Getting from Luang Prabang, Laos to Bangkok, Thailand seemed like an epic voyage filled with multiple mini-adventures like yet another crappy night bus from Luang Prabang to Vientiane, getting dropped off at a gate, in the rain, where a woman let us in in her PJs and welcomed us to sit in her home until their office opened (a dog peed on the floor which they just walked around, when I went to use the restroom the rain fell on me as well, and the woman continued to walk around cleaning things up in her teeny-tiny night dress), an all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet in an upscale hotel, a train from Vientiane just across the river to Thailand and then our big beautiful night bus, which I LOVED!
I turned my super spacious bunk, with a privacy curtain, into an office on tracks. (We didn’t splurge for first class, and honestly, there was no need to. We used second class, had individual bunks, and air-conditioning.) I not only was able to make good use of my time while traveling, but I also slept amazingly well!
We arrived in Bangkok around 6am, and surfaced to find a tuk-tuk and bartered him down to a somewhat reasonable price to take us to our hostel: Mile Map Hostel. We were there a few hours too early to check in, so we left our bags and went to find something to eat for breakfast!
We, of course, sprung for iced coffee, something I crave daily in the U.S., and we picked up some interesting foods. All for $1.68!
Too Fast To Sleep is this stunning cafe filled with books, cozy places to sit, sketchy internet and delicious smoothies! We didn’t stay here as long as I though I would because they had about 6 different wifi’s to connect to, but it would disconnect you every 7 minutes or so and you had to reconnect to a new network using this ridiculously long caps-sensitive, nonsense password. It definitely messed with my creative process, so there wasn’t much writing going on. It is, however, a perfect place to read or meet up with friends for coffee or a smoothie.
Such a seriously cozy space!
Then, on the way back to our hostel I was taking a shortcut on the map, looking down at it and not paying attention to where I was going. Stacey asked me repeatedly if I knew where I was going, and I couldn’t understand why, until she finally told me that someone tried to hand her a card of sex positions for her to choose from. At that point I looked up and realized we were most definitely in the sex district of Patpong. This was not a place that either of us had any sort of desire to visit, but we did.
When I heard about the sex district of Bangkok and all those crazy stories, I thought it was one of those things that there are crazy rumors about, but aren’t really true. You hear “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas”, but of the dozens of people I know that have been to Vegas, no one comes back with crazy stories. This was where I learned that what happens in Bangkok, really happens in Bangkok. I was shocked as men grabbed my arm asking if I wanted to go inside with them, people walked up to us with sex position cards and women were dancing on poles. We went to the night market which just so happened to also be in Patpong. It was here that we first got offered tickets to the Ping Pong Show. Now, if you’re like me, you might be curious as to what a Ping Pong Show is… Well, my naive self went back to the hostel and googled it and it’s a show where women perform tricks by shooting & pulling things out of their genitals… I was truly in shock reading about this, so I FaceTimed my mom and told her & my aunt about it. We were all amazed by this, and I was still curious, to be honest. The next night while back at the night market a tiny Thai woman told us to follow her and grabbed my arm. We went up the stairs to the building below… Pardon the language.
I went upstairs passing men leaving; Stacey and I exchanged glances of curiosity and a bit of fear. Inside, we found a stage with 8 topless women who immediately pulled their bottoms down as we walked in. The woman handed us a list of shows that the women would perform and a price. We were curious enough to want to see if this is what truly happened, but not enough to watch the show. As the lady gave us beers and shoved us in a booth she also handed us a ping pong paddle. We looked at each other in terror as I looked up to see a woman pulling about 5 feet of fake flowers strewn together out of herself… We got up and tried to leave as the woman followed us demanding money and I said I would only pay for the beers, handed her some Baht and got the heck out of there. So, while I can’t attest to all the sexual acts they say happen in Thailand, I can say that this truly happens.
This is the common area of the Mile Map Hostel. I really liked staying here. I can’t say how the dorm rooms were, but the private room was quite nice. The only thing I will say not to do here is laundry. Their dryer doesn’t work very well, so it’s better to just pay for someone to do the laundry for you.
One of the coolest experiences we had in Bangkok was doing the Dialogue in the Dark. This is an interactive experience where you’re put through several scenarios in the complete dark to simulate the life of a blind person. You’re given a guide, ours was fantastic and loved to play jokes on me because he learned very quickly that I’m super jumpy! We ordered snacks, went to a market and rode a car all in the dark and it was a truly amazing experience and was really eye-opening. I think everyone should visit this just to experience, only for about an hour, how a blind person lives out his or her every day life.
Terminal 21 is a massive mall in Bangkok that offers, not only shopping & eating opportunities, but also has a really cool theme that different levels represent different countries and cities. It’s a really interesting idea and a beautiful mall!
A View From the Top
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