And so the adventure begins!!!
I arrived at Bangkok on Sunday afternoon and made my way by train to the Lub D Hostel in Silom. I met some people on the plane who thought my hostel sounded great so they came with me and we got the train to the hostel. Stepping off the train, the heat hit me – 40 degrees and so humid! Apparently it’s the hottest it has been in Bangkok for 45 years, just my luck. However, I think I have adapted reasonably well, apart from looking like I have stepped out of the shower pretty much all the time. They do not hold back on the air con though so the trains are like moving refrigerators, amazing! It really does make you appreciate any opportunity you get to cool down, so I guess that’s the silver lining!
So before I left for my trip, a number of people asked me how I will cope being by myself all the time. Well, I will let them know when I find myself alone which hasn’t happened yet. I immediately made friends with the girls in my dorm and we spent all of our time in Bangkok together. I tried my first street food and I haven’t died yet so that’s my first success of the trip. Despite the heat, we managed to spend some time at Wat Pho and had a walk round the local neighbourhood. We also went to a really cool night market along the river called Asiatique. The clothes are dirt cheap and pretty good quality, shame I have the tiniest backpack and a fairly small budget, otherwise I would have a new wardrobe sorted.
My first impressions of Thailand are mostly positive and the people here are really friendly and happy to help. When I left for Koh Chang yesterday, I had my first real glimpse of what it is like to be entirely surrounded by people who don’t speak English. I was the only foreign person on my bus, so there was no hope for conversation but everyone smiled at me and seemed curious if anything. Although when I attempted to talk to them in English, some people stepped away from me and looked at me like I had just sneezed on them or something! This isn’t because they are being rude or unfriendly but more that they just have absolutely no idea what I am going on about and I think they are just a bit shy too. The man I sat next to in the mini van was very curious and he took a selfie with me which was quite sweet, I felt like a celebrity! I’m not sure if it was because I was foreign or a girl ( or both!) but he wasn’t intimidating at all, just a bit curious I guess. I have heard stories of people being scammed but so far I have only met really friendly people. Thai people are very happy and chilled out, hopefully there optimism will rub off on me. Not that I am miserable, but they just seem to have no worries at all.
My first few days have been so great and it’s so exciting to finally be here after wanting to travel for years. I have felt a bit overwhelmed a couple of times but it passes as soon as I meet another traveller. The weirdest thing happened when I got to Koh Chang – I went out to get some food and the couple from the plane who stayed in my hostel were sat eating in the restaurant I had chosen! We had lost touch and I didn’t realise they were even coming here so it was a really great surprise. They have introduced me to a little bar with a great atmosphere and I now have a little group to hang out with. Went to the beach with my new Dutch friend Renee, she is also a huge geek like me and we really clicked! She works at a rehab clinic out here and it sounds like an incredible job. I had no idea that you could have a career on a tropical island – where do I sign up?!
Anyway, enough from me for now – I need to concentrate on tanning and exploring! I am renting a scooter tomorrow ( I really hope my parents aren’t reading this or I will be getting a phone call) so I will let you all know how that goes. If I don’t post in a few days, just assume I fell into the jungle and have been taken hostage by a troop of monkeys….
Ps. Here is a photo of me at Wat Pho and another of Klong Klai beach, Koh Chang.