Bangkok, Thailand, is one of my favorite layovers – I absolutely LOVE the food, shopping, massage, and Thai people are the nicest groups I have ever encountered in the world. My first ever trip to the land of smiles was on a long multi-sector trip from Dubai-Bangkok-Sydney-Christchurch and back. (Check out my post on Sydney here.) It was back over Christmas in 2010, as I was still a fairly new crew online. Ever since, I have always bid for Bangkok and am always happy to swap almost anything i have for it.
On my first trip to Bangkok, we hit the ground running – one of the seniors on the crew was a BKK expert, and many of the crew were also fairly new, so almost all of us headed out when we landed in the first night.
We ventured to a local “night market” to visit the world-famous ping pong shows… and I’m hoping that at this point you know what a ping pong show is. If you don’t, well… there’s no ping pong table, but there are a lot of half naked girls putting strange things in places they don’t belong. That’s about the most PG way I can describe it. Not that I think ping pong shows are a good thing, but this is an adventure, and I do believe in trying/seeing everything (within reason) once!
We couldn’t take any pictures inside the bar, but as a large group, the host made sue to keep our glasses filled and shots delivered in a timely fashion. And not to mention all the attention she brought to our table from the performers. I have a story I love to tell about this destination: one performer had a, ahem, cucumber. Said cucumber was placed where it shouldn’t have been placed, was LAUNCHED (I kid you not) across the room, hit the wall behind our table, bounced off and hit a girl on our crew’s head, and landed on the table. Priceless.
The next day was much tamer, consisting of more eating of amazing Thai food and exploring the malls for great shopping, and any general sight seeing. After completing our trips to Sydney and a turnaround in Christchurch, we returned to Bangkok for another 24 hours. A few of the crew and I opted to take a tour of the nearby elephant and crocodile sanctuary. Elephants are one of my favorite animals, and other than seeing them in a zoo, this would my first interaction with them and I was definitely excited!
Also at the sanctuary, were very scary (but sadly, probably sedated) tigers:
And then some crocodiles:
And then I got to ride the elephant!!
I came back on another trip with a fellow cabin crew and American, Dustyn (who has since gone back to the States.. miss you Dusty!!) in July of 2011. We kept it a bit chilled and visited the Wat Pho (reclining Buddha) temple:
I always remembered this temple because it was the background stage for Sagat (the Thai kick boxing boss) in Street Fighter 2:
On a third trip in November 2011, I visited Bangkok on a layover just after it has suffered from some major flooding. A friend and I still ventured out to find that the Thai people very easily still continued with their daily lives despite (sometimes) being knee-deep in flood water. But it was inspiring to see that they didn’t let a little bit of water stop them from doing their thang.
After making a quick stop to the mall, we hopped on a tuk tuk to the Wat Traimit (Golden Buddha) temple. The mall area wasn’t very flooded, but we noticed that had we gone any farther than the temple that a tuk tuk would have been a bad idea, since the area around the temple was quite flooded itself. But as mentioned above, everything was operating and open as it should be, so after climbing the temple’s sandbag wall, we managed to enter the Wat Traimit.
After the temple, we decided to just randomly venture into the city and see where it took us.
And that took us to a food market.. and when I say food, I mean it in the loosest terms…
Sadly, I haven’t been anywhere else in Thailand other than Bangkok, but I still love it every visit. I vow to one day make a holiday to Thailand and visit more of its beautiful beaches and islands.