Breaking the Habit – Thailand Part I
I realize that I have a lot to write about my recent trip to Thailand, so I’ll write this post in several parts. Hope you enjoy reading as much as I did travelling
Ever since my first stay in Japan I kept saying that I also wanted to travel other Asian countries more but due to a lack of time and money nothing of that sort happened during the six and a half years that have passed since then. Then in the middle of March this year I finally decided to travel. After all, I had been working and researching almost non-stop since January and needed a break. And thanks to all the work I even had enough money to actually go on a trip. I also thought that I need to visit an unknown place to break out of my usual thinking patterns. Japan had become familiar, I had become somewhat Japanese and I wanted to get to know other countries before I became a victim of the “safe Japan dangerous overseas” belief.
So, I knew I wanted to travel Asia but Asia is pretty big so where should I start? China? But the pollution… Korea? I definitely want to go but it’s so close (geographically and culturally?) I felt I could visit easily anytime. This time, I wanted to go a bit farther and so I decided to follow up on my promise to visit my friends in Thailand. I hadn’t met some of them for five or six years and I remember how we said Goodbye in Osaka telling ourselves that we would meet again one day…
I contacted one of my Thai friends to ask for advice on hotels and started searching for flights. I could manage to go a few days before Golden Week, one of Japan’s busiest travel seasons, so I got a very cheap flight with China Airlines. From my friend I had heard that the area around Khaosan was a safe place to stay and looked for hotels in that area. Khaosan is Bangkok’s backpacker’s ghetto, a very fitting name as I should learn later, but I am not a backpacker and didn’t want to stay in a dormitory which would be the cheapest option. However, after scanning several travel websites I found a hotel which offered single rooms with private bathrooms at a dormitory’s price. Opinions on the quality varied greatly but you get what you pay for and I didn’t expect anything more than a clean, lockable room and my own bath. No amenities, no service. The fact that the hotel offered air condition seemed like an exorbitant service already! What more could I wish for?
So I booked one week in Bangkok, a place I knew nothing of except what this song told me:
(You knew I couldn’t post about Bangkok without mentioning it, didn’t you?)