Wednesday, October 28, 2015

One week in Bangkok ...

So Bangkok is quite a shock to the system. Many people I spoke to in advance said I likely wouldn't enjoy the city. I opted to originally book for 5 nights at a hostel called Loftel 22 located near Bangkok's Chinatown district. For my first ever hostel experience I am thoroughly impressed. The hostel itself is very new and each air conditioned dorm consisted of 4 beds which made it very quiet and easy to sleep at night. The location was also great for street food, of which I ate quite a bit of everyday. The streets outside the hostel were packed with different food carts each day.


Loftel 22
I am a big people watching person and each morning I would often sit out front of the hostel and enjoy a coffee (the main level of the hostel is also a cafe). The daily routine of the locals buying their daily food items, as well as donating food items to the monks seen in the image was quite interesting and made for an enjoyable start to my days. While I didn't really venture too much around Bangkok as a whole, I did often walk many of the streets and side streets around Chinatown. Earlier I mentioned that I initially booked 5 nights, well I hadn't really done any planning past that point and so I opted to book 2 additional nights in the same place, and I am quite happy I did. It turns out the annual Vegetarian Festival (Tesagan Gin Ge) was occurring between October 12th - 22nd, and during that time there is a massive dragon march precession. Turns out Loftell 22 is a very important location during this parade, at one point the dragon stuck its head right in the hostel entrance before continuing on down the alleyway. A pretty awesome experience to start off my travel adventures, especially considering it happened on the evening of the day I was supposed to have originally check out and moved on.


I did take one of the days to go all touristy and decided to venture my way over to explore Wat Pho, also known as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha. It is one of the oldest Wat's in Bangkok and contains a massive Buddha measuring 150 feet in length! This beautiful complex where the Reclining Buddha resides is also home to many other temples, buildings and Buddha images. Well worth stopping in to explore around. After spending over an hour wandering around I continued on down the street to explore the Grand Palace complex. Wow! The attention to detail and intricate design work on each of the buildings here is absolutely staggering. It really is hard to explain, I can only suggest you make a point of visiting while you are in Bangkok. Note that at each of these locations there is a strict dress code in effect. No tank tops (shirts must have sleeves), as well as men must be wearing pants ... Seriously this day was one of the hottest I have experienced to date as I have had a bit of trouble adjusting to the temperature and humidity so pants and a full shirt were just adding to the heat. I took plenty of photos and hope I was able to land a few that aren't completely touristy looking. But between the heat and the insanely massive crowds of tourists I ended up kinda rushing through some of the sections which i'm OK with since I will still have plenty of opportunities to shoot photos while I am travelling. In the end this is still a backpacking life experience first and foremost.

During my week I also spent one evening (as everyone should do at least once) partying on Khaosan Road. Multiple patios consuming copious amounts of mixed bucket drinks and big bottles of Chang beer combined with jet lag make for one hell of a hangover, or "Changover" as friend of mine back in Calgary accurately described it. But hey, I spent the evening in the company of a German, a Polack and two amazing girls from Toronto (turns out people from TO aren't that bad after all ... inside Canadian joke there) so that Changover was well worth the experience! If you are travelling and feeling a bit lonely and want to easily meet new friends I definitely suggest you venture over to Khaosan, day or night there's always something happening. Oh and fun fact, you cant help cure your Changover by visiting your nearest 7-11 (most likely a block away from wherever you are, seriously those fuckers are everywhere!) and pick up a few bottles of water ... also produced by Chang.

While the insane speed at which Bangkok runs at may not really be my cup of tea, spending the first week of my first time overseas in the city was definitely an eye-opening and valuable life experience that I will certainly not forget any time soon. I'm certain the time spent there will only benefit me greatly in all my travels to come. And hell, the prices on goods are cheap so I'll likely end up there right before I head back to Canada to load up an additional bag full of clothing for festival season 2016 :D

I am not much of a "writer" but will still try to genereate new blog posts when I can as I travel my way around. Thanks for following along and be sure to check out my social media feeds as I do post social photos more frequently!

2 comments:

  1. Looks awesome!! Keep the postings coming.

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    1. appreciate the feedback, happy to hear you enjoy them!

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