Bangkok

Trip Start Sep 26, 2004
1
8
16
Trip End Jan 15, 2005


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Wednesday, November 24, 2004

November 21, 04

The flight to Bangkok was a good one. First of all, I sat on the left side of the plane and was rewarded with a final view of the Himalayas. I recognized Everest and a few other peaks.The weather was hazy and cloudy when we left Kathmandu, but the mountains were poking their heads through the cover. The service on Thai Air is unmatched, even in economy. They treated us like we were in business class. It was only a three hour flight, but they really went the extra distance to make it comfortable. Bangkok is a lot bigger than I thought. It was 90 degrees when I stepped outside of the airport. Quite a change from the temps in Nepal and Tibet. Not as hot as India, but close. (and no smell!) I met a couple of Israeli guys at baggage claim and we shared a taxi to Khao San road. If anyone has read or seen "The Beach" Khao San is mentioned as the center of the backpackers universe. It very well could be. If you are a backpacker, chances are that sooner or later you will end up here. The road is teeming with hotels, guesthouses, street food stalls, bars, clubs, neon lights, and people, from dawn until well into the early a.m. hours. Quite a scene. Both sides of the street are filled with distractions and delights to the traveler. It only takes five minutes to walk from one end to the other if you don't stop and wander the side streets or browse the shops and food selections. I haven't made it in less than 20 minutes yet. The sounds of Khao San are another thing. There are many bootleg CD stores along the way. They blast out music non-stop. This competes with the bars and clubs, who put speakers on the street to let you know the type of music they play inside. The noise is the antithesis of my trek in Nepal. But it seems to fit here with all the lights and people. Every night is Friday night on Khao San road.
My first nights choice for lodging was situated right next to a dance club. I didn't know the bass would be rattling my windows at midnight when I checked in earlier that day. I was so tired when I went to bed, I was asleep in ten minutes anyway. Bangkok has a lot of temples and things to do, so I'll relax here for a few days. I'm meeting a friend I traveled with in Central America tomorrow. He just returned from Angkor Wat in Cambodia, and Vietnam. I'll get some info from him on those experiences. While I decide which beach to hit and when to head to Malaysia and Singapore, I'll go on a 3 day trek in the jungle just a few hours from Bangkok. It includes spending two nights on a houseboat, an elephant trek, hot springs and a few other activities. I moved to a place just off Khao San (read quiet) that has a travel office and free internet for its guests. The food here is good if you like hot and spicy meals. The street vendors whip up everything Thai right before your eyes. I have eaten on the street for every meal so far, and see no reason to do otherwise. More soon..................
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