Of all the big cities we visited so far, I felt best in Bangkok. Not as chaotic as Kuala Lumpur ot sterile as Singapore. I like the way the river is integrated into the city (although I like less the trash in it). Our first visit was short, as we were running out of 30-day stay limit and we had to decide what’s next.
Having only few days we ticked-off all must-visit places – the Royal Palace with its surroundings, Wat Pho and Wat Arun temples. The heat of the day was as unbearable as were the crowds of tourists. We were sightseeing at snail’s pace, refilling water and ice coffee whenever possible. The amount of gold, embroidery, and Buddha statues was a bit too much.
We also took our time to fix one backpack, buy new sandals for Szymon, get a new powerbank after the previous one died after accidental swim and so on. Thanks to this we had a chance to visit shopping malls, from the posh ones to the multi-story bazaars, where you can get almost anything. Thanks to help from Eliza, whom we met here, we could also send some unused stuff back to Poland (still surprising, given that I thought we mastered travelling light).
Finally we decided to go east – Cambodia, then Vietnam and Laos and then back to Thailand to see the northern part of the country and come back to Bangkok for a longer stay, We got our tickets to Siem Reap and then we had our Asia Express experience.
As you may know Bangkok suffers from terrible traffic jams. Our bus was scheduled to depart at 9 a.m. So 7 a.m. sharp we were ready to go. Heavy rain, terrible traffic. We waited patiently for our transport but it was not coming. Quick look at Google Maps and we realized that no taxi, Uber or Grab has any chance to reach us. Time was running out so we decided to run to the nearest train station, catch the train, then switch to another one. Google Maps was suggesting, we have about 3km from our last train station to the bus station and everything around is red on the traffic map. In between the train and the bus station there is a park but the gates are closed so probably we will have to go around it. Looks like we will not make it on time, so after a short discussion we split – you get a tuktuk and I go with the kids.
The rain pouring buckets of water on us, all cars around not moving so turns out no chance for tuktuk. Wojtek has some problems with his hip and is limping a little, Szymon is small and his legs are short. We both have 2 backpacks on us and each of the boys is also carrying his own 8 kilos of stuff. So the conditions are not really to our advantage but anyway, let’s fight, we have to leave Thailand today. So I run. On the way I have few moments of doubt but as I run through this rain I keep thinking that we should fight till the end. Never regret that you have not tried something. I thought I will puke my lungs out but got to that damn bus 2 minutes to 9. High five, we made it again and we have something to remember. And I think I should go back to running even though it is difficult while you travel. Can be without the backpack.