I left Sydney in the afternoon and had a great flight with Singapore Air. I have heard that they are the best airline in the world, and it has been proven to me after this flight. I used them to get to Africa a half a year ago and they where great, and they backed up their performance again with my flight up to Bangkok. I had a 10 hour over night layover at the Singapore airport. Again I can claim that the airport is the best in the world. There are massive lounges, video game consoles with bean bag chair sections, free internet kiosks all over and a series of quite halls with lounge chairs for comfortable sleeping. It was the most comfortable layover I have ever had outside of a business lounge.
I arrived in Bangkok the next day in the morning, and grabbed a cab to Kuao San Road, a famous area for backpackers traveling to South East Asia. The road is packed with bars, food stalls, restaurants, and shops filled with trinkets and cheap mass produced crap like knock off sunglasses, t-shirt, sneakers and clothing. There is also all the cheap accommodation one will need when in Bangkok crammed into this area.
I was to meet Scotty on Soi Rambuttri, a street just off of Kuao San (Soi meaning road). I knew where this street was from some Google map research, but as I approached the bustling street in the cab I had no idea which direction was which. I jumped out, and starting walking in no particular direction. Of course it was the wrong way, and after about 20 minutes realized that I needed to turn around. At this point I was profusely sweating. The air was thick and muggy, and the particulate from the city hung heavy in the air. I instantly felt grimy and was craving a cold shower. My body started to adjust to the heat in Sydney, but this was a whole new level.
I finally met Scotty and relief washed over me. He took me to the guest house (cheap accommodation like a hostel) that he had booked, and I dropped off my bags. It felt great getting my backpack off and letting my back air out. I was pouring sweat and quickly jumped in a cold shower.
We grabbed a beer and went over the plan for the upcoming month. A cold Chang (local Thai beer) went down too easy in the hot midday sun, and it felt great to be with a good friend in an amazing exotic location.
We had about 3 days in the city, as we where waiting for another one of Scotty’s friends, an Aussie who was coming in from India. I was excited to explore Bangkok, but most of all start to feast on some local Thai food.
That night Scotty introduced me to Thai massage. There are tons of places all around Kuao San to get a Thai or Swedish oil massage, all costing about 150-250 Bat or ($5-10 USD) per hour. Cheap, great massages, so excellent!
After the massage, we went out for a few drinks and dinner. After a great curry and several drinks we went to party on Kuao San, and to watch some of the strangest travelers I have ever encountered. The Road is just packed with people, mostly white Europeans drinking eating and rocking out. I discovered one of my newest and favorite drunk foods here, spring rolls with chilly sauce, delicious! Quick street cart pad-thai is also available, which is amazing as well.
I can’t say I liked this area too much. I was very surprised at just how many travelers where here, and how much everything, from the shops, to the street vendors catered to westerners. The first few days I was a little pessimistic about Thailand, and I’m sure I annoyed Scotty quite a bit with my negative commentary. The next few days we headed into Bangkok, away from the party scene of the backpackers ghetto. Once deeper in the city, my feelings began to change, and a quite appreciation of Bangkok began to creep into me, or maybe that was a parasite, who knows.