Bangkok and Beyond

Woah.

Complete 180. I’m sure I’m just one of many other backpackers and expats that have started a blog with that title, which in itself was a far contrast from being one of the few foreign bloggers from Sri Lanka. Man. These countries could not be more different, and with Sri Lanka fresh in my mind, let alone the only other Asian country I’ve visited, I can’t help but draw constant comparisons.

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For one, it’s easy. It’s significantly more developed, and functions very similarly to any big city in the US. Suddenly, being foreign doesn’t really matter. People here are accustomed to white folks and the first instinct of Thai men is not to hoot and holler when you walk by, people simple coexist. I think much of that is just because we share more similarities. At least in Bangkok, there is a middle class. In SL, none. There’s a select elite bunch but a vast majority of Sri Lankans, granted fewer closer to the capital, are financial struggling. The poverty is evident walking through towns, and the cost of living itself is unbelievably low- which I didn’t really note until everything here suddenly seemed so expensive. I never dared pull out my ipad in public in SL, and my camera only on occasion. If I wore my shiny sunglasses, I received a notably more attention. That was were the exhaustion stemmed. It was so tiring to be a foreigner in settings where you stood out so strongly just by being. In Bangkok though, nobody cares. Granted with that comes it’s own set of pros and cons, the initial contrast is a welcome wave of relief. Being two white gals just strutting through town and doing are own thing, and the world could care less. I felt like a weight, the weight of being a fortunate westerner that I carried through SL, was completely lifted. And I do have a special place in my heart for Ceylon, but after three months I think the break is only healthy.

The plain ride was incredible. We got the seats right behind first class that have a disproportionately large amount of legroom compared to the rest. We were so giddy on travel that we were way to loud and way to excited about the in-flight meal at 2am. But whatever, we were going to Thailand.vWe arrived crazy early in the morning, promptly slept for like five hours, and then left to explore the city. It was beautiful and bustling with excitement.

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Ohmygosh and the food. The smells lining the streets here can make you weak I the knees. Our first meal was fresh seafood in a fish sauce full of spices and flavors that I can’t even guess at. An accompanying plate of veggies that had, I believe, the best mushrooms I’ve ever tasted the spices and flavors are so unique and spicy and sweet and colorful. I’ve gawked at more than I’ve eaten, but it’s been exciting nonetheless. My breakfast and lunch were equally delicious, or more appropriately, the two bubble teas I had today, were the best things since… Just the best.
I swam I the pool this morning (apologies to all my east coasters stuck the snow, and advance apologies for the tropical beach posts to come) and it was a pretty low key morning.

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But the evening we hop on nan overnight bus to Krabi, a beach town near Phuket in the south. Nearby there are yoga classes, snorkeling, a bit of hiking, and a town called Railay (sp?) infamous for seaside rock climbing. Man, being a tourist is a whole different life style.

* side note on one way tickets. Occasionally, websites are serious when they ask for proof of return. Even if you smuggled yourself into Sri Lanka with nobody noticing your lack of return flight, that doesn’t mean you will be able to leave for thailand. At midnight, alongside a beautiful orchestra of GI discomfort, I arrived at the airport and waited through lines on lines only to get caught with my sneaky plans for unlimited explorations. They wouldn’t even let me into the wifi part of the airport to buy a ticket on my ipad, so what to do. Well, I did the only thing I could do- waddle over to the ticket counter and get the cheapest flight out of thailand that I could. Thus, I may have a trip to Hong Kong in my future. I could cancel the ticket for a $75 fee, but who wants to loose seventy five bucks when I have nowhere else to be? I can change the date free of cost, And don’t meet camryn in nepal until the 28th.. So.. YOLO?

Lots of love to all you cold babies back home studying for finals and planning Christmas festivities and drinking hot chocolate and trimming the trees. Despite my loves here, I can’t help but keep a count of the days till I’m back with you all :)

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