My initial plan for the first day I arrived in Bangkok was to be lazy because I figured I would be jet lagged, however right when I walked in my room to other guys walked in at the same time. We got to talking and then decided to go for a wander around the streets of Bangkok to find some food. As we were walking a very polite Thai lady started talking to us, making conversation on where we should visit. Before we knew it she was putting us on a Tuk Tuk and sending us on our way to a good restaurant she liked. I read and read and read about not to do this because they get commission if they bring in customers to whatever shop or restaraunt but did it anyways. We later got taken to a suit shop in a somewhat sketchy place and from there I had had it and asked him to take us back to our hostel. On the upside, the food was very good and we did get taken around to a temple as well as a travel agency where Bill, one of my roommates, and I decided to travel down South to Ko Tao and get our dive licenses which cost us about 12,500 baht including travel and lodging. Day one was down and I had actually been semi productive and adventurous for being jet lagged as well as learning to listen and follow through with other travelers advice and experiences. Never again will I get on a Tuk Tuk without knowledge of knowing exactly where I want to go.
I wanted to explore the city as much as I could so my friend, Bill, and I set out and walked the streets of Bangkok with a map and a few baht for a little over 4 hours. The only street food I have tried so far was a delicious banana smoothie for 30 baht. I am a horrible traveler for now, I even said no to the cooked scorpions I promised myself to try. Luckily, (unluckily?) I have plenty of time for that.
Right now in Thailand, the experience is one of a kind since the death of the King. The entire country is in mourning. Walking the streets, we were the only tourists around the grand palace, as it is closed for now to foreigners. The streets were lined with black and white decorations and shrines for the king. Every Thai person I have seen have some sort of black on. The love they have for him and their country truly shines through as they mourn for his loss together as a whole.
Though the Grand Palace is closed, there was still plenty of other gorgeous Buddhist temples all over Bangkok. One of my favorites, and one of the most famous, I saw was Wat Pho. It was a large temple surrounded by other smaller buildings and Buddhas everywhere. The great and unique thing about here is the big reclining golden Buddha that in length was about 42 meters.
Once we were done with our sight seeing, we walked around more eventually somehow making our way back to our hostel. During that time we got caught in a massive rain pour and were completely soaked head to toe. It was like life stopped as even those prepped with umbrellas and rain gear attempted to wait out the short storm. Another time daily life stopped, we were walking when all of a sudden we noticed that all the Thai people had stopped moving. A military officer, one of whom were lining the entire street, motioned for us to quickly stop. As we stopped a government car drove through and when it was out of sight, people resumed as usual and the officer motioned to us it was okay to move.
After a long, interesting, eventful day, we got back to the hostel and relaxed our sore and tired feet, hanging out in the hostel lobby with other travelers.
The night before about 15 of us from the hostel went out to Koh San Road for a few drinks even though there wasn’t the usual fun, loud, and exciting atmosphere, we still had a good time. The most shocking thing for me was that the bars sold laughing gas you could order. They would bring you a balloon full for 200 baht and it was quite the interesting experience. We went out till about 2 am, me being fully award I had to get up at 6 am for a tour of Ayutthaya.
When I got home from going out, I assumed I would get at least 4 hour of sleep being how tired I was. Sadly, I was mistaken because I was still jet lagged and stayed lying awake until a little after 5 am. So I got a short nap and woke up exhausted and hungover. I would complain how tiring the day was but I did it to myself so I mustered up as much energy as I could and headed out on the bus out to the ruins. We saw about 5 different sites all over the city showing us the beauty and awesomeness of the ruins that were once where the monarchy was until it was taken over and destroyed. Since then they have worked to restore it as much as they could. We had a guide that was supposed to speak English however no one in the group understood anything he said unfortunately so the learning aspect of this trip was very little but the excellence and beauty of just taking it all in made up for that part.