A Year in Seoul - video by Maddy

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Thailand Part 1: Solo in Bangkok

My very first Samsong bucket in Thailand (well this trip anyway)
with Dan

It's so true... beverage cart on Khaosan Road

My fabulous driver and his tuk tuk

The Golden Buddha

I haven't been able to write a thing. I've literally done nothing for a week during my quarantine, but I just couldn't write. There is too much to say. I think I am going to have to write a series of shorter posts so that I don't feel overwhelmed.

Let's start with that incredible feeling on my last day of summer camp. My kids got away with everything that day because I was already sipping buckets with Maddy on a tropical island in my mind. After camp, I booked it home to finish getting ready and headed off to the airport to begin the first leg of my epic journey: solo in Bangkok.

My original plan was to get into BKK at around 1 am and meet up with some friends and spend the night with them. Well, those plans changed when I came out of immigration at 4 am and found out the airport was two hours from their apartment. Instead, I did the only rational thing, which was to go to Khaosan road and drink to avoid paying for a hotel room.

My first lungful of the stench of Bangkok was glorious. Cockroaches scuttered on the sidewalks, farangs and Thais wandered about drunkenly, and I felt at home! The streets were pretty empty by this point, so I parked myself at a nice outdoor patio and ordered a Singha... aaaah Thai beer crushes shitty Korean beer any day of the week.

I really enjoy traveling alone because it is basically like walking around with a sign that says "I want to be friends with you!!!!" Within two minutes I was taking tequila shots with some really funny British guys who were sitting at the table next to me. It was 5 am and we were having a blast. All I could think was, "It's day one, the adventure is beginning... AND I'M GETTING PAID FOR THIS!"

I separated from the boys at about 9 and went to find some breakfast... coffee, fresh fruit and yogurt. Beautiful. I decided to spring for an individual room because I was dreaming of a nice hot shower and a rest. The first hotel that would let me check in at 10 became my new home. Then, after my shower I wandered Khaosan and took in the chaos. After about 80 tuk tuk drivers offered me a ride (a tuk tuk is a little taxi that is kind of like a tripod motorbike... love them!) I decided a little drive around would be nice. I found a nice guy who was going to take me to a few temples for an hour or two for the steep price of 40 baht ($1).

I saw some beautiful temples and the driver was really cool, plus I just like driving around the city catching a breeze and escaping the heat. You never escape the hustle in Bangkok though and I was taken to two tourist agencies where I had to make up fake questions so my driver could get a free gas card. Then we stopped by to see his "friend" at a tailor shop. If you have ever been to Bangkok you know it is just brimming with people trying to custom make clothes for you. If you are in the market, its amazing - great clothes for real cheap. If you aren't, it's just kind of annoying. Eventually we made it back to Khaosan, however, where I vastly overpaid my adorable driver and promptly ran into my new British friends in the street.

So, it was off for a bite to eat and a few beers, after which we snuck into a rooftop pool and drank fresh coconut juice while we had a swim. Later on I met up with some friends I had met last time I was in Thailand and we went out for some drinks and dancing at Gulliver's. They're teachers in Bangkok, so the next day I went to hang out at one of their apartments to have a relaxing day before my journey south. I was shocked at how nice their places were. They live about an hour north of the city and we had a good laugh when all the Thai people in the neighborhood were pointing and staring at me. I don't think they get many blond farang women in that part of town.

I took a taxi to the train station in the evening and found out I could get a spot on a sleeper... but it was going to leave in two minutes. An incredibly competent (thank you thank you) information lady dragged me to the ticket office, got my tickets, and ran with me to the train where I hopped on the last car with about 30 seconds to spare. Mission accomplished, I was on my way south to find Maddy and her friend from home, Andrew. Paradise awaits, as does the rest of this story...


  1. Samsong drink bucket is ?? would love to surprise vanessa tieman with a bucket samsong...recipe/mixer ?? thank you Brittany.,regardless

  2. It's a type of Thai Whiskey that you can only get in Thailand. It tasted more like rum to me, but its really cheap and we love it because you never get hangovers when you drink it. They serve it in big plastic buckets mixed with coke and red bull (we always ask for no red bull) Its yummy!

  3. Your blog reminds me of all the time I've spent in Thailand. Used to live there for a year, and have been back four times, can't wait for trip five one day!