Travel Stories

Around the world in 36 hours

Sawat dee khrap (hello) from Bangkok!

After just under 36 hours of travel my Dad and I have arrived safely in Thailand.  The flight from Zurich to Bangkok was a trip to say the least.  I watched the sunrise over Afghanistan, which pretty much looks like what I image Mars to look like.  We flew over vast deserts in Pakistan and India, and tropical villages in Burma.  It was pretty amazing.  Never thought I would see these places even if only from 35,000 feet in the air.

The flight was made a lot more bearable due to Swiss Air’s in-flight entertainment selection.  I watched Good Will Hunting for the first time (yes embarrassing, considering I’m from Boston).  As I watched the opening credits I thought I had made a mistake and selected The Town.

As we made our descent into Bangkok I noticed two things: One, there was a solid layer of “fog” (I’m guessing pollution) above the city.  I just hope it doesn’t interfere with the tan I’d like to achieve while I’m here.  Two, Bangkok is VERY densely populated.  You know when you fly into Florida or somewhere like that and there is just the same type of house over and over and over…that’s what its like flying over Bangkok, only more.

After we landed we spent about 30 minutes waiting in line at Immigration.  It is definitely high tourist season.  I saw more white people during my time in immigration than I had hoped to see during my entire stay in Thailand.  From the airport, we took 2 trains into the city.  We got off the train and were greeted by heavy traffic (see picture above).  We walked through a local market en route to our guesthouse “Suk 11”.  There was a lot of bootleg clothing being sold; Lacoste, Gucci, Polo, and Armani…Cant wait to go shopping!  After we settled into our home for the next few days we went back out in search of food.

Bangkok is busy!!!!  Taxis, cars, motorcycles, food venders, and pedestrians all share the same narrow roads.  There seems to be a massage parlor on every corner with cute Thai women outside each one “encouraging” (for lack of a better word) you to come inside and get one.  I’m not going to succumb to that temptation though………………………….ANYWAYS!  I would say, solely based on my first impression that Bangkok is kind of like NYC…NYC on Asian ecstasy…hotter, and smells worse.

My dad and I found a nice Thai restaurant for dinner right outside our guesthouse.  For those of you who don’t know I am a huge fan of Thai food.  However, I had a bad bout of food poisoning from a Thai meal I had in Boston about 5 months ago and have not been able to eat it since, so I was a little worried about eating it again for the first time.  The meal was great.  Spicy pork sausage, crispy fried chicken, delicious chicken pad Thai (tasted like good pad Thai in the US), and shrimp with asparagus in a light oyster sauce.  At this point I was completely exhausted from our journey to Bangkok.  I probably had slept no more than six hours over the past 36, combined with sitting in a cramped airplane seat for 18 of them, I was ready to crash.  I had two Thai beers with dinner and literally feel asleep at the table.  It was one of those places you sit on pillows to eat so there was no chance I was making it through the whole meal without a snooze.

Its 9am local time.  Going to check out the city some more today.  Dad is doing yoga our room as I write this and I’m ready to eat and explore.  I smell something good coming from our window.  What’s for breakfast, Bangkok!?