Project 2 Weeks Out: Finding My Home

Do you ever get that inexplicable feeling whenever you land in a place you have never been to? Me too! I had mixed emotions as the plane landed at the Bangkok airport. But one thing was for sure, I was confident that I am prepared or so I thought (that I was prepared). I’ll talk more about that later. Anyways, I know everyone was eager to get out of he plane after being stuck in that tube for hours. But hey, you know the doors ain’t open yet. Worst, you know that there’s gonna be a bunch of people standing on the aisle. All of them trying to get their bags from the overhead bins. You also know that you won’t get through to the door until everyone at the front rows gets off.  So peeps! Come on! Chillax!

I finally got off the plane and followed the flow of people to the immigration center. It’s this huge hall where lines snake around poles leading people to some desk. While in line and filling up my arrival card, I noticed a field asking for my hotel. Remember I said I am confident earlier? Well this is the point I threw that I idea out the window. I calmly took my phone out and searched for some wifi. Luckily, Bangkok’s airport had one, albeit it was really hard to connect. My heart beat a bit faster. I was praying that the airport police wouldn’t notice me and question me what’s the hold up about. I was trying to manage reserving a hotel for a good 30 minutes. I wanted to make sure that the immigration officers can verify my accommodation. Finally, I booked one!

I went back to the immigration hall and fell back in line. It was fast, pain free and not much questions was asked. Stamped, I am in! The Bangkok airport has an industrial design with its interior. It was actually a bit of a surprise for me. I’ve imagined the airport interiors to be some what with modern and clean lines just like its exterior. Anyways it was okay. As soon as I got out to the arrivals area, I quickly looked for the money changers. I checked each and every shop only to find out that they were giving the same rate. One tip though. Don’t change all of your money here., try to go to Pratunam. I, on the other hand changed my entire Thailand budget here. No biggie though, it wasn’t that big of a budget! lol!

While having snacks, I was trying to figure out how to get to the city. Being a train fan, I was torn on spending a little more on taking the metro to the city then getting on a cab to Khao San or just take a bus straight to the center of the backpacking universe. I looked for the information office to see what are my options. They advised me to just take the bus, but the railway fan in me won. With much hesitation I find my way to the airport MRT station. I bought a one way ticket all the way to Phaya Thai station, as advised by the tourism officer. It was a good 30-45 minutes from the station to the end of the line.

I was advised at the airport to take a cab from Phaya Thai. But then my stingy adventurer mind kept on saying JUST TAKE THE FREAKIN BUS! Hahahaha! I gave in. The information counter at the station instructed me to get to the Victory Monument station from where I can take a bus to Khaosan road.

The Victory Monument probably was the first landmark I’ve seen in Thailand. To be honest, I am a bit overwhelmed at this point.  it’s now about past 12 in the afternoon, 1PM I think and I’ve not ate anything yet except for the light snack in the airport. I walked across the pedestrian platform that safely takes people from one corner of this busy intersection to another. Here, buses from all over the district stops, drops off and takes passengers with them.

I was waiting for a bus of a certain route, a number assigned. I thought I saw one, but hesitated. Was I scared? That certain bus doesn’t come too often. I had to wait for another good 30  minutes until another one finally comes around. I got on the bus and took the seat available nearest to the door. The bus had a lady conductor and with this bamboo like contraption she uses to hold both tickets and coins, she tore a piece of a ticket for me for a measly 15 baht.

The lady conductor dropped me off near a plaza, I was told that here is where I get off for Khaosan road. I crossed the street and saw signs leading to the famed street. I checked on the street address of my hostel. After walking through Khaosan road from one end to another and back I didn’t find my hostel. I looked at the hostel address again and realized that it’s not on Khaosan! ugh!

Feeling a bit dumb of my self, I pulled out my phone and opened my app. I searched for directions going to the Flying Cow Hostel and guess what? It is off Khaosan road by almost 1km. I started walking away from the famous road towards the western part of the district. Through an alley, off a bridge, a couple of wrong turns and several blocks later I found my home for the next couple of days in Bangkok.

The hostel’s reception doubles as a cafe and bar during the day. In a true hostel fashion, I walked in at an empty reception and table full of blokes drinking beer. I waited a few minutes until the receptionist came. I paid for my bed and was led to the dorms. It was a simple bunk bed with curtains for doors. Like most hostels in Bangkok, Air conditioning is off during the day and doesn’t come on till about 5pm. But I was way beyond that. I just wanted to lay my back on this.. uhmm… well…. quite hard of a bed. Well that is what $4 gets you. It was enough anyway, enough for me to get comfy or was just really exhausted for travelling more than half the day? So I lay. This is home for now.

This Post is part of my Project 2 Weeks Out. I traveled through the Indochina region for 14 days on my own. This will be a series recounting the adventures and misadventures I experienced the entire two weeks of my travel 

Part  1: Flying Out 
Part  2: Finding My Way Home 

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ian dela pena

iandelapena, the person behind the blog brownmantrips is a yuppie living in the metropolis who believes there is always something good to see everywhere in the world. This is his depository of travel memories for his not so good and maybe soon to fail memory, thus the travelogues in this blog.