Bangkok – First Impressions

Bangkok – First Impressions

Ah Bangkok. I’ve finally arrived! A young travellers mecca. Although I’m not a 21-year-old backpacker anymore, I’m still damn excited to be here!

It’s hot. It’s humid. I’m sticky. I’m sweaty. It’s glorious!

Bangkok Chinatown Thailand My Radical Exploration
Bangkok’s Chinatown

Touch down

The smell of the street isn’t too bad. I’ve smelt worse in London. They smell better than the durian fruit I bought too. Holy moly. I’d rather lay on the streets than sleep next to durian!

I arrived in Bangkok at 7 in the evening having left London at 9.30pm the night before. I had about 2 hours sleep all up, so I was bloody tired. But I had to get myself to the train, into the city and to my hotel before the reception staff left for the night. Game on!

Don’t always believe the online photos

So I found my accommodation alright actually, although it didn’t look anything like the photos I saw online! The shower was LITERALLY ON TOP OF THE TOILET! I even pulled out my phone to show them their own photos and ask ‘where’s this room? Where’s the ‘executive suite’ I booked?’ They spoke in Thai to each other, had a little chuckle and said ‘oh that is ad’. Right, ok then. I inspected the photos and my room the next day, I realised that actually it was the same room. The bathroom pic was just a tad deceiving and all the props they must’ve hired for the photo shoot were gone. The main thing was that it was clean. Things could’ve been a lot worse!

Thailand Bangkok street cats
Street kitties – with so many food stalls around I’d say they’re not starving.

Bangkok bustle

Off I went the next day to explore! My main mission was to find street food. I was weary of the heat and yip within 100 metres of my hotel I was dripping in sweat. Mmm lovely. It was so hot and I was nervous about getting a taxi so I just kept walking until I found Central World, a huge mall with glorious air conditioning! Oh sweet, sweet air con, my dear friend. After wandering around trying to look like I was buying stuff but really just trying to discreetly wipe the sweat from my face I braved the afternoon heat again. It really doesn’t cool down as it gets dark.

Bangkok Street food Chang Juice my radical exploration
Cold refreshing juice during the day, cold refreshing Chang during the night

Street eats

I managed to get one classic Thai dish pretty quickly – mango & sticky rice. Not realising it’s more of a dessert meal, I had it for breakfast. Twice! Mmm it’s so good. It might be my fave actually. Then there’s the selection of spring rolls on every street you turn down. That’s my kind of heaven!

Annie, a Thai friend from highschool lives in Bangkok and we arranged to meet up even though we haven’t seen each other for 12 years! That’s the beauty of Facebook. It’s been so great to have someone I know here, it can make a big new city seem a lot friendlier.

I read when crossing the road it’s best to put a local between you and the car and walk when they walk. I have done this religiously. To the point where I even put a little kid between the car and I, only realising afterwards what I’d done. I felt a bit bad about that. But far out the taxis and the tuk-tuks do not want to stop. Horns honking, police whistles blasting, street cats meowing. Ah the exciting sound of adventure!

Bangkok Thailand Khao San Road Annie
My Thai friend Annie and I on Khao San Road

So far I’ve sampled the street food on Silom Road and Chinatown. I’ve lost my body weight in sweat each day in the humid, 30+ degree heat and cooled off in a couple of the mega malls. I’ve eaten authentic Pad Thai and most likely inauthentic Pad Thai. I’ve had a ‘helpful’ policeman and a few taxi drivers try to hoodwink me, but I stand my ground. And I’ve been lucky to be shown around by a born and bred Bangkokian.

It’s been a pretty sweet first few days. I wonder what’s next?!

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