All in all, we were in Bangkok 4 times over the 3 weeks in Thailand. The country is long and skinny and it's sort of the central hub. One time we took an overnight bus and arrived in Bangkok at 5am. Luckily we found a hotel to rest our weary bones until our next overnight bus left at 6pm.
We stayed just off of Ko San Road, the tourist mecca. It's totally overwhelming as there are people, tuk-tuks, signs, food carts and scooters everywhere. It really comes alive at night with more drunken backpackers. Anything that you want you could buy whether it was art, clothes, tasers and knives or, sadly, women. It was just too much for me most of the time. The first hotel we stayed at seemed alright until 10:30pm when the loudest, most horrible karaoke went on until 4:30am. I couldn't tune it out because I, unfortunately, knew and hated all the songs... Oh well. You live and learn, right? Also, have you seen The Hangover 2? It's set in Thailand and the stuff that happens in Bangkok doesn't even seem that far off really.
After 6 years, many countries and much love my old enormous backpack bit the dust. I haggled my way to a pretty new blue one. It was actually really emotional to leave my beloved home on my back behind.
I'm sure that if we had stayed in another area of Bangkok we might have had a different experience. One that truly represents the city that so many people live in. I have a couple Thai friends who I was going to catch up with but neither was in the country at that time! We did walk to the Royal Palace on New Year's Eve and it was bustling with local people.
On NYE in Bangkok I got my first manicure/pedicure... for only $7. It was such a nice way to end my time in a tropical area. In the early evening the Gentleman Caller and I climbed into the back of a cab and made our way to the airport. Standing in a 2 hour lineup we met another couple who had just been on holiday. To celebrate the New Year, our new friend ran over to the shop and procured a few beers. When midnight there was a slow building cheer and much hugging strangers in the airport. It was actually one of the more pleasant NYE.
For more photos of ATMs in a van, insufficient aircon and the rules for riding in a taxi, pop on over to Mind the Ramp
Then we spent 27 hours travelling home. 15 months away from family and friends is an awfully long time. We were both ready to come home. It was time. It was hard going from 35C (95F) in Thailand to -2C (28F) in Shanghai for our layover. I was worried about the cold at home since I had no jacket and only flip flops for my feet. Luckily it was only -2 at home as well. Easy transition!
This is the last of the travel posts until the next adventure. Thanks so much for coming along with me for the last year and a half! And since this is the end and my tan is fading more every day, I guess it's also time to let go of my Thailand toe nail polish. I just haven't wanted to repaint because it's the last physical reminder of my time travelling...