Under the spell of Thailand’s Capital
It’s hard to decide what to do when you’re new in a big city on the other side of the world and everything is possible..
After waking up from our first night in Bangkok we decided to go and visit the floating markets and the railway market and booked a day trip over our concierge. The trip included a driver for the whole day who’d bring us to the Damnoen Saduak Floating Markets and the Maeklong Railway Market.
What we didn’t know was that we had to pay for our boat at the floating market which was extremely expensive in our sight but well – it’s vacation so let’s throw the money out of the window.
We drove around 1 ½ hours to the floating markets and bought a ticket for a 2 hours boat tour and after a few minutes waiting in the queue we were sitting in our private boat and started the tour. I made a timelapse (or should I say Thai-Lapse hehe) from the tour and you can find the link to the YouTube Video on my blog at the end of this post. The whole tour around and through the floating market was an adventure by itself and even though it was expensive it was totally worth it! You have all kinds of shops that you pass – from normal “souvenirs” to beautiful paintings and exotic animals that you can take pictures with (in exchange for cash of course). It can get really crowded with all the boats at some parts of the market and I’m really happy that I changed the position of my GoPro from the side of the boat to the front because otherwise another boat would’ve flicked it of it’s position and god beware I wouldn’t have jumped in the water to get it. After we’ve been through the stores we drove through a jungle and enjoyed the nature to the fullest.
Then our driver stopped, got a machete out of the back and left the boat. We were sure that we’d die!
Obviously we didn’t die – he stopped to chop some beautiful flowers for us of the bush at the end of the route and made the experience with it even better!
Our driver was waiting patiently for us and we started heading to the Maeklong Railway Market where our driver was so kind to walk with us from the car to the station where we would meet again after a half hour when the train would depart. In the extreme afternoon heat we were walking over the train tracks between all kinds of different stands, through all different kinds of smells, from fresh coconuts to old fish that’s being eaten by a hundred flies – especially the smells mixed with the stifling heat were so overwhelming I had to hold myself together to not starting to throw up my breakfast. We couldn’t enjoy the market to the fullest – pushing ourselves through the mass of Thais and tourists, breathing in the warm, stinking air that couldn’t escape because of the fabrics that were functioning as roofs.
We decided quickly that we wanted to go back to the start where the colorful train was already waiting for the final GO in form of an extreme loud signaltone so that everybody on the market knows to leave the tracks and bring theirs goods to safety. It was still enough time before the departure so the train tracks were full with tourists that are willing to buy everything out of their ordinary, in front of the iron giant were people taking pictures, saying goodye and we were watching the spectacle from the side – directed by our stomachs to the restaurants. All of the employees from each restaurant were trying to get us to stay and after passing by them without the intention of ordering something their faces changed from really friendly to hatefull and they switched from “Are yu hangry, biutiful gurl?” to gossiping in an obvious way about us.
It doesn’t need the ability to understand and speak a language to know when someone is talking about you.
We were getting exhausted and annoyed by the heat and the behavior towards us, that we just chose the place with the best view on the train and accepted the menu from the very happy Thai lady who was cursing about us a few seconds earlier.
It was really interesting to watch everybody clearing the way after hearing the screeching of the train, people waving goodbye while their beloved ones are driving through the tight space between all different kinds of stands.
After the spectacle was over our driver brought us back to the boiling hot taxi and drove us back to the hotel. Since the day was full with so many different impressions (and don’t let me start on the heat again) that we immediately fell asleep on the way and woke up around an hour later in the busy streets of the capital where 3 track-streets turn into 5-track-streets, TukTuk drivers must have death wishes and everyone has their own rules for the road traffic.
After two to three hours we arrived at the hotel and jumped in the pool to cool down and just relax until the late evening – we ate something and got ready for heading to the Khao San Road, the most famous street to party in probably whole Thailand?! So we took a taxi (I quote Shirin: “I won’t take a TukTuk again!!”). As I said – we decided to take a taxi to the Khao San with a really friendly driver who told us he’d also go drink something with his friends after work and we got to know a bit about his life.
When we arrived, we didn’t need to ask someone for the way – we could follow the stream of people and the sound of the different songs from the bars, clubs and pubs. Directly in the beginning was standing a woman with a cart full of eatable insects and scorpions with the sign “picture = XY Baht”. I don’t know the actuall amoumt anymore that you’d have to pay but that says a lot about the situation in general in Thailand.
People take pictures from stuff that isn’t ordinary at home to show it of at Instagram and Co. and archieve enough likes, get enough followers – being seen – to feel good while going to bed in the evening.
Sadly I didn’t dare to try one of them in the whole stay – even though it was one of my tasks that I gave myself. We went through a bizarre mixture of humans – many tourists from every spot on mother earth, annoyed to happy Thai’s and locals who where trying to sell anything. From food to bracelets that say anything you can imagine. Those braceletts haunted us through our entire stay in Thailand. You can get them with your name on it, with Thailand but it also gets so extreme that you find yourself surrounded by elderly local women that try to get you to buy braceletts that say Please rape me, I like horse dick or more disturbing stuff. Not my type of humor (or what ever you’d wanna call that).
While strolling through the street we stopped at a bar that wasn’t to crowded, but still had good music and ordered 2 “Melon Sour” for converted around 2,50€. I fell in lolve with this drink immediately and it tears my heart apart that I haven’t seen it on any menu back in Germany. It taste like guava juice – just with alcohol haha. We ordered some more and just watched the people passing by us. Then all of a sudden I heard someone behind me saying my name – while Shirin was sitting in front of me. Who else should it be, here in the capital of a south-east-asian country… It was Laura, a German volunteer who I met in Belgium because we had our same workshops through out the whole stay. Apparently she saw on snapchat that I’m in Thailand right now and the rest was coincidence!
What are the odds? Being on the other side of the world in an eight million citizen city and you meet someone you know without even planning it!
Laura and I talked a bit and then she left to go to a club and shortly after we also decided to search for another location and where is that easier than on the Khao San road? We found ourselfs in the middle of the street between to bars that looked both really good and had perfect music. After analysing where we should go we chose the xxx and sat down to another round of Melon Sours. It didn’t take long until a group of three locals said we should join them on the dancefloor and we kind of didn’t have a choice! We had so much fun dancing with these strangers and also forcing more and more people to dance with us and after a while the scenario turned into one huge party – from the dancefloor of our bar, over the street to the dancefloor of the other bar. All the people were dancing and enjoying themselfs, those who wanted to pass had troubles going through this party or just stopped to watch the dance battles that started in the middle of the road where we saw some stunning dance moves!
The problem is: When I go out in Germany and it’s getting to warm in the club/bar from the dancing, then I go outside and cool down. Well… In Bangkok where the temperature is still around 30 degrees in the middle of the night, there is no cooling down. The funny thing is that I still had the need to leave the dancefloor because it got to warm and then i went un front of the bar just to notice that it doesn’t help at all. I won’t mention that this happened several times..
My dad always told me “You learn from your mistakes”
That doesn’t apply to me!
At around five in the morning we were back in the hotel and didn’t need long to fall asleep.
What a day! Full of unforgettable impressions – from sitting in a longtailboat at the famous floating market, walking over the trails of a market build around railway tracks to starting a huge party that will always stay in my memories.
Part 1: https://www.itsjustjessie.de/2018/04/20/thailand-arriving-in-another-universe/