It was a nervous yet excited feeling we had when we were leaving India. We were really leaving our comfort zone! We had booked a hotel for the first couple of nights close to the metro rail not too far from the airport as we knew we’d be making trips to the cargo terminal. The day we got there, it was Sunday evening. First thing that was apparent; language would most definitely be a problem. But Bangkok felt like America. Everything was branded, Dunkin Donuts in the airport!!! Woohoo! We knew where we’d be coming for breakfast before getting the bike out!
We took the metro rail to our hotel which was on the Ramkhamhaeng Rd. As soon as we stepped out we noticed the amount of creepy American and European dudes floating around. And some with Thai girl in tow. Ew, we didn’t want to see that! The first night we ordered food in but the next night we found that there were an endless number of stalls along the street that had good food for cheap. That had to wait, we needed our rest to get the bike out the next day!
It was unbelievably easy to get the bike out of customs in Thailand. No one asked for anything, it was straightforward…in fact everyone was willing to help! After a good healthy breakfast at Dunkin Donuts, we got to the terminal by 9am and got the bike by 11am. Unbelievable! It took us forever to re-assemble the bike and it was scorching hot. Bangkok was hotter than Kolkata….it was as if we were smack in the middle of August in Houston. After assembling, we triumphantly rode the bike back to the hotel (avoiding the Motorway of course, no bikes allowed on there!) on surprisingly American-like highways. Imagine high-speeds but no one stays in their lanes. That’s Bangkok, but it’s pretty nice especially after months of riding in India. From the street market, we bought some pork skewers, mango and sticky rice etc and had ourselves a little party. The next few days we rode our bike around Bangkok (crazy traffic!) and visited Chinatown, Wat Pho with the huge reclining Buddha, Wat Aruna, etc. The temples in Thailand are really beautiful…they use small tiles, mirrors to decorate the outside which give a shimmering effect in the sun. It’s overwhelming with the amount of detail! The amazing thing was that we were actually able to sight-see with the bike! No one fiddled with it, no one messed with it. We could leave it uncovered and people respected our belongings and space. Wow! What a concept!
The last day we met another GS rider from Canada at our hotel, Greg, who was touring around Thailand. It was great to meet another rider!
We got tired of Bangkok after a few days and decided it was time to head out…but where? We had gotten in touch with Big Tom, another overlander that we had been in contact with since November, and decided it was time we met! At that time he was in Ko Chung (an island east towards Cambodia) and we started heading to Pattaya…once we reached Pattaya we found out he was heading up north! We ended up spending one night in the seaside town of Pattaya and were happy to get out the next day! It was a little too commercialized and was overrun by Russian businesses. Not sure what the Russian connection is? We grabbed a couple of gyros and Beer Chang and had a nice dinner on the beach but called it an early night. We had a lot of driving to do the next few days!