Doing it Dirty in Bangkok

When we last spoke I was looking forward to the long haul from Chicago, connecting through Shanghai and then finally onto Thailand. This was my first time flying China Eastern Air, and don’t worry, I jumped on this grenade for you…it wasn’t as bad as expected.

Now I don’t typically fly Skyteam, but when I do it’s a sub 340$ fare round trip to South East Asia. Like many of you, I would see these dirty cheap flights and be rightfully wary, but it all depends on how bad you want it.

How long was that flight?

Enough for a solid nap, 3 meals, and the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy. (Not the extended editions)

What happens when you wrap up final exams, race to Chicago to snag your ass numbing yet fantastically cheap holiday flight to Asia?

You take a bit of a beating, but on a warm inviting weeknight in December, you find yourself dropped into the sheer assault on the senses that is Bangkok; Gateway to Southeast Asia.

No more Kansas Billy. Time to cut those ropes, abandon the safety of the harbor and prepare for a bit of the exotic.

Bangkok is big. Bangkok is loud. Bangkok is pulsing. Alive with people, traffic, aromas and tastes the city itself is damn near a living thing. The heat mixes with exhaust and street food vendors, music and hawkers, go go girls and cafe owners all of which paints such an incredible contrast to the serenity of the many awe-inspiring Buddhist temples that dot this balmy metropolis.

I get it, it’s overwhelming. For an initial run, take it easy. Breathe. Be patient. Open your mind, and embrace all the craziness you can.

And promptly take a mid day nap. (Seriously. Drink water, and nap. This will save your life)

Today found the perfect mix for me, I chose a dingy cheap spot in an outlying neighborhood with a good shower and cold AC.

My goal? Street food and the river.

meats on sticks makes the world a better place.

It’s been ten years since I last visited the Thai capitol. When I showed up here the first time, a undergraduate student with a small group, it was my very first time in Asia. I was intimidated by street food.

Let me tell you, once you take the plunge, there is no turning back. You cone to realize that with the more human the desire, the less tolerance for boredom there is. In short, life is far too short for boring food. (That goes for conversation, sex, and travels)

Abandon the Applebee’s, never look back, and thank me later.


Open your mind and especially your tastebuds to the unknown. If anything, it at least makes for a cool party story.

Somehow it took less than 24 hours before I was back on the river

The best part about the Chao Phraya river as it’s the heart of the city is witnessing the clash of classic Thai style with the more modern developments of recent times. Of course I found a twisted yet engaging tuk tuk driver to get me there, our 20 minute voyage including pitches for “tailored suites, happy endings, and happy hours” from various local bars.

That’s life in the big city. There will many people offering suits, drinks, and hand jobs. Certainly far worse trifectas can be found.

Post river I end up among many a golden Buddha…the serenity of the city restored before back to the night markets.

Kick ass first day. I’ve landed, I’m alive and I even scored a victory or two along the way. As always, there is more to come. Thank you for all of the positive feedback thus far!

Comments are always welcome.



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