Our flight landed in Bangkok around 2:30am after over 30 hours of combined airport time. Exhausted from the whirlwind of events that had commenced over the past few days, we found refuge in an airport hotel before heading into central Bangkok. The next day we jumped on the sky train bound for our hostel in Silom.
The city itself was pretty overwhelming. We had just come from one of the cleanliest and orderly countries in the world and were still recovering from the realization that Everest Base Camp wouldn’t be happening (which we’d been planning since September). The chaos and heat of the city were a shock to the system to say the least.
But within the pandemonium, we found harmony (and air conditioning) in Three of a Kind hostel. Within the first few minutes of walking through the door, we felt at home. The staff was nothing short of amazing and went above and beyond to ensure a pleasant stay in their city.
Chris and I spent a few days exploring the city but quickly figured out why most backpackers in Bangkok stay inside during the day; it was REALLY hot. With no breeze and temperatures well above what we are used to in Maryland, it was a chore just walking to the local convenience store. Our day time activities were limited, but Angkrit (one of the hostel owners) made sure that we had unforgettable Thai experiences at night.
Our first night in Bangkok, Angkrit took the guests out to a local restaurant floating on the Chao Phraya river. We shared travel stories, delicious Thai food and two bottles of Sang Som (Thai whiskey). Although we had major regrets in the morning, the spirits and conversation continued as we congregated back in the hostel lounge after dinner.
Boxed wine was the drink of choice, which made Three of a Kind really feel like home.
And after much liquid courage, Chris and I found ourselves eating insects for snacks.
The next evening Angkrit took us out to a popular Vietnamese hot-pot soup restaurant. We ate until we were sick, but enjoyed every minute of it (and went back the next night). Angkrit went out of his way to help us travelers get to know each other and his city. That hospitality is rare, but something we will never forget.
You may not find Bangkok on the top of our favorite cities list, but we’d go back in a second to reconnect with the people. When the time came to move our travels south, it was difficult to say goodbye.
We boarded a night train around 7pm after four days in Bangkok and headed southbound to Chumpon (a port city), our final destination being Koh Tao; one of three main islands off the east coast in the Gulf of Thailand.
Traveling within Thailand is easy and inexpensive. The train wasn’t nearly as bad as I had imagined although the beds were much more accommodating for a person of my size. I’m sure Chris could’ve used a couple more inches (or feet) of room, but I never heard him complain 🙂
We arrived in Koh Tao without a scratch (although this wouldn’t last, stay tuned) and set our watches to island time.
For the first time during the trip, we were officially on vacation.