After sleeping for 11 hours I felt refreshed and ready to go for my first morning in Bangkok. This is something I’ve learned from past travels. My tip to combat jet lag is to stay out as late as possible on the same day you arrive (maybe 10-11pm local time) and then let yourself sleep without using an alarm to wake you. You should sleep for about 10 hours and this way you wake up on your own terms, you’re rested and you still have a day for activities.
My first street food purchase was made this morning! Jenny had recommended the man just outside the hostel selling fresh fruit so I got myself some Pineapple on a stick. It was probably the best pineapple I’ve ever tasted and I ended up getting it every morning!
I decided that my first day would be shopping day because I was staying across the road from the biggest shopping mall in Bangkok so I had to check that out. It was 7 stories high and essentially an indoor air conditioned market. I like to think of this day as an “ease in” to Asian culture and weather. Yes I did go to a mall, but it was different to any mall I’d ever been to before and I think if I had gone and explored the streets of Bangkok straightaway I might have overwhelmed myself. I needed to pick up some power adapters for my electronics so I did that (I advise you to wait until you get to a country before purchasing power adapters because they’re always cheaper than in the airport) and I spent a couple of hours exploring this mall and everything it had to offer.
The rest of the day was spent simply wandering the streets.
The streets of Bangkok are more different than anything I’ve ever seen before. Life is on the street here. Families eat, play and work on the street, only going indoors to sleep. The footpaths are overtaken with stalls, waste, stray dogs, chickens, cats and many other interesting sights. Within 24 hours of being in this part of the world my eyes were truly opened. Life is different here. It’s something you can not understand until you come here.
I ended up wandering aimlessly for about 2 hours just following my nose and occasionally glancing at the map I was carrying. I came across schools, markets, pagodas, houses, stalls selling Viagra on the street and dodged countless vehicles and large groups of locals. All in the centre of this bustling city.
When I decided it was probably time to go back to the hostel for a shower and a rest I was actually on the other side of town. I took this opportunity to hail my first Tuk Tuk. I bartered for the first time in my life and can now check “ride in a Tuk Tuk” off the bucket list. He drove like mad through the busy streets and it was a bit scary at first but after a while it was exhilarating!
That evening I hopped on the train to the south end of town and then took a short ferry ride to a night market I had heard about at the hostel. It’s called Asiatique and it was just a nice little night market experience on the waterfront.
I purchased a couple of souvenirs and watched the sun set on the ferry, reflecting on my successful first day abroad.