When James and I made the collective decision to move to New Zealand, we both figured it made the most sense to feed our wanderlust by getting there the long way: backpacking through Southeast Asia. While we decided it was best to not have a set plan for the course of our trip, we chose Bangkok as the starting point as it would allow us to either head north or east along mainland Southeast Asia.
The trip started off beautifully. First of all, I had the entire row of my long-haul flight to myself. I slept most of the twelve hours, waking up randomly to watch a movie, color in my adult coloring book and read. Thanks to the always trustworthy Benadryl, I arrived in Bangkok a bit drowsy yet extremely excited to begin this journey and finally reunite with James.
Bangkok was everything I expected it to be and more. Although its streets are constantly buzzing with energy, the people are relaxed and laid back, which is something I missed severely while living in Korea. We started each day with fresh fruits and juices purchased at Silom Soi 20, an awesome market located down the street from Lub D Hostel Silom. We spent our days wandering the streets of Bangkok, getting lost in the colorful, golden temple-lined streets and eating an abundance delicious street food and fresh fruits.
One of the standout moments of our time in Bangkok was our second day there. We’d met a great German guy in the hostel who’d been living in New Zealand for the past seven months and decided to spend the day together. While trying to make our way to a palace across town by foot, we got a bit lost and happened to stumble upon a local university. We met an American professor who suggested we try the food located in the cafeteria. He told us that although the meals were priced to accommodate a student budget, each of the food stalls inside had to enter a competition in order to sell their food, ensuring us the food was great quality and worth a try.
We got some of the most delicious food for about .75 cents USD each! The experience gave us enough energy to continue our trek in the boiling heat and certainly worked as a reminder to always keep my heart open to new experiences. My overall experience throughout Thailand has been particularly incredible and I can understand why people fall in love with it here as often and as quickly. It’s definitely a stark contrast to the high-stress, busy way of life that I was so used to in Korea. With that said, I’m embracing all of this chilled out, delicious, kind and lovely energy that I’m getting each and every day from locals and travelers alike.
These next few months are going to be an incredible journey, and I’m so lucky to have a happy heart and my best friend at my side through it all. Bangkok, you’re amazing and make my heart want to sing songs.