Day 1 Arriving in Bangkok … part 1
Thailand is 6 hours ahead of London but it was only 5am when we arrived but surprisingly not that tired. When I say we, there was me and two of my uni mates Suzanne and Cat. Once off the plane we didn’t really have a clue where to go next or what to do. The furthest I’d been from home before was Corfu with my parents! We had a hotel pre-booked but Bangkok was miles away from the airport. We could of course get the limousine advertised in the foyer but I felt that was kinda cheating. Our first attempt saw us walking outside in the darkness of Thailands streets – unbearably humid after the coolness of the plane. We soon changed our minds and located the train station.
By this stage it had magically gone light and we boarded a train we hoped was taking us to the big smoke for about 35p. The first thing I noticed was we were the only white people on the train and we got more than a few stares. I guess most backpackers took the limousine after all! Everyone was very quiet but then it was only 6am. Outside I could see the lush vegetation of the countryside – banana plants, coconut palms, tropical flowers all scrambling amongst the corrupted iron huts running along the roadside. There was also a heavily polluted stream that divided the railside from various villages and houses.
After about an hour we made it to Bangkok’s main station. It was chaos with all the hustle and bustle you’d expect at a busy terminal. What we didn’t appreciate at this stage was that we were still nowhere near our hotel! So we sat at one of the entrances and tried to gather our thoughts. A bus seemed the best option but everytime we tried to get on it was full. Don’t forget we were each weighed down with a backpack, daypack and now a litre of water. The map in our guide books was also pretty useless – after taking the really stupid option of walking to our hotel we realised that the map only showed the main streets. With our bags weighing a ton and the sun starting to take its effects a ‘tuk tuk’ pulled up beside us.
The girls were very reluctant to get in. I didn’t think we had much choice – hot sweaty and just a tad lost under some unknown bridge I thought it was worth the risk. So in we squeezed and had our first authentic experience of riding through Bangkoks streets. It was mad flying through the streets running neck to neck with buses and smokey vehicles down 5 lanes of traffic. Who needs a limousine!! It was at this point we realised just how far we’d have to walk.
And so our journey had begun …