Updated: Aug 26
I'm typing this up to you all from the stiff bed of my hostel in Bangkok, where I am seeking refuge from the steam iron like heat of the middle of the day. (Currently 3:30pm). I arrived in Bangkok around 12:00pm, after the whirlwind of an adventure getting here.. Let's recap.
It all started Saturday night, my flight from Los Angeles to Guangzhou was set to leave at 11:50pm. They also changed my connecting flight in Guangzhou to Bangkok from 10:50am, to 8:30am.. No biggie, I would still have 2.5 hours between flights! Right..? Nope. Of course not.. A cargo door on our Airbus380 from LAX got damaged, so we didn't leave LAX until 2am on Sunday, for a 16 hour flight. Which you guessed it folks.. Left us touching down in China at 7:57am, when my flight to Bangkok started boarding at 7:50am! I was full of the jitters. How the heck am I going to make it to that flight in time!? Maybe It'll be in the same terminal!
Surprise surprise, it was not, and I had to go through customs security. As soon as those plane doors opened and I crossed the threshold, I was running like I was one of those people in the amazing race trying to win a million dollars! I mean, what would happen if I missed the flight? Do flights to Bangkok leave all the time from here? Let's not risk it. Dozens of us rushed off the plane, running down the long seemingly never ending hallways until we go to security, the cue was empty, but it was like 12 rows of zigzagging back and forth. Finally I made it to step one in security, and I forgot what pocket my passport was in during my rushing about. Next step was the security bag check, the nice lady said something quickly to me which I didn't understand and I asked "what?", to which she shook her head and said move along.. well I found out fast she was asking if I had batteries or laptops in my bag. Because it got pulled and I had to take everything out and go through the screening again. I looked down at my watch I had 5 minutes to make it to my gate! Ahhhh. I drop a bunch of stuff out of my backpack trying to put stuff back in, and a nice old man helps me pick up my things. Time is going by at light speed, I do not want to miss my flight! I shove everything in and take off, running like the wind. It's hot, I'm panting, I'm running, where is my gate?!
Finally I see it, I have 1 minute left!!! I sprint up to the gate looking like a zebra that has been running from a lion all day, and they let me in.. A wave of relief washed over me. I made it.. I walk onto the airplane hot as heck, and of course with my luck, its a very small, very full plane. Luckily I have a window seat, and I immediately point the air vent at myself with a sigh. Slowly more people from my previous flight trickle in, and the engines turned on. I barely had made it. Hopefully my bag did too.. I look out the window, the plane I was previously on was only 3 planes away, yet I had to go in a giant circle through the entire airport up and down multiple floors, hah. My bag totally should have made it. Only time would tell.
Two quick hours later, We're landing in Bangkok. I couldn't wait to be on the ground again, not cramped like a sardine in a flying can. Disembarking went smoothly, I was in the main terminal in a jiffy. Went to stand in line at customs, was staring at all the animated signs floating in the sky, advertising face masks and skin care products with beautiful asian women and men. Yepp, I'm in Bangkok for sure. Customs went by pretty fast, maybe 20 minutes. Then came the part I was most nervous about.. Did my bag make it? I took a deep breath preparing myself for the worse, it'll come later or tomorrow if it's not there. Alas! There she was, laying in the baggage claim waiting for me. Hooray! I grinned from ear to ear as I stepped my pack on my back, and my daypack hung from the front of me. I look like a "real" backpacker haha.
Off to find a taxi! I grabbed from Thai Baht currency on my way out, planning ahead for taxis and other things. It was nearly an hour ride from the airport to my hostel near Koh San Road, by the Grand Palace. I knew it was a hostel..But It still wasn't quite what I imagined. Oh well, I'm getting the true experience is what I told myself. At only $20 a night, who am I to complain? It has air conditioning! And really the location is highly desirable. Close to the shenanigans, but also not right in the shenanigans. Also I know I'm heading to some really nice places later in the week in southern Thailand, so whatever!
I settle into my room and wash my face. I am just sweltering. Those 4 days in Los Angeles did not prepare me for this. I've been enjoying my chilly Alaskan weather far too much. I'll acclimate in a week or two.. Hopefully. I am so hungry, so I must leave the shelter of air conditioning and go out into the heat of the day. At this point its about 2pm, so it's very warm out. I slap on some sun screen/face moisturizer, my chaco's and sunglasses getting ready for battle with the heat, and off I go. It's only about a 7 minute walk to this large intersection that leads me to Koh San Road, I thought I might as well check it out. Once I'm there though the weather is just beating me senseless..So I give in and take refuge in the air conditioned McDonalds. Ugh I feel so lame. Here I am in Thailand, sitting in a McDonalds on my first day because I can't handle the heat. Oh well.. I need to be more realistic with myself about the fact I just got here hours ago. So I have some food, grab some ice cold bottled water and head back to my home for the next four nights. I have plenty of time to explore here, lets not push myself to hard the first day.
So here I am.. Relaxing in my air conditioned room, listening to the sound of tuk tuks beeping and motorcycles purring by the window. Let's do this Bangkok.