Monday, April 2, 2012
One night in Bangkok:
Who would only spend one night?!? It took me 18 hours and 10,000 miles (no joke) to get here!
This time I flew top-rated economy liner, Emirates, via Dubai. and from my apartment to my hotel on Khao San Road, it took 33 hours to get here! The airline was truly top-notch, although the flight attendants were all business, no smiles. Maybe they save them for first class. Add in the 11 hour time difference and my subsequent jet-lag, and my weekend was gone with nothing but a couple photos of Dubai airport to show for it.
Once I got to Khao San Road though, they made short, pleasant work of me. I walked maybe 50 meters down the road before a smiling man in a white, Monster Energy Drink-logo-ed polo with the collar popped ridiculously, said smoothly, "Hey man, you looking for a hotel? Come on, let's get you set up. Where are you from?" We chatted as he took me down the long hallway of an entrance and the hotel had several of it's own shops, including a tailors. "You looking for a suit? I work here too," he said. I had to admit to him that yes, that was one of my first goals after finding a hotel. "Sure, get checked in, have a massage (also conveniently located between the front desk and staircase), and then come see us, we'll take care of you."
Add to that a quick shower and change of clothes in my $16 (that's $5 extra for A/C) per-night hotel room, and that's exactly what I did! "They hit the jackpot with me," I thought contentedly as I strolled out back into the bustling backpacker district. I had just dropped $210 on a 5-piece suit, but only 6 dollars on a one-hour Thai massage. After the plane ride that massage was needed...
Being on my lonesome for two days, I quickly signed up for an all-day tour starting the next morning, then asked the man, who was eating throughout our entire transaction, where to get food. He pointed me the way (OFF Khao San Road, that is), and I soon sat down to a delicious pork and rice plate (w/soup and bottled water: $1.60) with many natives sitting in the plastic lawn-ware on the corner of another street.
After that, I was veeeery jet-lagged, but forced myself to walk around for another half-hour before I returned to my hotel and slept for 5 hours.
Waking up at 10:30 at night, I could hear to club music blaring out on the street, and decided to take another wander, snap some photos, and grab a few of the local beers. I knew from experience Thai beer isn't that good, but I hadn't tried any since the last time I came to Thailand 7 years before, so I was still happy, drinking three big bottles while a young Thai man on a guitar sat in the corner singing and playing classic American rock songs, from Piano Man (w/harmonica) to Kiss from a Rose! Of course I also chatted it up to some of the surrounding tourists. A couple of Czechs name Martin and Yan (Jan? Might be a soft "J"...) and two drunk Japanese guys, Tak-kun and Shin-chan, from the same small town of Karasaki, Shiga, where I spent two separate weeks as part of correspondence courses I took while on JET!
I finally got back to hotel room at 2, after a short, drunk back, stopping off at the 7-11 for more water and Thai Red Bull for the next morning., giving me only 5 hours more sleep before jumping in a passenger van for Day Two!
More on that, and more pictures. Coming soon!