Two Days in Bangkok

The reality of traveling in Asia came rushing back to me as soon as I arrived. 

Just stepping off the plane I walked into a wall of heat, with the humidity strong enough to make the air thick and heavy. Once I got to the hostel I quickly discovered the lack of air conditioning in the common areas which didn’t fill me with confidence, and I wondered if I should have opted for the cheap 5 star hotel experience and indulged in a ‘treat yourself’ 48 hours in Bangkok, rather than the hostel experience that I thought would be a good reintroduction for me. Spoiler alert – despite the heat, I was glad I chose the hostel, but more on that later. Thankfully the dorm rooms had their own AC units within them, although it still didn’t make it cold enough to warrant any of the covers while sleeping. 

After a restless night, with both the heat and the mild but still annoying three hour time difference having a part to play, it was time to get up and discover Bangkok, or at least some breakfast, having been over 12 hours since I’d eaten. 

I walked into the heat and wondered whether an Asian stopover was a big mistake altogether. Only two weeks prior I found Sydney’s humidity and 19 degrees hot enough. Coming from a ski resort my body had well and truly acclimatized and I found myself becoming a bigger fan of the winter than the summer. Bangkok welcomed me with 38 degrees and peak humidity, so I dreaded the following 48 hours, and strongly considered the option of skipping the sightseeing and staying in the air conditioning the entire time. 

Right after the impact of the heat, I noticed the smell. And all my memories of traveling in Asia flooded me like the memories of an ex boyfriend when you smell their cologne years later. The feeling was similar too, a nice familiarity, but not something I was keen to keep witnessing. 

Alas, I decided I should do some touristing around despite the heat. I am an Australian afterall so you’d think it’d be in my blood to be able to handle it. I walked down to visit a few of the incredible temples, arriving at each one with my entire body sweating, desperate for respite – albeit minimal – in the shade with the well stocked fans. The architecture was beautiful, and despite the heat and the excess number of tourists, these places of worship felt peaceful. 

Walking through markets felt all too familiar, with each stall owner pestering you with information on their products and requests to purchase the minute you made eye contact or looked at an item for longer than a second. With a polite ‘no thank you’ I would continue on, repeating this ritual along the way. Each stall owner sat, hand fan always in use in an effort to survive the heat for the day, hoping to sell to any willing tourists. 

I settled back into the hostel life very easily, going for lunch with someone on the Sunday, followed by a ‘family dinner’ that night with eight others. I was comfortable with these new people due to the sense of self that I’ve rediscovered over the past few months. The extroverted version of myself is well and truly back in action, and I’m so grateful for that. 

With a 12 hour day time flight to London, I was happy to enjoy a proper Bangkok night out on Khao San Road, just near our hostel. With the newfound friends I made we drank buckets of alcohol for a quarter of the price you’d pay at home and danced in the streets. Despite being 2am the heat didn’t let up, so we embraced being a sweaty mess together, dancing in the 38 degree heat. 

Hopping into bed at 4am I was ready for a 3 hour sleep before getting up to head to the airport, satisfied with my time in Bangkok and excited to start the next part of my trip.