Bangkok a real culture shock
I was sitting on the plane, wiping away my last tears, while thinking about the past 11 months in Australia. But before finally returning home, I wanted to make a last stop in Thailand, where I wanted to travel for a month. This plan almost didn’t become reality as there was an entry ban! Nevertheless, I decided to go. On arrival, I experienced a real culture shock in Bangkok – the people, the heat, the dust – it was just so different! I was desperately looking for a SIM-card and a taxi – way after midnight, I finally arrived at my hotel that I had previously booked. After I slept with a lot of different people together in a hostel room in Australia I was very happy to have my own hotel room in Bangkok.
Victim of the tourist mafia
On my second day, I took a Tuk Tuk to see all of Bankok and 1000 of its temples – at least that’s what it felt like to me. The driver just drove me to all those other places, which I had never asked him to do. How nice, I thought. We stopped at a store that sold custom-made dresses and, German as I am, I wanted to take a look first. But after what had felt like two seconds, my credit card had already been charged and half of my travel budget was gone. Obviously, I tried to get my money back and started discussing – but nothing helped and so I already knew on my second day that Thailand maybe wasn’t for me. So, I spent the rest of the day in my hotel room.
A horrifying train trip to Chiang Mai
When a Tuk Tuk driver tried to charge me way more than we had arranged the other day and then also threw my backpack on the street, I was officially done. I took all of my belongings and drove to Chiang Mai. After 18 long hours, I finally arrived. And let me tell you, it was one of the most horrifying things I experienced. When you travel in Australia, you don’t even have to think twice about someone stealing your belongings. In Thailand, people would tell you every two minutes to watch your bags. As I was super tired, I literally became one with my bags because I didn’t want anyone to take them away from me. When I woke up, I was starving and my ankles were super swollen from not moving all night. I had hoped, that we would stop at a train station because I really didn’t want to use the toilet on the train – although it didn’t have much in common with the toilets we know because it was basically just a black hole in the floor. I had waited for 14 hours before I decided that there was no way I could hold it any longer. So I took my bags and locked myself with all my belongings in the “bathroom”.
Jungletrip, Elephants and a wild water raft in Chiang Mai
I liked Chiang Mai way better than Bangkok and so I enjoyed some massages, went to the markets at night, made a trip through the jungle and did a wild water raft. Getting so close with elephants for the very first time was a special moment for me. Even tho I didn´t like how some of the Thais treated them. I think this is a touristic problem we have all over the world. If there is a tourist interest to see some animals, this usually goes to the pity of the animals.
As a German abroad, you are also always surprised by the lack of security measures. A torrential river is simply crossed by a tree trunk without any security to hold on anywhere. No risk no fun. The wild water raft was fun and wild water has a totally new definition here. and wild water has a totally new definition here. The water was dirty and you couldn’t see through – I didn’t even want to know what is swimming around me. Thailand was just a hole new experience.
After the trip in the jungle I got sick and even tho I had planned so much more, I decided it was best to return home a little earlier. It seemed that luck wasn’t on my side here and nearly everything went wrong.
Back to Bangkok
This time, I took the bus to Bangkok, which was much nicer than my last journey. It went way quicker than planned and so I was standing in the middle of the night somewhere in Bangkok. I booked a hotel room, which I sadly couldn’t leave for my last two days, as I was still sick in bed.
The thing was, that someone in the city had died and so you could hear songs and prayers all day and night. I had the feeling that someone was standing in my hotel room, holding a megaphone and playing music that had no rhythm at all. That’s why I decided to leave my room on my last night in Thailand just to get drunk and buy some presents for family and friends on Khaosan Road.
Why Thailand wasn´t for me
Day of departure: Somewhere along the way, I got kind of sensitive which was also due to the rather less helpful Thais. I gathered all the energy I had left, grabbed my belongings and tried to get those into the bus – even after asking the bus driver several times, if he could help me I didn’t get an answer. So I just threw my backpack in his arms. It seemed like there was no other way. I got on the bus and realised, that every single seat was taken even though I had booked a ticket in advance. The bus driver told me to sit on a stranger’s lap. Also I was struggling with my 30kg backpack in my neck but I didn’t had any energy left to complain.
Thailand wasn’t for me – maybe it wasn’t the right time, maybe its not a country to travel alone. Maybe I will give it another shot…one day.