I wrote this yesterday and am now in Phnom Penh but anyway:
It’s been an eventful week now that I’m on the move again – have been to three cities since leaving Pai on Monday and had more than a few eye opening Asian experiences. Especially in Bangkok, which will henceforth be referred to as The City of Sin.
Arriving in Sukhothai on Tuesday night I liked it right away – it was nice to see a normal Thai town rather than a big city. My hotel was nice apart from my room, which was was incredibly hot and had no windows, and I resolved to stay in an air conditioned place in Bangkok. The next day I wanted to explore the old city of Sukhothai, which used to be the capital of Thailand. The old city was 15 kms from my hotel, and seeing it as a good opportunity to keep up the training, I decided to ride one of the free bikes at the hotel all…the…way…there.
It was really awesome to see the ancient temples, lots of statues of the Buddha as well as town meeting halls etc, all dating back to the twelfth century. I rode my bike all around the area. It was a six hour round trip and I reckon I rode at least 40 kms. And no, the seat was not comfortable for those who are concerned!
It was then straight onto Bangkok by overnight bus to spend one night and one and a half days in The City of Sin to finish off my six weeks in Thailand. I wasn’t expecting great things after most people told me how much they hated Bangkok, but I was pleasantly surprised, maybe because I didn’t stay on Khao San Rd, maybe because of how short my time was there, and maybe also because it was a novelty for me being back in a big city.
I spent my time in Bangkok shopping, eating and gawking. One thing I loved, as a true PR nerd, was the brand presence and out of home media. Took lots of photos of things like a huge pedestrian tunnel made to look like a giant sideways bottle of Coke, another Coke activation in which a flash mob of 500 people did the Gangnam Style dance to celebrate Psy’s imminent performance at the Loi Krathong festival this week, and some support beams wrapped to look like packs of Mentos.
Two lessons learnt: 1. Street food is never as delicious as it looks and smells. Actually sometimes it’s inedible, and for me not to eat it, you know it must be true. 2. All the essentials for your night out in Bangkok can be purchased on the street, from bottles of spirits to outfits to Viagra to dildos and other sex toys. Talk about city of sin. I felt very conservative going to bed at 10pm!
However, bed was on the cards because I had an early breakfast appointment with a friend from Pai. I rocked up to his apartment not knowing what to expect and my mind was fair and square blown. He lives high up in one of the most exclusive residences, attached to a high street mall. As in, his neighbour is the king of Bhutan. As in, he once hung out with Ryan Gosling. WTF. We ate a buffet breakfast overlooking the city on the 42nd floor (he was in his pyjamas, I had tried to dig out my cleanest clothes and even put on makeup) and it was the best Western food I’ve had since before I left Australia! Such an amazing experience after living the backpacker life. As the Bangkok tshirts say, no money no honey, inDEED.
Anyway, that was this morning and I’m now writing this on my plane heading to Phnom Penh, Cambodia, which I’m incredibly lucky to be on! Lost track of time shopping at the weekend markets, then got stuck behind a massive group of Chinese tourists checking in, then got taken away by passport control for overstaying my visa by three days, then literally ran down the escalator to my departure gate as they were doing final call. When I was still 30 metres away they called out “are you Miss Sasha?!” I was like YES!, they ushered my onto a bus which was full of passengers waiting to be taken to their plane (sorry guys) and off we went. PHEW.
Next stop, Phnom Penh where I will meet Beccy and Matt from Pai tonight, and Aimee tomorrow! Excitement!