bangkok, thailand: dipping my feet into backpacking

i don’t remember it being a particularly long day, especially when our first order of business was to go to a famous thai massage school (forgot the name, sorry). i was excited because it was my first time in bkk without a the parental units though. i was all for: yeah, let’s not join tours! so i was game to anything.


this was our first tourist stop, and my eyes were almost blinded by so much gold. i was very impressed with the very long reclining buddha though

after getting turned away at the royal palace (it was closed), we were kind of at a loss for what to do. in this situation, noob tourists are susceptible to very cunning asian tactics

we had the option to go to wat arun, but not sure how to get there. we and travel buddy were reluctant take a taxi because of the traffic (and its implications on our wallets). this was when we were approached by a tour operator if we wanted to do go to a river taxi that will bring us to wat arun, but with the added value of getting a river cruise instead. without much deliberation, we agreed. i remember it being very expensive. but yeah, i was glad i did it.


this was the moment when i realized how loyal the thais are to their king. almost every house and store front we saw along the river had the thai flag. i was impressed and a little bit jealous. it’s gonna be interesting to go back to thailand to if they still feel patriotic now that the king has died

this wasn’t supposed to be the highlight of my day, but it turned out to be. it’s not that the stairs leading up to the temple was steep, it was more the steps were small and there’s not much space for 2-way traffic.

i remember my knees shaking when i reached the top and looked down. i was chicken shit to go down to, because one wrong move and you’ll tip over and die (and most likely killing unsuspecting tourists too). at one point another traveler told us: well, you’re gonna need to go down some time. yeah, gee, thanks for the sympathy

but again, i live to write about it, so i survived. yey!

this was the night of my birthday. i need to get drunk!

after the time of my life that same year in HCM’s own backpacking district, bui vien/pham ngu lao, i HAD to check out bangkok’s version, which i heard was more wild that HCM. well, i had my first chang-it was hardly the wild experience i thought it would be

the “entrance” was crowded, but as you walk further in, the crowd started to thin, and no “street parties” were happening. it was as if the world decided to tell me: no you can’t drink now. you’re staying with your friend’s sister. have shame!

so yeah, after 1 or 2 bottles, we left and called it a night. the great view that greeted me once back at chong nonsi was way better than getting hammered the day before my birthday. and if i had gotten hammered, the next day’s epic birthday adventure would not have happened



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