Does ‘One Night in Bangkok Make a Hard Man Humble?’

I abruptly wake, confused and disoriented as my late-night Jetstar flight hits the Bangkok runway with force before thrusting to a stop. I stare out the window that rapidly fogs up in the Bangkok humidity under the orange tarmac lights. I am in Bangkok again! After gathering my thoughts following a long stopover (and quite a few beers) in Singapore , I deplane (apparently that’s a word now?). I pass through immigration before stopping briefly in the arrival hall to buy a ‘Traveller’s SIM’ – only 299 Baht for 7 days with 1.5 gb of data, and you can top it up at 7/11 convenience stores which are everywhere in Thailand

Sitting on the humid Tarmac at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport

Sitting on the humid Tarmac at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport

I queue at the taxi rank before getting into one of Bangkok’s bright pink taxis. The driver greets me and smiles vigorously, nodding his head and giggling as Thais do while he puts my bag in the back before speeding towards the Khoasan Road.

It's a long walk from the gate at Bangkok airport to immigration/baggage claim. Make sure you pay attention, otherwise it can be confusing.

It’s a long walk from the gate at Bangkok airport to immigration/baggage claim. Make sure you pay attention, otherwise it can be confusing.

The taxi drops me at the top of the pedestrian only (or ‘walking street’ as the Thais call it) Khaosan. The whole street is pulsating with activity and after a long flight and still half-asleep, I’m not sure I’m ready for this. I step out of the air-conditioned cab and in to the spicy humid night. I’m immediately assaulted by a barrage of out-of-sync base as dance numbers blast from every bar down the street. Each bar has a DJ or band and the sound just blends together in a mess of ‘oomf’..

The chaos seems to suit the mindset of the drunken crowd as they bounce, shirtless, hands waving to the music. I wheel my backpack through the swaying crowd taking out several people in open toe shoes… I mouth ‘sorry’ as I make my way through the loud street party trying to find my hotel. I pass hundreds of street vendors selling everything imaginable. Two girls scream and run in to me, almost knocking me over, after a vendor offers them a scorpion on a stick. Before long I pass several vendors selling deep-fried bugs, cockroaches and an assortment of insect delicacies. I’m approached over and over as street touts waving disheveled laminated cardboard menus in my face offer me ‘buckets’ of cheap cocktails whilst small-framed Thai DJs bounce to their tune as drunken revelers dance right in front of the speakers as if they can’t hear. (see my video from last night below)

 

I finally make it to the ‘Rikka Inn’ at the end of the street. Surprisingly, it’s an oasis of calm. Two polite Thai girls help me at the silent counter and show me to my small, but clean room. I shower exhausted in my typically Thai bathroom with no divide between toilet and shower and pass out in my bed. It’s 2am Bangkok, 5am back home.

Bangkok really is the city that caters for everyone but judges no one. From all night parties to silent Buddhist temples that quiet the mind… Whatever you seek from Bangkok, you will find.

Tomorrow I’ve planed visiting the Grand Palace and Wat Pho. Stay tuned to hear about these amazing Bangkok sites.

For info on buying a prepaid SIM at Bangkok Airport click here

To see info on the Rikka Inn on Expedia click here

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