One Night In Bangkok

“Bangkok, oriental city….and the city don’t know what the city is getting” (Murray Head–One Night In Bangkok; 1984)

I think that this might have been the first time that I had heard of the city of Bangkok. It was 1984 and I was just a young kid living in the suburbs of Seattle. It was a cool song, but I thought nothing of it. Just some catchy tune about playing chess somewhere overseas. I must admit though, those flutes near the end of the song kinda gave me goosebumps….

Flash forward 16 years

Sunset in Bangkok
A view from outside of Pon’s apartment building

Dateline Bangkok, Mid-March of 2000

The Collapse
A typical sight after the financial collapse

That previous photo is typical of what happened after the financial collapse of Thailand back in the late 1990s. Lots of highrise buildings were left unfinished. A myriad still unfinished to this day in 2005 (I can’t remember which BTS platform it is; but on one of them you can see a partially completed skyrise just opposite you. All sorts of graffiti decorates the interior of that concrete husk).

Anyways, I got off the Eva Airways plane at Don Meuang in March of 2000. Being a Navy boy, I had traveled all about our blue orb. I had not, however, been to any place so exotic as Bangkok, Thailand at the onset of hot season. Folks, I would like to sit here and tell you that I was a well-seasoned traveler; but holy cow!….was Bangkok on another planet!?

Pandemonium
Some typical Bangkok craziness

My girlfriend at the time, Jum, steered me about in my culture-shock-induced zombie state. I grabbed my luggage and followed her towards the sliding doors that led to the taxi stand. Ohh-ohhh-uh? Ummm….what the..? Did you see all those people..? and all those taxis waiting for the people..? (take my advice, friends..and, shhhh, keep it to yourselves. Ready? When you get your luggage..take the elevator up to the next floor. The taxis are dropping people off and they aren’t queued up in a line. They aren’t supposed to accept riders (so I’ve heard), but you’ll never wait for a taxi at the airport again).

At the time, I didn’t know about that cool little trick (probably now obsolete with the new airport and all), and neither, evidentally did Jum. We stood in that taxi stand for while and then got our taxi. We went for a very long ride to Bahngapi, where her grandma had a house (no A/C).

Looking back on it all, keeping in mind that it was my first trip to Thailand, I had a very good time (obviously, as I have kept coming back).
Could I have done things better? Of course I could have, which is why I keep coming back. I need to perfect my holiday! 🙂

I meet Chang again!
Cheers!!

6 responses to “One Night In Bangkok

  1. Dear EJ,

    I liked your reason of going back to Thailand often is “to perfect your holiday”!

    I have been travelling EXCLUSIVELY to Thailand (Pattaya to be exact) every year; at least twice a year, and this year up to date I’ve been there for 4 times, and am planning for August trip now. I can totally understand how you feel about this AMAZING country. I loved the people, the culture (even though I’m asian but there’s something different about their culture that I can’t explain), the food and the lifestyle. Everything about Thailand are just so…….WARMTH!

    I’m 33 this year and am already planning to move to Thailand when I retire.

    I guess there’s many non-thai like you and me just can’t get enough of Thailand! CHEERS to all!

    FT

  2. FT,
    I wish I were going back as early as August! My next trip is in April, ’06. Pon wants to go during Songkran so she can see all of her family (they all gather in her village at this time). It sure is a hot time to go, but it’s up north, so I manage.
    As for retirement, I’m 35 now, but I think I was about 32 or 33 when I knew that this is where I wanted to be when I retired. I try to live for the moment, but I can’t help looking to the future when I get to wake up every morning in Thailand!
    🙂

  3. Hello Me and my wife Phakhamon are going to Thailand in january.Me and my wife own a house and land in Korlot.In 10 years i hope to move there.We try to go and see all my wifes family 2 times a year if we get overtime at work.I really like it in thailand and i know my wife misses home some times. Thanks Dave & Cat

  4. Glad you like Thailand. How was your experience at her grandma house? Mine didn’t go too well. I think… I’m her cousin and what’s a small world! I’m currently in Washington also, but not with her.

  5. T,

    You’re whose cousin? Your grandma’s, or Jum’s grandma? Or maybe Jum’s..? Anyways, yeah, I liked Thailand. Thanks for reading my blog and commenting.

  6. i am only just turned 22 and i went thailand earlier this year for six weeks and am going again in march for six to eight weeks, i
    went pattaya so i know why matey wants to go back there, i also travelled a lot of other places
    and feel the same about the country from
    my one small trip as the other people who
    have posted their comments on their love
    for thailand never know might meet some
    of you out there