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The Wandering Gumby

Arriving in Bangkok, Thailand.

THAILAND | Sunday, 6 November 2016 | Views [217]

We landed at 11:15pm. We had spent months planning our first trip overseas, spending countless hours on the internet researching different towns and cities to visit and places to see. I was spending 4 weeks backpacking through Thailand. My girlfriend Rebecca, only 2 weeks due to not being able to get more time off from work. The excitement of it all kept Rebecca and I awake the entire 9 hour flight from Melbourne to Bangkok. I still remember that feeling when we made our decent on to the notorious bustling capital of Thailand. Excitement, and an incredible surge of adrenaline flooding through me like a power surge. "This is crazy," i thought. "Are we really doing this?" I had never been to another country before, and here we were with the goal of traversing across a foreign land getting in at one of the craziest cities in the world, an hour away from midnight. I should have had somewhat of an idea that the next three hours were going to be a whirlwind of culture shock, uncertainty, anxiety and confusion.

I still remember my reaction when they opened the airplane door leading us out onto the jet bridge. I had heard about the stink of Bangkok and had always thought that people were probably being a little melodramatic in their stories, as people do, but I was wrong, and the humidity only made it worse. Heart's racing, Rebecca and I set out to find the passport checkpoint and grab our luggage. Having waited little over thirty minutes to get approved into the country and grabbing our luggage, we walked out of the airport and into the taxi bay. There it was again, the heat, the smell. It was around midnight when we got into our taxi, and headed for our destination, Rainbow Hostel.

Our taxi driver told us he knew where he was going, our hostel was located on the infamous Khaosan Road, of course he did. It took us about 40 minutes to get to the famous backpacker's hub of Bangkok and when we reached our destination, my jaw dropped. 

We arrive at one end of Khaosan road, and i could not believe my eyes. This place is the wild west, i had never seen anything like it before. People drinking, dancing, sucking on balloons filled with Nitrous Oxide or "Laughing Gas", just having the time of their lives, and there were so many of them! So many people! Where the fuck had i booked our accomodation? Well, it turns out the taxi driver didn't even know. After paying our fare of 500 baht, he pointed into that crowded and loud abyss and said "in there", and left us with our bags at our feet. At 1 in the morning, my very first time being in a foreign country in the middle of Bangkok, and we had to walk through Khaosan Road to find the place that we were staying at... sure, no problem. We looked at each other, both took a deep breath, and walked into Khaosan Road.

This road has always been and probably will always be the most insane place i have ever been to. We walked through a horde of people searching for our hostel. There were little plastic chairs that lined up the entire road, where you could sit out the front of bars and drink. There were children walking around selling BBQ scorpions and all sorts of bugs, or selling laughing gas to foreigners looking to get a little high on something. There were street vendors selling all different kinds of exotic and intriguing looking food, or the infamous vodka-redbull buckets. There were bars everywhere, right next to each other, all down the road that were jam packed full of people, blaring music out of each venue. Here we were in the middle of it all and we were lost without any idea as to where we had booked our stay. We walked around for an hour or so, asking anyone and everyone if they knew where the location to our hostel was. I almost decided to walk in to any of the hostels we had walked past and book a night at this point but we finally found an old thai man sitting on a stool just off one of the many alley ways that break away from the road who was able to draw us a map leading us to the place we were frantically seaching for... on a napkin. Napkin in hand, we set off for our destination, and could not believe where the hostel was located... right across the road, on the other side of where our taxi driver had dropped us off. Little yellow sign that said Rainbow Hostel in cursive text, in between two other restaurants and hardly a door and a front window at the from of the place.We were relieved nonetheless, and stepped into our hostel. 

The man at the reception showed us to our room, and we couldnt have been more horrified in what we had booked for the night. The room was like a prison cell, with no air con, and shitty hard, thin mattresses you could feel the springs of the frame on. We sat on our beds, and Rebecca started tearing up. I knew how she was feeling because i was like I wanted to cry too, it wasn't a grand experience, we were a shell-shocked, and frightened. I put my arm around her and told her that it was all going to be okay and that we were going to look back on this one day and laugh. We do.

Tags: backpacker, backpacking, bangkok, khaosanroad, thailand, travel, traveller, travelling, worldnomad

 

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