Welcome to Bangkok, Thailand! I have to start with one of my all time favorite songs ever…and no, it’s not Gangnam Style…it’s Murray Head’s ‘One Night in Bangkok.’
I have dreamt of going to Thailand for years but never felt I would have enough time there. It is the country I have been most excited about living in on the entire Remote Year itinerary. I’ve been here for just over a week and, thus far, it has not disappointed. Bangkok is a bit like Hong Kong’s wild, younger sister. It still has a bit of growing up to do, but it is sophisticated and very Western in style. The service is world class, restaurants serve fresh and delicious food, and the shopping is fantastic. Not to mention the stunning rooftop decks! Upon arrival in Bangkok, our group was greeted with small flower leis by our local city hosts. We drove the 40 minutes or so from BKK – the international airport – to our apartments called the Bandara Suites, located in the Silom neighborhood – Bangkok’s financial district. I love our location. We are a ten minute walk from our shared workspace, which is located near a shopping mall and supermarket. I’ve started running around a nearby lake in the mornings and buying the most delicious squeezed orange juice and fresh coffee on the side of the road for the equivalent of $2.
Four months into my Asia stint and over 100 days into Remote Year, I’m still not tired of my new lifestyle. People keep asking me whether I’m exhausted, and I’m honestly not. I’m sleeping better, eating better, and exercising more than I ever have – all while spending a fraction of what I would have spent on a daily basis living in San Francisco. The accommodations in Bangkok are awesome – it’s by far the most modern and best apartment yet. Here’s a little tour of my new home in Bangkok.
I spent the first week in Bangkok settling into my new home, working on my website which will be launching shortly and touring a few local markets. I visited the Chatuchak weekend market with my roommates, and I was blown away by the small, entrepreneurial trendy boutiques located in the market. Goods only cost a fraction of what they could have in the U.S. There are over 8,000 market stalls alone in the 35-acre shopping district. It is simply a sight to behold and one of the best markets I have ever visited. And, trust me, I’ve been to more than a few!
During the week, I had a chance to catch up with my friend, Mikey, who now lives in the city and helped throw a dinner birthday party for my roommate, Michelle. We’ve become great friends over the course of the past few months, and I’m sad to see her leave! Ten of the 65 Remotes in our group were only here for four months and a fresh group of Remotes will be joining us in Europe.
Last Thursday, my friends and I visited Ayuthaya, once the seat of the Siem empire and one of the world’s wealthiest cities filled with gilded temples and treasure-laden palaces. Today, it is the site of dozens of ruins that offer a small glimpse of its glorious past. The sites were much like the ones Kara and I explored in Bagan – stuppas, buddhas, and temples that have succumbed to nature and are now best enjoyed by bicycle.
Given our limited time in the country, five of my friends and I set out on our first sidetrip last Friday to the gorgeous islands of Thailand. Our first stop was Koh Samui, one of the islands off Thailand’s East Coast. The island is stunning – I think I might like it even better than the Maldives. While it’s definitely touristy, it has not been overrun by massive resorts. We could walk the entire span of the beach and pop in at fun reggae bars, beachside dance clubs, and restaurants serving delicious pad thai and curry. Beach living was definitely at its best here – we rented jetskis and motorbikes during our short stint on the island, and I was sad to leave. Here are a few photos from our stay! Photo credit to our dear friend, @jay_dred who took so many of the great photos below.