During my final couple days in Hanoi, the overwhelming sensation that I had spent quite enough time in Vietnam came over me. The very next day I caught a flight back to Bangkok.
My lady from Brazil was also there awaiting her flight home a few days later. The first time I was in Bangkok I hated it. Too many tourists, too loud, too this, too that. However, this time I thoroughly enjoyed myself. One day, we spent time walking around the calm University Area and later took a boat to the other side of the city. It was pleasantly devoid of tourists. On another day we visited the enormous Chatuchak Weekend Market. We tried our best to restrain ourselves from buying things that would weigh down our packs. One night we walked around Chinatown enjoying the smells of the food stalls where we eventually ate before going back to our area. It was a wonderful week with wonderful company, eating and walking and taking it all in.
Once she left, I knew I had to get out of Bangkok because my experience of the city wouldn’t be the same. I took a train to Surat Thani and spent the next 10 days on the islands Koh Phangan and Koh Tao. Whilst in Koh Phagnan, I learned that a dear friend from Austin would be visiting me for a week. A new phase of my Bangkok experience was under way. Enter Bangkok part 3…
This time we did many of the tourist things I didn’t do the first two times. Her first day in Thailand we visited the Grand Palace, Wat Phra Kaew and Wat Pho. The next day we checked out the Golden Mount and a few very impressive nearby Wats. That day was also a nature sighting day for us. In that area we saw a 3 ft (1 m) long Monitor lizard swimming in a dark-murky canal, and closeby we found a huge millipede and another large monitor in the alleys near the ramshackle homes that line the canal.
My favorite site that we visited was the Grand Palace. I was previously reluctant to go in because of the 500 baht ($17) entrance fee. Later after having been I was glad I went, as Wat Phra Kaew (home of the Emerald Buddha), and the pagodas and murals were the best I’ve seen in SE Asia. I enjoyed walking alongside the Wat’s 100 m long mural depicting very interesting stories of Thai mythology. I say ‘mythology’ for lack of a better word. Personally I believe in the possible partial truth of many culture’s mythologies. What stood out to me about the mural was the stark visual difference between many golden clad deities or figures and the simply dressed, dark-skinned humans. My friend and I talked about the correlation between these depictions and our own theories of Human-Alien hybridization.
My second and third visits to Bangkok were a huge improvement over the first. I learned that it’s a very interesting city once you get away from the boozy tourist spots near Khao San road. After a couple busy packed days in Bangkok, my friend and I headed south to Krabi for some beach time.