Beat-thumping techno music and the pop!pop! sounds of Thai men smacking their lips to promote the “ping pong” shows filled my ears as I slalomed through the maze of vendors selling deep-fried crickets and alcohol-filled buckets. Having complimented the Thai woman who sold me a bucket for her bright tangerine-colored lipstick, I was treated to my own personal makeover, preparing me for the booze-filled night.
My arrival in Bangkok began with a long journey from the airport to my lovely abode for three nights, Saphaipae Hostel in the Silom area. Not exactly the most convenient location for quick stop-overs in between flights, but a perfect place for me to begin my travels in Thailand. The clean facilities compensated for the unreliable internet, and it was just a 5-10 minute walk to the nearest Sky Train station.
Meeting tons of other international travelers upon check-in, we spent the first night exploring the infamous Khao San Road (where I received my free beauty consultation). It was here that we found the drunken tourist-ridden street (ourselves included). The road is lined with bars, clubs, restaurants, vendors, taxi/tuk-tuk drivers and, of course, the ping pong show marketeers. And no, these ping pong shows have nothing to do with table tennis.
We found ourselves in the ever-so-cleverly named The Club for a night full of embarrassing dance moves, glow sticks and intoxicating beverages served in classy plastic sand buckets.
The next few days called for some recuperation aided by meals at the local restaurants, if you can call them such. These places consisted of random plastic chairs and tables assorted on the sidewalks and streets around a single gas burner/cooking station. Despite our sewer rat dinner guests, the food was delicious and failed to make anyone sick. At 30 baht ($1 USD) per dish, I think that McDonald’s dollar menu should take a hint from these superior meals.
The weekend Chatuchak market at Mo Chit satisfied my sweet tooth with fresh coconut water (yum), guava spiced with chili flakes and sugar (delicious) and mango sticky rice (OMG).
The market did not just serve those of us who indulge in delectable local dishes. If you need any leather, shoes, clothes, accessories, wicker goods, various household items, religious artifacts or antiques then this is the place for you. Oh, and if you are looking for a four-legged addition to the family, you can find your needs satisfied here as well. Yes, they sell pets. Dogs, cats, rabbits, weird squirrel-looking creatures. Only in Thailand, I swear. You have to love it.
As much as I loved Bangkok, I have to agree with the general consensus that although the lively atmosphere is absolutely captivating, it is exhausting at the same time. A great start to an amazing trip.