to Europe. I was excited to go to continental Europe for the first time, but I definitely hated to leave Thailand. Over the weeks I’ve been here, it has somehow grown on me without my realizing it. The “land of a thousand smiles” will leave me smiling until I return.

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Filed under Culture, Thailand