My experience in Thailand was once in a lifetime. The spontaneity of booking the trip along with it being my first (of many to come) solo trips definitely added a certain mystique to this trip. It was my first time traveling to Asia as well and I was anxious to see how I would fair.
My flight left at 1am New York time and I was lucky enough to get a row by myself. This made for comfortable sleeping on the flight as well as room to stretch out while enjoying the movie selections. I flew into Taipei, Taiwan where I had a 4 hour layover in the airport. As I got off the plane, I quickly noticed that many of the airport signs were in English as well so it was easy to navigate through the airport. I viewed many of the attractions in the airport including the Hello Kitty waiting area- it was adorable! After that, I settled down and binge watched some Grey’s Anatomy until it was time for my connection.
The flight from Taipei to Bangkok wasn’t that long and I was unable to sleep because of my excitement. By the time I landed and hailed a cab to my residence, it was already 3:00pm. There is an 11 hour time difference between Bangkok and NY and I soon began to feel it. However, this was my first day in Bangkok and I didn’t want it to pass without me at least exploring the city for a little bit. My residence (which was fabulous by the way) offered free tuk tuk services to the city’s major attractions. Guest services recommended that I visit Siam Square so I settled on that and went on my way. Siam Square definitely gave me Times Square vibes. There were lots of people there with their cameras snapping selfies (such as myself), tall buildings and many shopping outlets and restaurants. It was a really nice area to get myself acquainted to the city. I treated myself to a gel manicure, did some window shopping and then returned to my residence. I slept for about 4 or 5 hours and woke up starving. I went to guest services and asked for a variety of menus so that I could choose a restaurant to order from. I was so excited to try authentic Thai food! Ironically, the only restaurant that was open was McDonalds. I thought that was cute. lol I ordered food, ate it and quickly fell back asleep.
I was more than rested and ready for Day 2. I had already booked a city tour so my day was basically planned out ahead of me. I put on a cute crop top and high-waisted skirt that fell just above my knees. When my driver came to retrieve me he suggested that I change clothes since I would be visiting a temple. I clearly hadn’t thought that through but quickly when to change clothes. I was the first stop on the pickup and as we began to pickup the other tour passengers, I quickly noticed that I was the only solo traveler. Everyone else was with their significant others. This was completely fine with me since the point of me taking this trip was to have some alone time to reflect on my life and where I was headed.
Our first stop on the tour was a visit to Damnoen Saduak Floating Market. Since I was alone, I got to sit in the front of canoe which had the best view of all of the things for sale as well as the other sights around the piers. The locals were selling everything from religious statutes to fake designer bags to traditional Thai clothing. They would use these long poles with hooks on the end to pull your canoe closer to their goods if they see that you were interested (or not even for that matter). I bought a few trinkets for friends and family members as well as a few cute things for myself (very touristy things). I also noticed many people snapping pictures of me. lol I didn’t mind this too much though.
Our next stop was the Kanchanaburi Tiger Temple. Upon entering, we were escorted to the tiger “attraction.” These creatures are so beautiful! It’s one thing to see their amazing coats in pictures and a completely different thing to see them in person. The orange was probably the most brilliant that I’ve ever seen. The tigers were chained to the ground and were surprisingly at ease while the tourists lined up to pose and take pictures with them. I probably took around 50 or so photos at the direction of the tiger’s keepers. lol I’ll add some at the end of this post. At this point in the trip I was feeling a little friendlier and began to interact with the other people on my tour. I noticed this couple staring and smiling at me a lot earlier during the trip (this tends to happen when you’re alone) so I welcomed their invitation to conversation. They were on vacation from Australia where the woman was from. The man was from Sweden and they had met in Bali and fell in love a few years ago. I thought their story was everything! They were extremely nice as well. There was another young man on the tour who struck up conversation with me so I kind of stuck with him for the rest of the tour. He was a nurse from LA and was just visiting with co-workers. He entered the van with a woman whom I assumed at the time was his girlfriend. It quickly came to my attention that that wasn’t the case at all as we exchanged numbers and we made plans to meet up later that night for drinks at Leuba aka The Hangover Bar.
We indeed met up a few hours later and had a couple drinks before promising to meet up in Phuket where we would all be in a few days.
The remaining part of the trip was equally as amazing as the prior days. I met some amazing people and some not so amazing people that tested my patience much like I have discussed in prior posts. I figure this post would be too long if I try to go into detail about everything. I visited the temples of Thailans, went rafting, elephant riding and tried more amazing dishes. I also spent a few days in Phuket. Phuket is like a one hour flight from Bangkok and should definitely be on everyone’s bucket list to visit. It has the bluest waters I’ve ever had the pleasure of seeing. I stayed right across the street from the strip of bars that are dominated by tourists and ping pong shows (which I refrained from seeing). I met two older gentleman who were vacationing from Australia. They, too, thought it their duty to take the young solo traveling woman under their wing. We chatted over beer (courtesy of them) and shared our backgrounds. I also did a tour of the Phi Phi Islands and was amazed at God’s creation. His grace and mercy never cease to amaze me. Whenever I’m feeling as if life has a hold of me, I look through these pictures and remember just how faithful God is.
One day it will all make sense.