Travels

Bangkok (Love this place!)

Hi guys,

Me again, yes would you believe that I am blogging on my bucks trip? Dedication yo!

Fact is – if you’re passionate about something, you do it irrespective of the location and occasion.

You do it because you grind, because you need persistence to achieve.

Settle down tiger, intensity much?

Look alright, I just wanted to let you know that I’m here for you guys and for my dreams OK?

OK OK, continue weirdo.

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Don’t look at me like that you weirdo!

Anyway before I was interrupted, just wanted to say that we’ve managed to make it to Thailand!

Funny story here, on the tarmac at Sydney airport, we were delayed for a fair while because the captain said that we were waiting for a typhoon to blow out.

You should have seen the looks that was exchanged when he relayed that news.

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Typhoon aye…

Wise choice my captain, my captain.

9 hours later and Bangkok here we are!

OK so first impressions of Bangkok (I’ve never been) – it’s a pretty happening kind of place, this was 1am mind you and there were taxis, cars, trucks, motorcycles zipping in and out.

Welcome to Asia right!

We’ve only been here a couple of days and already there’s a few lessons which I’ve learnt, here they are!

AirBnB warning.

On the first night, we managed to check in to our AirBnb accommodation … to find there’s no running water.

Um…

That would make showers and yknow, other water based essentials “challenging”.

Being 2am, it makes contact with the owner almost impossible.

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This is our AirBnb host.

Be aware of when booking AirBnB’s – that if something does go wrong, the timing and owner’s availability is a factor to consider.

The water issue became too difficult to move past, so we cut our losses and moved into a hotel instead.

Cost of Living.

One thing I have noticed here in Thailand is the cost of living – it’s pretty darn low.

Want to grab a bite to eat? A decent meal will set you back 5 AUD, and you can eat like a king for 10 AUD.

Want to live somewhere nice? How about a luxury hotel in the middle of the city for 250 AUD per night? In Sydney – it’ll set you back at least $800.

Funny story here, on the first night – my friends and I were hustled by a Tuk Tuk driver quoting 50 Baht to our destination, 50 Baht? Our minds weren’t acclimatized to the exchange rates yet so we declined (fifty is a big number right?)

A minute or so later we realized that it was the equivalent of two dollars which is forty cents per person – far out even a Chupa Chup costs more.

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Tuk Tuk drivers can be paid in lollies.

There are so many foreigners.

So true, I’ve never felt more comfortable travelling to a foreign city, ever. Most of the local people speak English and most of the writings are translated in English and a lot of the food is tailored to Western palettes.

This makes anyone knowing how to speak English, feel, well at home.

Walking through the main streets of Bangkok – it’s amazing how many expats and tourists there are.

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A map of Thailand.

I probably heard English spoken more than Thai which is unexpected. The chances of you meeting someone you know in Bangkok is higher than in your home country I reckon.

Bangkok’s onto something.

The traffic here is something else, we went out at around 3am in the morning and our taxi was stuck in a traffic jam.

At 3am! Who are these people?

Question:

When does a Thai ever sleep?

Answer:

When he’s Thai’ed.

“Shakes head” – just wow.

The traffic is bad at night but don’t even get me started regarding the traffic during the DAY – far out.

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So many pretty colours!

BUT the ingenuity of the locals has meant they constructed a concrete walkway above the main roads in the city with the main metro rail line above that.

This means that the majority of pedestrians traverse around the CBD above all the metallic death floating around.

Genius!

The people are so friendly, warm and welcoming.

The people I’ve encountered on the streets, in the shops, manning the hotels, driving the taxis are freaking amazing.

Always with a smile, they go out of their way to help you.

This is even true in their interactions with each other, I’ve observed a Thai asking another for directions (she pulled out an old school map, cute!) and the local spent a full 5 minutes explaining the route.

Mind you, I could have been lucky to have caught a rare event – but I doubt it.

My theory as to why many people go about their day with a look of zen is the high percentage of Buddhists in the local population.

Almost 94% of the country is Buddhist, which as its main principle is the moral inner compass and way of life.

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Statues and religious monuments are plentiful in Bangkok.

I don’t even think the word stress makes it onto the Thai dictionary (happy to be corrected).

This is not a religious blog but there is much to be said regarding how we live and treat each other in our day to day lives.

The Thai’s have generosity and respect for and to each other in spades, there is much to be learnt from them.

Sex trade.

This is a controversial issue I think because the country is so liberal and care-free when it comes to sex.

Much has been made of the “lady-boys” (boys who dress like lady beetles) and various seedy bars and “table tennis” shows, but the fact remains that there is a phenomenon in Bangkok which is confronting to see.

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Watch out – things will get kinky soon!

I’m talking about the vast majority of young, attractive Thai women who are in prostitution and/or act as “comfort women” to the multitudes of (mainly) Western men.

It’s confronting because of how blatant it is, on the streets, in the restaurants, at the shops – if there are tourists, there are these women.

Perhaps to these ladies, selling themselves is a viable way of earning, after all if you grew up not knowing any better than the reality of life is what it is.

However for those of us who do know an alternative – it does come as a shock.

I’m also aware of how lucrative the sex trade is to the Thai economy, but if you mix money, sexual desires and a readily available access to satisfy these needs, it can and does make the wrong headlines.

But if you can move past this issue, there are an overwhelming number of positives this beautiful country can offer.

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One of the positives.

I can totally understand why Thailand is such a welcoming permanent base for achievers of FIRE and retirees.

The people are friendly, the prices are cheap, the food is great, English is widely adopted and most importantly, the way of life is one which very few countries can mirror.

Been an amazing experience so far and I’m looking forward to the rest of my time here.

When I do have to say farewell to Bangkok it’ll be Au Revoir but not goodbye – I’ll see you again Thailand!

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