I was sad to leave NYC. Marc and I had an amazing time. Thank you both, Joe and David, for your hospitality. And maybe we will see you guys on the trail soon.
Our flight to Bangkok, Thailand went really smooth. It was just, well, long! We probably spent almost 24 hrs in the air, with stops in Anchorage, Alaska and Taipei, Taiwan. We flew with China Airlines. The airline played, maybe, a few movies the entire trip to Bangkok; however, the food was pretty good and the lady flight attendants were quite attractive. Seriously, I think you have to be a Chinese model to become a flight attendant on China Airlines. Even the lady who sat next to me on the flight said something to me about it.
Bangkok's climate was not very welcoming. I was instantly drenched once we exited Bangkok's airport sliding doors. It smacks you across your face instantly, to the point where it felt hard to breath initially. But maybe that had to do more with Bangkok's pollution than its heat and humidity. Honestly, there was so much smog that when we were descending, I thought it was a real foggy day.
The streets of Bangkok are quite chaotic--horns honking; exhaust pipes coughing and blaring from the cars and motorbikes; the buses squealing, weaving in and out of traffic, loud mouthed touts everywhere; children playing soccer within Bangkok's decrepit buildings and alleys; stray dogs everywhere, etc.
Oh yes, quite chaotic indeed.
My brother, Marc, wasn't too impressed nor thrilled. I could see it in his face, it was saying, "is this what SE Asia is going to be like?!" By the end of our first night in Bangkok, Marc was talking about going to Australia. Poor kid. I think it was a combination of things that contributed to his loathliness towards the city. For one, he did not recover from the flight as well as I did. This led him to be pretty tired, thirsty and irritable. And this is NOT the city to be in with these symptoms, as we walked for miles aimlessly in the heat as annoying touts and scammers bombarded us from every direction. So he was more susceptible to being on edge and miserable than I was. And to top it off, as Marc mentioned in his blog, he got bedbug bites from the place we stayed. So he didn't feel at ease in his own bed. No sanctuary. He was ready to go.
I initially planned for us to stay in Bangkok for three days but I realized that Marc wasn't going to make it. So when Marc asked me if we could leave the next day--a day earlier than planned--I responded, "Well, why don't we just leave tonight?" And that was that! We bought a joint bus/ferry ticket to Koh Tao and headed south that very night. Bye-Bye Bangkok.
This is exactly how I wanted to travel, i.e. having that time to move deliberately in any direction we want to go. When we come across a city we don't like, that's fine. Just move along. Boom! Done.