27.03.2013 - 31.03.2013
After a grueling, sometimes uncomfortable, 22 hours of flights, layovers and airplane food, we finally landed in the Kingdom of Thailand. For myself, this was trip number 3 to this amazing country, but for Lindsay, this was a whole different ballgame. For those of you that know Lindsay, you already are aware of her infatuation with Disneyland. The city of Bangkok is a far cry from the magical kingdom. From the moment that she stepped off the plane, she was overwhelmed with the sights, smells and bright lights that come along with a city of this scale. I will always remember my first night in Bangkok and I could see parts of myself in her while we walked the streets that night. The excitement that she had was contagious. Excitement that never faltered, even for a second, even when she saw her first rat.
We were staying at the cutest little guesthouse I’ve (Lindsay) ever seen. “Wendy House” is on this quiet little street that is right downtown in the hustle and bustle of Bangkok. When Sean originally described it to me, I believed it was a great place to stay, but I was blown away by how right he was! It was so nice, after a busy day of walking, tuk-tuks, taxis and the skytrain, to turn down this street, or “home base” as we came to call it, I would breathe a sigh of relief. As you walk down this street, there is street food on one side and travel companies, family restaurants and massage parlours on the other, what an amazing first home away from home.
Once we were settled into Wendy House, we spent the next few days temple hopping, street food eating, canal trekking, tuk-tuk riding and trying to see everything we possibly could see in 4 days. Temple hopping happened over a few days and the temple I loved the best in Bangkok was Wat Phra Kaewi. It took my breath away. We live in Canada and we definitely have some historical buildings and amazing sights to see, but this place was incredible. Not only was it the hottest day ever (Sean’s back sweat turned into a heart!), but the sun was beating down, making the temple shimmer and shine. We were inappropriately dressed; tank tops and short shorts are a no-no in temple land, so we were told to put on sarongs and short sleeved shirts. As you can imagine, it now felt like it was 50 degrees instead of a measly 44. I didn’t even care. With the beauty of this temple, I was looking around so much and felt that I was still missing something, that I just wasn’t able to see it all. Sean had already been to this temple, so I’m sure he was amused with my excitement and antics, dragging him all around the grounds. We took a lot of pictures, but I don’t think they will ever compare to what it looks like in real life. The detail that was put into this place, the textures and stone work, statues and gems, will forever be in my memory. Everyone should visit this temple once in their lives.
The next day, Mitch decided that a canal tour would be a nice relaxing day. After a short skytrain ride, where we actually saw this hauntingly beautiful old building in downtown Bangkok, we walked up to this boat tour place. As we stepped into this rickety old wooden boat, powered by one of the loudest motors I have ever heard, our eyes were opened to a new side of Bangkok not many people see. The water was murky and brown with garbage, sandals and water bottles floating everywhere. As we rode up the river, it was interesting to see the different classes that live in this city. At some points, there are spectacular temples and gated houses with green grass and statues in their yards, right next to those, are these completely run down shacks, propped up on wooden stilts in the water with old laundry hanging off railings, no windows, dirt everywhere and random ragged wild dogs running around. Of course everyone knows these places exist, but to see them, to witness the real “ghetto’s” and how poor people really are in this world was definitely an eye opening experience. It makes you realize how fortunate we are at home in Calgary and how much we actually take for granted. 1st world problems has a whole new meaning now.
The canal tour took a few hours and halfway through we were lucky enough to stop by this floating market where we had some amazing street food. I (Lindsay) have never had the chance to eat anything like street food, so the first time I had any in Bangkok was a big moment for me! I always thought I was pretty adventurous when it came to eating and would really try anything; however, the mystery balls at the floating market really tested my palate. Sean noticed this little stall with this cute little Thai lady making something that intrigued us both; small little balls on a stick that are barbequed and doused in sauce. Without hesitation, Sean bought 2 sticks of mystery balls. My first experience eating something that I had no idea what it was or what was inside began. As his eyes lit up and his head started to nod, I knew the mystery balls were a successful treat and I dove right in! I still have no idea what these balls on a stick were made of, but they tasted incredible, and the sauce, well, the sauce was to die for! I’m sure the both of us could eat that sauce day in and day out. Once again, as this trip has proven time and time again, Sean was right.
Well team, if I told you everything that we did and saw in Bangkok, I could write a novel. The short of it is that we loved This city. I never understood why Sean always talked so highly of Bangkok. But now that I have experienced the food, nightlife, sights and ultimately the chaos, I have fallen in love with this city. Till we meet again Bangkok!!
We apologize that it has taken this long for our first entry, but it has been chaos so far. We hopefully will have some extra time as we head south to post our continued experience.
NEXT STOP AYUTTHAYA