Whenever I tell tales about this trip to Thailand to people, I always don’t know whether I should say this is my first time or second time. It’s technically my second time but in terms of the real experience that actually has impacts/values which left some marks in my life, it is my first time.
The first time I went to Thailand was when I was about 10 years old. It was a package group tour with family friends. Funny that trip also included some time in Hong Kong as well (just like this one). I can count all the things I still remember of that trip. Going to some big temple (highly likely Wat Phra Kaew) with many people, taking a picture with a huge white snake around my neck, elephant riding (I blame the tour organiser), AMAZINGLY delicious dried coconut snack I had on bus, having some problems with the tour plan, really really delicious Thai seafood dish, sleeping on a shitty spare bed, Pattaya beach – in my memory the water was crystal clear and beautiful. This is about it. None of these had any real impacts in my life and I don’t remember much about that time. So I am kind of inclined to say that this 2014 trip is my first Thailand experience.
Anyhows finally, here we are. Extremely tired and overly excited with our hearts pumping so hard. We went straight to the SRT station. Little struggle at the vending machine for the train token but we had help from nice Thai people behind us. Waiting for the train was longer than I expected. Constant stream of people was making queues really long. There I saw some tourists from the country of my origin. I don’t really like them. Anyways we got into the train and were lucky enough to find seats for us. On the train ride, I remember constantly looking outside to see what this country looked like. It was an evening with sky turning deep dark twilight. We didn’t know what to say. And we didn’t speak much apart from saying “wow.. we are finally here…”. Now that I think of it, we were probably all having the same feeling. The feeling that we cannot comprehend, because we have never felt it before in our lives. It was quite different from travelling to somewhere. We put so much commitments and emotions into this trip and went through a long period of planning and waiting. It was also our first time travelling with close friends. On top of that, this land was also new to us (maybe not so much for Andre though). Everything didn’t exist in my expectation toward this trip. So it wasn’t so easy how to take this feeling.
We got off at the final station, Phaya Thai. As soon as we got out, I could feel the heeeaaat in the air, with humidity. There were soooo many people compared to where I came from. One of the things I really hate about myself is that I sweat A LOT. As we were coming down the stairs to the exit, I was already sweating hard out. Just outside the station exit, we saw few tuktuks. According to many travel guides and Andre, tuktuk is popular commute especially to tourists. So we talked to one of the drivers asking to take us to Khao San road where our motel was at. Another note I need to make here. At that time when I didn’t know almost anything about Thailand, I am not proud but I had no idea what Thailand is like in terms of safety. I thought like many other people (who don’t have any idea either) that Thailand is a very dangerous third world country. I thought crimes were happening easily without getting caught. So on the tuktuk ride, I have to admit I was little – not so much though – scared that we would be kidnapped and be killed or something. At the same time, we were all so HAPPY and EXCITED. Looking around the streets, taking pictures and videos.
The road was packed with motorbikes, taxis, tuktuks and cars. Whenever we saw other tourists on other tuktuks we were yelling and smiling, sharing our pleasure to be on travel. We even waved at some cute girls in other cars. Some of them were quite happy to wave back and smile :). After little of bit worrying moments, we arrived at Khao San road. The fare we paid was like 300 baht I think. That moment it wasn’t much to us but now I know I would never ever pay for that price to travel that distance nor I would catch any tuktuk for moving around.
Khao San road area was crazily PACKED with cars and everything. It was just a chaos! Because of the inaccurate location and local people not being familiar to proper addresses in the area, we had to walk around quite a bit… (even more walking). By the time we finally got to our motel which was on Rambuttri road which is just a next road to Khaosan road, the shirt I was wearing from Hong Kong was soaked with my sweat.
Our room was small but clean which I really care about. There were three single bed put separately having some space between them. We just decided to push the beds to put them right next to each other. We took shower and got ready to go out for our late dinner.
Khaosan road is basically a road full of tourists (mostly from Western countries) and little shops, bars, restaurants that target those tourists. We didn’t walk around much to find our restaurant as we were sick of walking. An outdoor restaurant just opposite our motel looked nice enough so we went straight in. We ordered a bunch of Thai food – curry, some vege dish, some stir fried stuff, actually I can’t even remember properly. We were satisfied with the food and beer. One thing we realised at that point was that we can get beers in big bottles (500ml). It was awesome! I always thought the small bottles were too small. We had big bottle Chang beers and that atmosphere and everything was just so.. damn… gooood…..
Later that night after looking around and buying some jandals and clothes that went through some intense negotiations, we found a place to drink. It was a hard pick seriously. There are just sooooo many bars there. All more or less look similar quality. I don’t remember what made us pick that small outdoor place but we decided to drink there. The place was basically our on side of the street. Had around 10 small tables and they were advertising with panel showing something like “Vodka + redbull only 250 baht!!”. They had their own DJ set up there too which I found pretty cool.
So we sat down at a table and looked at the menu. There were many mixed drinks like vodka&redbull, whisky&coke, etc. And there were all around 250 baht. That is pretty much what we would pay for a cocktail at a bar in our country! We were not happy with the price so we ordered three vodka and redbull (one for each) and asked for discounts on the drinks. But the boss (his introduced himself as ‘Wat’) really denied to give us any discounts. He made sad face and said “oh noooo this is already the lowest price we cannot lower it anymore” or something like this. So we ended paying 250 baht each. Come on.. I heard things in Thailand was cheap!!! And…. little did I know….. The drinks came out and it was this.
I automatically thought the vodka&redbull was gonna be in a small thin cocktail glass or something (as they always do in most places). I never ever expected it would be in a huge bucket! We were all really surprised by this and were cracking up. Ok 250 baht for this, I am alright. Also it wasn’t a weak mix. It was strong as and we got drunk pretty quickly. I think we ordered 1 or 2 more between us and shared. I remember talking to a group of girls next to us who were very hot however they were not nice to us :(. And the staff guys there were really funny and enthusiastic bunch. There were 3 guys – Wat the boss, a gay Thai guy and a skinny topless white guy who looked no more than 17 years old. They were such a cool dudes though. They were working with passion and pure fun that seemed to naturally come out of their heart. They were really enjoying what they were doing. Looking at that also made me happy.
After continuous drinking I got fucked. Stories from here are based on tiny bit of glimpses of my memories and my friends’ stories. So according to them, I started dancing like it’s club and walked out of the bar which was right on the street anyways. I talked to many random people like I usually would when I’m very drunk. Apparently I talked to two girls and brought them into the bar and danced with them, having one each of my side. We left the bar and looked for more fun and girls. We went to a different bar, a more huge one. We met some random Thai girls and I kept talking with the one I was with and they both left to other places. Later on I left that place to and somehow met them again at another bar. And somehow we made back to our room and crashed into bed. Yes, the later part of this night is not as detailed as other stories which is because I was so drunk and had no memories and so were my friends.
Next morning I woke up with just my undie on. Hair all screwed and dizzy as fuck. The last thing saw was having crazy party at a crazy place with tons of people and suddenly this is what I see. I just found this really hilarious and laughed by myself. This whole situation was so fun!!! I took the picture of that moment, the reflection of the room and myself to remember it. And then I thought, “Shit this is awesome”.