Traveling in fast forward – Bangkok, Thailand in 24 hours

After arriving in Bangkok at around 3am, I found that my room was unavailable due to it being flooded, not the best way to start my 24 hour adventure but not enough to slow me down. After a power cut and a couple of hours waiting I finally got my room, I didn’t really have enough time to sleep much after the delay, so I had to settle for just a couple of hours.

I got up at 8.30am and felt surprisingly refreshed, it’s not often you have to survive on only 2 hours sleep but at the same time it’s not often you get the opportunity to explore an environment and culture that’s completely new to you. I took a look out the window and just gazed at the concrete jungle that is Bangkok.

For the troubles of the night before, the hotel graciously gave me a free breakfast and a few other nice treats. I enjoyed a few fruits that I’d never had before; I’m quite the food lover so even simple things like that were interesting to me. It’s amazingly humid and very hot, 30 degrees at just 9am in the morning. Luckily for me and the other Hotel guests having breakfast, there are half a dozen huge fans cooling the area.

After finishing up my breakfast I head out into the unknown. I have no idea where I’m going or what I want to do which is part of the fun, it’s sometimes nice to have no plans or schedule, just the freedom to do whatever crosses your path.

It doesn’t take much time for me to meet some of the locals, there are street vendors everywhere and they can be very persistent, with an emphasis on very. It’s a little intimidating at first but after a good 5 hours of shopping I was a pro.

The Pantip Plaza was the first real building I stumbled into, it was full of cheap gadgets and huge amounts of DVD’s (all no doubt perfectly legal). I moved onto Siam Square next and watched a game of street football which was cool. The temperature was edging 35 degrees at this stage and this seemed even more surprising when I looked up and spotted a huge dark cloud forming right above me.

It didn’t take long for the rain to come and what a display it was. I’ve never encountered such a massive display of thunder and lightening in my life. Everyone scurried through the shop awnings and backstreets to take cover, it was impressive watching the speed at which the street vendors set up protection from the rain, this was obviously something they had learned to put up with. It felt like I was wading through millions of people as I made my way back to the hotel, it was cramped before the rain arrived but now it was just crazy.

After a nice dinner, I did some more looking around. I found some cool t-shirts and plenty of great presents for when I eventually got back home to New Zealand. While haggling over prices was new definitely new to me, I ended up enjoying it. It’s not something I could really be bothered with all the time but for that one day it was really fun.

My 24 hours in Bangkok was nearly over. I had to get some sleep before my early flight to London, especially after missing out the night before. It was a shame I had to leave so soon but I’m looking forward to coming back another time and exploring more of Bangkok, especially their many beautiful temples and other tourist attractions. 24 hours certainly wasn’t long but it was enough to give me a taste for Thailand and all the fun and excitement it offers.