Hello from Bangkok. I met up with Paul, my friend from Vietnam and we are having a blast! I spent the first day and night in the Sukhumvit district, at the Park hotel where he was staying, so we could be certain that we would connect. No hitches there. Fast forward to almost the next morning, we both didn’t get too much sleep, enjoying the Bangkok night life.
Paul, is an American, who decided to live in Vietnam, after taking a 4 week vacation in the Southeast Asia area nearly 10 years ago. He had a successful business career in the San Francisco area and asked himself, “Do I really want this 9-5 lifestyle for the rest of my life?” Obviously, the answer was no and he packed some belongings, sold the rest, and moved to Vietnam, where he teaches Vietnamese students business related subjects. He has totally immersed himself in the Southeast Asia culture and is quite comfortable with “how things work here.”
After establishing my connection with Paul my first day here, I had to transfer to the Sheraton Royal Orchid hotel, where I had made previous reservations a month before my RTW trip. I guess “had to” isn’t exactly the correct expression, since I was really looking forward to a bit of pampering after Chill Backpackers hostel, where they charge you for the towels and soap. Ha. Paul and I were still able to meet at designated times at his hotel (which by the way, is quite nice too, albeit, it could use a face lift).
Well, I only have an hour to get this post out. This is my plan for the next 8 days: I have booked a trip to Chiang Mai, that Paul was instrumental in assisting me in planning. Specifically, he introduced me to Mimi, a travel agent in Bangkok, who knows how to get the best deals for your dollar (or baht, Thai currency). I will be heading to the Northern mountains tomorrow via a plane, where I will spend a couple of days in Chiang Mai. Then I am scheduled for a 2 night elephant trek – where I will actually be riding an elephant as my mode of transportation. I understand tigers still roam the area. Interesting. After this jungle camping trip, I will then spend another day in Chiang Mai, before heading to Pai, a hot springs resort in the area, to relax and unwind. Of course, I will hopefully not be eaten by a tiger during my elephant trek. Mimi was able to arrange all of this travel, accommodations, including food, for under $700. Wow!
Sorry, I don’t have too many pictures of what Bangkok is really like. I will post pictures at another time when I have time. Until then, take care. 😉