Landing in Bangkok
Who says you can’t just dive right into a trip? My two friends I’m starting it with definitely don’t. They arrived on December 25th so they had two nights on me. Already acclimated and desensitized to Bangkok, they simply sent me a message that I saw once I touched down saying “go to the Seven 11 (yes, they have those here) across the street from the hotel, get an M-150 (some crazy unregulated red bull that I chose to skip out on for now) and get your ass the the Alchemist bar.
Wow, thanks for waiting guys…
I had been traveling for over a day, had not slept on the first leg but passed out the entire second one, and woke up with a “welcome to our country” customs card on my lap that I had fill in before going through. I was a little nervous because it had a few fields that I didn’t know that to fill with: visa number(didn’t have a visa), embarking port (wasn’t sure if this is where I’m coming from or where I’m landing into, I assumed the latter and it worked out) and disembarking port (didn’t have a flight out yet so had nothing to write).
Luckily, I met this chill, dreaded up Dutch guy on the plane that seemed to know what was up. He explained a little about how that works: don’t worry about the visa number if you don’t have one yet and just write whatever for the disembarking port, as long as there’s something there you should be good. So I wrote Koh Samui – like he said, it probably didn’t matter, but at least if they questioned me I could show the ticket I had taking me there the next day so I could maybe pretend that was an exit ticket. Maybe I should give their intelligence more credit but there were no questions, they looked at it, stamped it, and I went straight through. My dreaded friend on the other hand had many more questions to answer from the customs official. I guess appearances matter here.
We went to the lower level in the airport where the cabs were. The cabbie asked for 600 baht for the ride to my hostel (dreads had no hostel yet but said he’s just going to head to Kohsan Road, which is apparently littered with hostels and was close enough to my hostel, and figure something out). We argued the guy down to 500, I still feel like it could have been cheaper, but after asking for directions a little, he figured it out and dropped me off.
I dropped my stuff off, left the hostel, flagged down a tuk tuk which everyone says is more expensive than cabs but I had to try, and headed out into the abyss. It also seems more unsafe as it’s pretty much a large golf cart with the speed of a motor bike and I wasn’t always convinced it wasn’t going to capsize around some corners. The guy asked for three hundred after seeing the address. Again, I argued down to two, he insisted on two fifty but after I said two or you stop he carried on.
We got to the neighborhood where my friends were, didn’t find the bar but he insisted that its here. I got out, called them and fortunately he was right. I turned a corner, climbed some stairs saw, some familiar grins, and started this adventure.