First 24 Hours in Bangkok

November 11, 2008

I departed Kyoto, Japan bound for Tokyo on Saturday night at 10:20pm. The double-decker bus was  comfortable and only half full. After 7 hours of sleeping, writing postcards, and reflecting on Japan the bus arrived at the massive complex known as Tokyo Station. After mailing a few postcards I purchased a train ticket for Tokyo airport which is located about an hour outside the city via express train.

At this point I wish to remind my reader that Japan is ultra safe, super friendly and very comfortable. Anytime I feel lost all I must do is ask anyone around in english or broken Japanese and they are more than happy to help me and wish for nothing but a smile in return. I knew that I would soon be leaving many of these comforts behind for a country I am much less familiar with. Everything went very smooth, trains and planes were all on time…until I was out of Japan. My flight from  was delayed about 30 minutes but that is on par with most domestic flights in the US.

After clearing security in Bangkok airport I proceeded to the bus station at the airport. I was quickly surrounded by Thais who wanted to put me into a Taxi. They are called scouts and get commission for bringing people to a taxi. I replied that I was looking for a bus and not a taxi so one of them pointed me in the “right direction.” I went to where I was told to buy a ticket and after refusing four people offering me taxis I finally made the 50 feet distance. The woman behind the bus counter seemed uninterested and told me to go back in the direction I had come from. After going back and forth for a few minutes I went back to her and asked again for a bus ticket. This time she gave me the ticket I needed and I went outside to wait on the bus to the part of town I was staying.

I arrived at The Urban Age hostel where I stayed for the first two nights. The hostel cost about $6 a night for a dorm room. Sweet! The woman checking me into the hostel was very nice and I found that to be true of all the staff. I dropped off my things and headed out for the town which is just outside the front door. A market was set up along the broken sidewalk and the streets were packed. Food carts selling all kinds of meats and dishes were set up every few feet. The shoppers were a mix of Thais and foreigners from every part of the world.

I must now run and get on the train to head to the Island of Ko Pha-Ngan. But when I next have Internet access I will continue with the first 24 hours which also includes elephants on the sidewalks, crazy tuk tuk rides, visiting the protest, being scammed…kinda, and everything else plus the horrors of poverty that are on every street corner. I have seen so many women breastfeeding while begging for baht and the sex industry is huge. I have seen so many old and fat European men walking around with young (but of legal age…I think) Thai women or men that they clearly bought. It is so gross and strange.  



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October 20, 2008

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