I am as green as they come when it comes to travel. I have been to a lot of different places, but most of the time someone else is spearheading the trip or doing most / all of the logistics and planning. I was really determined to travel while I was working abroad in Japan in October 2007, and I think my nervousness and apprehension inspired me even more. I had initially been planning on going to Hong Kong but the flights became very expensive as I got closer and closer to the date I wanted to go. Instead of going to Hong Kong, I decided to go to Bangkok instead as I didn’t need a visa and I got a reasonable plane ticket the weekend before Halloween. Trying to prove to myself that I could pull it off, I travelled by myself.
I stayed at Dream Bangkok, located in Sukhumvit. It was a really nice hotel – from the friendly staff to the roof-deck pool I was totally comfortable. I didn’t take advantage of the pool, lounge, or restaurant at the hotel very much but that’s just because I was too preoccupied with seeing the sights in the city. If I had been in Bangkok for more than a couple of days, I’m sure I would have relaxed at the hotel a little more. I did spend a couple of mornings watching the Red Sox win the World Series, however, which was really surreal and weird.
I visited Jim Thompson’s old house in Bangkok, which was a couple of AirTrain stops from my hotel. I had no idea who Jim Thompson was before my trip, but he’s kind of a big deal in Thailand. He’s an American who was sent to Thailand after World War II, and fell in love with the country. Although he disappeared decades ago (he went into the jungle and never returned) he has a small empire in Thailand. I visited his old estate, which has been turned into a tourist attraction and museum.
On my last full day in Bangkok, I went to visit:
- Wat Arun (The Temple of Dawn)
- Wat Pho, home of the world’s largest reclining Buddha (I guess I can cross that off my list of life to-see items)
- Chatuchak Weekend Market
Wat Arun was really impressive, and I have the photos to prove it. Wat Pho was amazing as well (the Buddha was straight chilling), and the weekend market blew me away in terms of its size, all of the goods / food on sale, and the numbers of people bartering and browsing. My photos are located here.