Too early to say if this will be the lowest point of the trip – touch wood – but it’s a low point. Hungover and still dealing with the stress and admin of phonegate. Also I need to find somewhere to stay tonight and drop my giant, spine-crunching backpack.
Moved on to VX the Fifty Hostel on the other side of town to, you know, ‘meet like-minded fellow travelers’. It’s not near much aside from a shopping centre, although the metro is close. It’s also cheap, and I meet people. Got a lift from a little moped taxi dude. No helmet provided. Not sure if holiday or world’s most tedious suicide attempt.
Met a Chinese guy at the hostel. We had some interesting chats. Fascinated to work out how much they hear about ‘the west’. For instance, he knows little about France, but is still aware of the whole business about Macron’s older wife. Lad.
Had great food from a couple of smaller markets today. No sign of the stomach ‘resistance’ to Thai cuisine I was warned about so far. On the topic of myth-bursting, I’m also yet to experience the supposedly biblical floods of monsoon season. The weather’s been perfect.
Fun night out in the dodgy districts of Nana. Less eventful than last night, which is fine by me.
Late start. Went to the MBK Center, one of Bangkok’s main shopping hubs. Sort of their Westfield. It’s well known for its wide offering of electronics, both legit and cheap knock offs. It is easily accessible via Sky train, the local metro.
Met a nice solo traveling British girl in a restaurant, so went shopping with her. It took me about half an hour to pick a phone, and her over 2 hours to choose a phone case.
Thai massage number 3: overly aggressive old lady, decides it would be fun only to use her elbows and knees (!) Longest hour of my life, essentially torture. Worse even, she concludes that I’m ‘soft’. Piss off.
I’ve decided to leave Bangkok tomorrow. I spend the evening deciding where to go. Internal flights are super cheap, so no need to plan ahead. Next stop: Phuket.
First impressions of Bangkok
‘Dépaysement’ is a French word we have to describe this feeling of disorientating, almost overwhelming change. Bangkok is a total culture shock, what I was looking for. It is a huge city, and I feel like I’ve only scratched the surface. From what I’ve experienced, it has plenty to offer party-goers as well as more cultured visitors.
The main monuments, mostly located west, are relatively close to one another which is convenient. The food is amazing everywhere, and cheap. It’s easy to get around via metro, taxis, tuk tuk or moped. The city isn’t very clean.
As a white, English speaking male you sometimes feel a bit like a turkey invited to Christmas dinner, as everyone always wants to sell you shit. We’re such an oppressed demographic sometimes…
Be careful with prices. Make sure you set terms before agreeing to anything. Turn down cabs who refuse to use the meter for example, and always try negotiate a bargain. It’s good fun. On a personal note, I would also recommend not getting you phone nicked.
Also, they’re a friendly people. So smile 🙂