Taking a Break in Bangkok

It’s been a while since I wrote about travel. Since I got back from my 6 month backpacking trip, I have been laser focused on building up my crazy new life back home. However I have a massive stash of travel stories I want to share before they fade into distant memories. So picking up from where I left off last time in Krabi, Thailand I headed to Bangkok, Thailand next. This is a look into the 5 days I spent there between December 14th, 2018 to December 19th, 2018.

By the time I got to Bangkok I was exhausted from moving around so much. I wanted a nice and clean place to stay where I could settle down for a few days, work on some personal projects and spend a couple days living ‘normally’ instead of being always on the go as a backpacker. I thought it was funny because I think most people come here to party and enjoy the nightlife in this vibrant city, but all I wanted to do was to slow down and find peace and quiet. Surprisingly I was able to find it here even though Bangkok isn’t normally at the top of people’s minds when they think of a ‘low key’ and quite place to stay.

I chose to stay at a hostel that also doubled as a co-working space. I was hoping to meet some other traveling software engineers or entrepreneurs but the place was pretty empty. It was really nicely decorated though and it was one of the nicest and cleanest hostels I stayed at during my entire trip.

No software engineers or entrepreneurs but there was a cat! She would sleep on the chair next to me in the kitchen when I sat there to work on my laptop.

One morning I decided to go do some sightseeing, I decided to go out in the early morning because it wouldn't be as hot, crowds would be light, plus one of the temples I wanted to see was literally called the Temple of Dawn.

Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn) one of the most recognizable templates in Bangkok. Taking this photo was quite the struggle. The template is situated on the banks of the river. Across the water, the entire opposite bank is lined with residential homes or shops and businesses that weren't open yet. I wanted a shot from across the river and I ran around to find a section of the riverbank that was open to the public but never found it. I wanted to photograph the temple before the sun completely rose and was running out of time looking for a public view. I ended up sneaking into the patio of a boutique coffee shop to take this photo, until the owner came by to open the shop and kicked me out.

After the hectic sunrise by the riverbanks I went over to another temple complex called Wat Pho. Saw this giant golden super relaxed reclining Buddha who instantly became one of my role models in life.

There was a prayer service going on in one of the halls I stumbled into at the complex. I ended up staying for a while, just listening to the rhythmic chants and taking in the atmosphere.

One night I decided to try and get a birds eye of the view of the city of Bangkok at night and found a rooftop bar in my area.

Another night I wandered through the bustling streets of Bangkok's Chinatown. Unfortunately I found mostly tourists traps and overpriced street food here, but the atmosphere was vibrant and I ended up sitting on the side of a street for 2 hours, people watching while sipping on a mango smoothie.

Bugs! (But really just the exact same tourist trap that you see in a lot of different countries in Asia.)

This sign I saw while waiting for the Bangkok metro really stuck with me, I thought it was great that the city put these public service announcements around to encourage people to be more present instead of being constantly glued to their phones. The prevalence of mobile phone addiction was one of the scariest things I saw during my entire 6 month trip. It felt like everyone, from all walks of life and all different backgrounds, have become completely engulfed by their smartphones.

Ironically this was the line right in front of the "let's talk to each other" sign. Everyone on their phones.

I was in Bangkok, Thailand from December 14th, 2018 to December 19th, 2018. From here I headed over to Vietnam to spend Christmas with one of my best friend’s family. To be continued!