My adventure started on December 1st 2014 with a 3:30am ride to the Auckland International Airport! (Big thanks to my flatmate Conor for the lift)
I realised when I got to the airport that this was my first time checking in at the International Airport here. I’d been to it before many times but I’d usually be in transit. Small things. I managed to get a window seat on both my flights so that’s a bonus. Some people prefer the aisle seat so they are free to get up and move around but I’ve always enjoyed looking out the window like a little kid.
I flew Qantas to Sydney then again to Bangkok. I was lucky enough to be on the first flight ever with the new breakfast menu (AKL to SYD) and I had the most delicious fresh fruit! Well done Qantas. SYD to BKK was a pretty long boring flight and I was stuck next to an old Ausy guy who snored reaaallly loudly but I managed to combat the snoring by turning up the volume on my headset really high. I watched a couple of movies and documentaries and as always I tried and failed to take a nap. Put me in the passengers seat of a car and will fall asleep in an instant, put me on a plane and I remain wide awake the entire time. Life, eh?
We landed in Bangkok and I went through customs. Easiest customs ever. Who knew it was so easy to get into Thailand!? Met a really nice girl called Sarah who checked in at the same time as me back in Auckland. She’d just been in New Zealand working for six months and was on her way home back to England. She’d decided to take 4 days in Bangkok to just do some Christmas shopping and get a few massages. We collected our baggage together and she helped me at the ATM to exchange currency (She’d been to Bangkok before and told me how much I’d need for things). We said our goodbyes and I headed to catch my transfer. My wonderful travel agent Charlotte booked me a private airport transfer to my hostel which I will be forever grateful for as this was my first time alone in Asia and everything was rather overwhelming! There was a lady standing there with my name on a card, I hopped into her car and off we went.
The humidity hit me like a bus! It was 5pm and still 35 degrees. It took about 45 minutes to get to my hostel from the airport but it was quite an interesting ride. My first impression of Bangkok was that it was very dirty. They don’t really have rubbish bins there… everything is kind of just… on the street.
I arrived at my hostel, the Lub D – Siam Square and instantly loved it! The Lub D is very modern and has everything you need. The counter staff were very lovely and spoke really good English. It’s a bit more expensive than your average Koh San Road hostel but I think it was worth it. I needed something a bit nicer just to adjust to being all alone in a very foreign country. I chose a 4 bedroom female dorm because a) it was the cheapest and b) I thought it would be cool if I met other people there just doing the same thing as me!
I had been in my room only about 10 minutes when another girl walked in. She introduced herself and asked if I wanted to go out for a drink! That was quick! 1 hour in Thailand and already a new friend. Laura from a few years ago would have said “No thanks, I think I’ll just stay in by myself tonight” but Laura on her first big backpacking adventure said “Yeah, that’d be great!”. I decided before I left that I would just say yes to everything. Even if I didn’t think I’d really want to do it, I didn’t want to regret anything later. The reason I came on this trip was to open my eyes to the world and I just wasn’t going to do that if I played it safe.
Turns out my new friend Jenny was on her last night in Bangkok after traveling Vietnam and Cambodia on her own for two months. She was just about to go back to England for Christmas and wanted to celebrate her last night of her adventure. Perfect! I wanted to celebrate my first! We took the train to another area of town (another great reason for saying yes to going out with Jenny, she taught me how to use the metro system which I’d be using for the next few days!) and ended up at the Baiyoke Sky Hotel which is the tallest building in Thailand! She’d heard there was a great bar on the 83rd floor. We took the elevator to the very top and ordered ridiculously cheap cocktails (I ordered a Pina Colada) and talked for over an hour about travel, life and everything in between. We then went out to the outdoor viewing deck which actually rotates, meaning you can stay in one place and eventually get a great 360 degree view of Bangkok!
At about 11pm we decided to head back to the hostel and get some sleep because I was SUPER tired from my journey and Jenny had to pack and catch her flight the next day. I really needed to stay up as late as I could though so that my body could figure out the time difference and get rid of the jet lag.
What a GREAT first night in Thailand. Although we had only known each other for two hours and although we may never see each other again in our lives, Jenny and I always have the memory of each other as our last/ first friend made on our Asia adventures. I am forever thankful that I met Jenny and said yes to a drink as she opened the door to so many opportunities later on. “JUST SAY YES” was now the official motto of this trip for me and I was ready to take this adventure head on.