Arriving in Thailand

There are some experiences in life that stay with you until you die. One thing I’ll never
forget is arriving for the first time in Bangkok, Thailand.
Most people travel with family or friends, in package groups or with a husband, wife or
significant other. I had left my travel buddy in India. We’d realized that we had different
ideas on what our 3-month trip should be, and so we’d decided to separate in India and
meet up again in Bangkok.
That’s the reason I walked out if the airport on my own, with a rucksack on my back and
nowhere to stay for the night.
I found the bus to Bangkok city centre and enjoyed the 50-minute ride into the city. The
traffic was crazy. Buses, taxis, tuk-tuks, motorbikes and cars crawled along at a snail’s pace.
It was polluted, noisy and chaotic.
I got off the bus somewhere in the centre, threw my rucksack on my back and started to walk.
I had the address of a guesthouse in my pocket, where I’d arranged to meet my friend, but
I had no idea where it was or how to get there. And I didn’t care.
I was hypnotized by the atmosphere of Bangkok at night. The noises, the sights, the smells
were intoxicating. It was so different to what I had imagined, so magical, that I walked for
hours around the streets, going nowhere in particular. I felt free. This, to me, was what
travelling was all about – the freedom, the culture, the excitement of a new city and the
promise of new adventures.
I did eventually find the guesthouse. I found my way to the backpacker area where the poor
tourists stayed. It must have been about 2 in the morning. It was quiet, sleepy place that
smelt of babies and fish sauce. My friend wasn’t there. He had already left to fly back to the
US. I didn’t care. I had all of Thailand to explore!

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