For the second time on DanVenture Travels, I have a guest writer. This time in the form of my beautiful sister, Bethany.
“Disclaimer: Please note friends, my husband tells me everyday that I’m dramatic, but I prefer the term ‘expressive’ or ‘cautious’.
My husband & I decided we’d love to visit Thailand & decided to start in Bangkok. My brother was eager to join us for a little bit. So I thought: ‘This would be great, he’s been to Bangkok before. I’m sure he knows where to go & what to do. We’ll be in good hands.’ My husband & I did a lot of research about Thailand & we were prepared! (Note: Everything can be bargained for – I mean EVERYTHING!)
We decided to travel with Qatar Airways. We went from Johannesburg to Doha (9 hour flight), found my brother in Qatar & then caught a connecting flight to Bangkok (6 hour flight). Advice: When entering Thailand territory ALWAYS have a pen ready to fill out your arrival card. (In light of more recent events – you most definitely don’t want to catch any virus there).
We get off the plane & you can imagine, it is chaos. Bangkok is the most visited city in the world so the crowds & lines are unbelievable. The process was quite something. Fill out this, stand there, move here & wait here. It’s a mission, but once you are through it is great. Or so I thought. I think I kept hoping that the chaos would stop.
Our aim was to get from the airport to our hotel which is near Khao San road. We get on the train that shows exactly where we need to get off in order to reach our hotel. Dan has reassured me that once we are near Khao San road, he’ll know where to go. ‘Don’t worry’, he says to the cautious lady. The train was so full. Eventually, the train stops at basically the last stop. We get off – oh man! What have we done?? Dan reassures me again that it’s okay. Right, so from the train we ask the lady at the ticket office how to get to Khao San road. She tells us to take bus 513. We go down almost two levels to what we thought was the bus stop – noooo this was a taxi stop for the most expensive taxis ever! There is a crazy lady there trying to tell us that the bus stop is further down the road, she can show us. (We called her Cindy because we thought she was part of a syndicate.)
We carried on walking & walking & finally found the bus stop. We waited for the bus, looking for that 513 number only to figure out that the buses don’t stop there unless you wave them down. They drive so fast – almost taking your arm off when you try. We finally get on a 513 bus. Oh man! I wish I was safe in the hotel at this point. It’s dirty, smelly & I’m tired. We get on the bus, no seats available of course! With 3 bags & we are standing, holding the rails as the bus pulls off. One bag goes sliding & we all almost fell onto the man handing out the tickets. This trip cost us about R30 in total (roughly $1.50). We ask the ticket guy which stop was Khao San road & he replies in his language. I don’t know Thai! I’m freaking out! How do we know where to get off?? I told the man to tell us when to get off to get to our destination. I asked 3 times & he did.
We get off the bus & Dan, who had been reassuring me the whole time that he would know where to go when we got there, didn’t know where to go! We walked next to a yellow building to our left for about 500 meters past all these homeless people with our smart clothes on & our wheely bags going behind us. I was grumpy. Turns out we had been walking the wrong way & had to backtrack past all those people again. My husband & Dan just giggled – it was not a giggling matter!
Eventually, we reach Khao San road, not before my husband was almost taken out by a scooter & we made it to the hotel. I was in a way better mood knowing that I had a bed to sleep in & a Western toilet to pee in.
Needless to say, if anyone ever tells you ‘Getting there is half the fun!’ just remember my story.”
Keep traveling, keep safe.