If you’ve never been to Thailand, you might not know what Thai Time is. It’s that time 30 minutes to six hours before or after your scheduled time of arrival/departure/taxi pick up/restaurant opening/hostel-check in, etc.
Restaurants with business hours of 7am-godknowswhen, still weren’t open at 9:30. McDonald’s didn’t open until 10, and even Big Daddy knows they stop serving breakfast in the states at 10:30! There were 6 clocks in a line on the wall in our hostel. I’m assuming they meant to have different time zones, but they were all in Thailand’s zone, about 2-6 minutes off from each other. And to add a horror story to the mix, a friend’s 10-hour bus ride took a whopping EIGHTEEN HOURS. So, we’ll-do-it-when-we’re-damn-good-and-ready, is Thai Time. Don’t expect to find breakfast.
We found our first day of breakfast at some chain place, sandwiched between Dunkin Donuts and KFC. They didn’t even serve breakfast, so we had a club sandwich. Dangit. The rest of the time we scavenged whatever we could find at 7 Eleven. Apparently, 7am is too early for Bangkok.
Bangkok is HOT. We stayed a few blocks away from The Victory Monument, even though most people stay in the Backpacker’s area by Khoasan Road. It was quiet, and close to the rail system, which was all we wanted. Next time we’ll have to make sure there’s breakfast too.
We took a boat to the sightseeing area, and I snapped some shots of the museums and temples we wouldn’t be entering. Then we wandered around, taking in the free views, and finally had some lunch at Khaosan Road.
My one regret is that we decided not to pony up the $13 to see The Grand Palace. It seemed pretty cool, and then everyone told us it was fantastic. You had to wait in this long line for a sarong if you were wearing shorts. (OF COURSE we’re wearing shorts – it’s a hundred and fifty degrees out!) AND you had to put a deposit down for the sarong. It seemed like a bit of a hassle…but I kind of regret not doing it.
So we learned that restaurants are not really native to Thailand – the restaurants are only there to cater to westerners. Most people don’t have kitchens either, and we didn’t see a single grocery store. Little sidewalk “restaurants” and vendors pop up and pop out throughout the course of the day. Sometimes they take over the streets, sometimes they’re closed, and sometimes they’re nowhere to be found. You know, Thai Time. Here’s an example of what we saw everywhere. The Thai version of a restaurant.
Bangkok was ridiculously hot. I managed to get two runs in, since there’s a pretty nice park relatively close by. The first day was okay, but the last two days were hot enough to keep us safe and cool in the A/C.
On our second night, we met up with the lovely Tessa, who you met in Kuta Beach and Ubud. She currently lives and works in Bangkok, so we were very excited to meet up for a drink in a new city! It was great fun, and we look forward to meeting again in some other city of the world.
Bangkok was a pretty cool experience, and I’m sure I missed a lot of it due to the heat, but it didn’t top the list. On to Vietnam.