I’ve been traveling for three months now. Bangkok was full of people either starting or ending their travels. After a light few days in Kuala Lumpur I sprung back into action in Thailand.
I started out by having another tasty pepper rice dish, this time with beef that cooked as it sizzled in the skillet. I only remember to take a picture of it once it’s finished. I also met Steve from LA and Tia from England at my hostel.
Thursday I went to Wat Pho with Tia. On the way we walked through some Thai market with some street food. Mostly because our Uber driver kicked us out early.
Wat Pho was impressive. We went to see Reclining Buddha and entered the temple, then we took the ferry to Wat Arun.
Wat Arun looked great from the outside, but that was pretty much it since you couldn’t enter it.
I had stir fry shrimp in garlic with rice for dinner. We met Lilly, also from England, then took a tuk tuk to the Khao San Road night market where they were selling everything from massages to roasted scorpions.
Friday I started a three day tour of Western Thailand. After a van ride to the hotel in Kanchanaburi I went on a bike tour. We saw an old World War II bridge built by prisoners of war for the Japanese, rode over to Khao Poon cave where the Japanese stored medicine during the war, and visited a World War II cemetery.
Saturday we started out by going to see the Sai Yok Noi waterfall. Then we went to the Hellfire Pass museum.
When the British surrendered Singapore to Japan in World War II they had over 120,000 troops. Many of them were moved up to Thailand to be used as slave labor for construction of a Railroad between Thailand and Burma. The Japanese were brutal, and the museum is dedicated to the prisoners of war and Mylasian “recruits” who died to build it. The railroad was over 400km long but it was broken up after the war. About 100km of it is still maintained and functional today.
Then we went swimming in a hot spring and a cool stream. After that I went on a two hour hike though a bamboo jungle up a mountain to a small Thai village where we had dinner. I slept in a tiny bamboo hut.
Sunday we trekked through the jungle again and then took a bamboo raft back to town.
I had barbeque chicken and sticky rice for lunch, and took a ride on the “death railway”. Then finally I returned to Bangkok.
Sunday night I met two people from Germany and Jasmin from Scotland, and Monday we went to see the Grand Palace. We ate lunch in Chinatown, having fried pork with rice. Then we took a short walk through Lumpini park before it started to rain.
After a short nap we went to a German brewery that had Thai country music. American country music too, “Achy Breaky Heart” was playing when we walked in. The food was Thai though and the beer was German. The wizen beers and crab fried rice were amazing. The best part though was the live performance of music.
Music included Bon Jovi, Katie Perry, Elvis, The Village People, and various unknown Thai and other artists. We stayed until they closed.
Tuesday I went on a national park tour with Norma and Rosa from New York from Puerto Rico. Their house in Puerto Rico had been destroyed in the hurricane, but everyone was ok since they had been living in New York. Puerto Rico is still largely without power, so let me take this time to remind everyone that House districts PA-12 and NJ-2 are both in desperate need of flipping.
I had been up pretty late the night before and I forgot what exactly I had signed up for, so I had to take a short nap on the way there to prepare for the following surprises.
First we stopped at a morning market. We had fried banana and banana covered in sticky rice.
Next we went on ox cart ride. I drove for a little, then Rosa. If things don’t work out in life I might have a future as an ox cart driver. Its my third choice behind “person that unspools the cable for television cameras at sporting events”.
Then an ATV ride through the jungle. I may have hit a tree at some point. I’ve only driven a quad once before in the Moroccan dessert, I’m not very good at it. After they restarted my ATV everything went much better.
Lunch was excellent. Rosa tossed some green things in soy sauce onto a super heated wok, detonating it with a huge fireball. It was delicious, and went well with the chicken fried rice.
The waterfall was the only thing that I had expected to see at the start of the day. We did some rock jumping to get a better view.
Then we took an 8km white water rafting trip. The tour guide seemed annoyed when me and Rosa tried rowing, so he ended up doing most of the work. There were no other rafts for us to run into so everyone was safe this time.
Wednesday I took a day trip to Ayutthaya with my hostel. Ayutthaya was the capital of Thailand before Bangkok. There were about 30 of us which made it a lot of fun. I met people from Tiwan, the Philippines, Ireland, Germany, Mexico, Canada and California. I even met the rarest of people, an American taking one week of vacation.
We went to go see the ancient ruins of two old temples, and watched someone make cotton candy the hard way. We ate lunch in the market, and I had barbeque chicken on a stick, roasted corn on the cob, and a fried ball of cheese.
Next I’m spending a few days in Chiang Mai in northern Thailand, then coming back to Bangkok for two more nights. Spoiler alert: its amazing.
Here are more pictures from Bangkok.