We snagged some pretty cheap one-way tickets from JFK to Bangkok, Thailand by booking several months ahead with China Eastern ($603). We crossed the border into Buffalo and flew with Delta Airlines to JFK… just your average short-haul cheapo flight.
Our flight from JFK to Shanghai was pretty hellish. We asked the check-in clerk to give us a seat with some leg room and she put us in the seats in front of the emergency exit, uh huh the ones that don’t recline. 14 hours and some cramped knees later we were in Shanghai with a simple four and a half hour connecting flight to Bangkok.
Our goal is to maximize our experiences and minimize the dough in as many Southeast Asian countries as possible, namely: Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, the Philippines, and Malaysia.
Of course, this all begins in Bangkok.
At first I kind of liked Bangkok. It was a cool Asian city and I felt like, after a few days, I would be able to get a handle on it, start to understand the people and how things work. As the days went by, I felt like my head was spinning faster and faster. Tourist touts trying to sell you everything from a tuk-tuk ride home (with a stop at their cousin’s clothing stall first, of course) to their first-born for the right price. This is taken to extremes on Khao San Road. Why any tourist would want to stay on that particular street is beyond me.
After our overnight at a hotel near the airport, we stayed in Sivarin Guesthouse on Sam Sen Soi 3. A great place to stay, if a little expensive. We also stayed at Sam Sen Sam Place which is a traditional Thai style house. They were very nice and accommodating and even made us a special early morning breakfast before we left the next day.
Clearly the best thing about Bangkok is the food. Oh, the food. I cannot describe. Street food, market stalls, back alley restaurants: it’s all amazing. Everywhere you turn there is something interesting and delicious to eat. I had the best Pad Thai of my life at a little back alley place that I could probably never find again.
Our next stop is Kanchanaburi!