Welcome back to my 3rd stop on my SEA Adventure!
Well my journey continues with a 7 hour layover in Kuala Lumpur before arriving in banging Bangkok. I was in so much misery from my ear infection that I just needed to lay down, stuff some chicken in my mouth (at least something that resembled chicken) and relax before my flight. I noticed a wellness spa in the back of the airport where you can pay to relax while you wait on your flight.
Free snacks..massages..showers= SOLD!
I paid for a soothing 2 hour massage, took a shower, and sipped on some tea before heading off to catch my flight. As I was walking down the terminal I found I was able to walk much faster than usual. Hmmmm that’s odd, did I just drink some crazy Malaysian crack tea? I stopped to put down my backpack and to realized right away…
CRAP..My laptop..yeahhh.. IT’S GONE.
I instantly ran back to the spa and started looking around everywhere in a panic. I ran into occupied massage rooms and occupied shower rooms, boobies here boobies there, I didn’t care! The front desk confirmed nothing was turned in and that there was no cameras available for me to check. So there you go, my 4 month old laptop was officially no where to be found and neither was my good mood that lasted a whole 5 minutes. I got screwed big time and with a 100 degree fever and achy ear, I could not get to bed in Bangkok soon enough.
The Chern Hostel was located in the heart of Bangkok, the perfect location for me to check out the local landmarks on my final morning. It was a large modern Japanese style hotel with many friendly faces. The spot was clean and quiet, perfect for me to get a good nice sleep. Only I booked the dorms meaning I got a rise in shine wake up call from 10 other girls from all over the world who came storming in trashed at 6 am. With my temperature and pain still well intact, I woke up popping ibuprofen like breathe mints so I could survive the 12 hour day tour I had booked.
First stop was the famous floating markets. Here we sat in little boats and went around the canals getting shoved clothes, food and other items in to our face from a plethora of vendors. It was practically just like getting harassed by small tourist shops on the street, but on a boat.. where you were trapped. Though tempted by little Buddhas and cute shirts, the only thing I bought was the most delicious coconut ice cream I have ever had tasted!
Before we were off to the controversial Tiger Temple, we stopped along the river for a nice buffet lunch. When I got out of the van the tour guide asked what I was going to wear to the temple. I looked down at my tank top and skirt and said you are looking at it! Not thrilled I wasn’t aware of the strict attire required, the driver threw me his extra pair of pants (gross)….and my new friend gave me a shirt he had bought for his sister.
I looked like a the queen of dorks..but hey, at least I got in!
Once in the Tiger Temple, it was a bit of a hike through the grounds in 40 degree weather to reach the tigers. It was also difficult to walk without my pants falling off, which happened about every 5 minute. It’s safe to say the driver and myself didn’t both wear a size 6.
Aside from helping me put my pants back up, the volunteers took each person around to each of the 8 tigers, posed us and snapped a picture. When I met the first tiger I was terrified as this is a you know.. a TIGER. But slowly, tiger after tiger I noticed something. These tigers were not only hot and tired from the beaming sun and heat, but they were so drugged they could barely stay awake. My fear of the tigers instantly vanished and my compassion and pain for the tigers took over. To be handled better, I know animals in zoos and in captivity in general are normally drugged, but this.. this seemed a bit too much. What kind of temple was this?
I spent 15 minutes chatting with one of the volunteers who told me that tigers actually were treated very well. Not sure if he was trying to convince or himself or maybe they really were when it was not their shift. Nonetheless, I left the tiger temple thrilled I was able to get so close to such a beautiful animal, but mostly disgusted at the conditions. The”temple” ended up getting shut down 2 weeks later when they found 40 dead tigers in a freezer.
For our final stop we visited the WW2 Death Railway and The Bridge Over the Kwai River in Kanchanaburi. This Death rail is where the Japanese POW’s were forced to build a railway between Thailand to Burma during WW2. We walked along this 250 mile long rail appreciating the sacrifices while simultaneously trying not to get hit by a train. It was hard for the history and the blood sweat and tears that went in to the railway to not captivate you. Especially knowing how many thousands of soldiers lost their lives during this time.
That night I got an invite from a friend I met on the tour to go out on the town with him. Though tired, exhausted and sick..I said screw it! It is my last night in Bangkok..Time to do it right!
I arrived at his hotel and met his local Thai friend and friend from India. The friend he came with apparently had been drinking since noon, so at 8 pm he was already in the “let’s go to the club” mode. I was still 7 drinks and 4 hours away from that, so I insisted on seeing the street markets to get some food while checking out the sights. Walking down the main blvd I got my very first taste of these ladyboys I have been ever so warned about. I have to say, I had never been more confused on what exactly was under someone’s skirt than I when I was in Thailand.
I was able to get a bite of street food before I lost the battle to the drunk friend and we were off to a club.
We arrived at the club at 9 pm, the time most people were just waking up by the way. We spent the entire night dancing and drinking shots from what seemed to be from every bottle on the shelf. After hours and hours of dancing and getting yelled at for taking off my shoes on the dance floor, it was time to go to sleep. But I could not call it a night before swinging by McDonald’s and buying enough hamburgers to feed a small village. I got back to the hostel and started passing them out the like a beautiful hamburger fairy.
That next morning I had intended to wake up early and walk to the nearby temples. Unfortunately and predictably, I woke up feeling like pure death. I was seriously so ill it was as if I was poisoned the night before. And I realized.. I was!
Michelle + every type of Thai alcohol + McDonald’s = DEATH.
I couldn’t get out of bed. I couldn’t even move for that matter. So we got the ear infection and fever going on, now add the hangover literally from the movie Hangover and this how I felt waiting at the airport. Bangkok really did a number on me. This was definitely not in the brochure.
My time in Bangkok was very brisk! Ideally I wish I had an extra day in Bangkok to see everything I wanted to see before the plague set in. Regardless it was easy to see that Bangkok was very hectic practically everywhere you went. The city was very large with a great deal of history and stories to tell. The street food was yummy and the night life was well, intense.
I was now ready to relax back to island life. But little did I know, that this next island was going to be the craziest part of my trip.
Thai cooking class, temples and ping pong balls..
Next up.. Phuket, Thailand