April 11, 2019 (+15 hours)
I made my connecting flight in Hong Kong with ease since the gate is literally right beside the current one I departed from.
After some more hours of flying I finally arrived in Bangkok and made it through immigration. This was it, I’m officially on my Southeast Asian adventure alone!
Now I feel the euphoria!
I felt a little embarrassed taking a selfie inside the airport since I’m not normally confident doing something like this in public by myself. But I have to start building up the courage now so I can capture the memories to come.
Now I needed to find a SIM card to call my parents to let them know I had arrived safely at Suvarnabhumi Airport.
It’s about 10PM local time and I need to hurry up and figure out how to get to my hostel to do a late check-in.
There are a few cellphone companies that I could purchase a SIM card from at the airport. I debated going with either AIS or True, but eventually went with AIS’s 30 days plan since they threw in a free travel charger!
The workers there here are very competitive in getting my business, which was really cool to experience.
After calling my parents to let them know I was safe, I punched in the directions to my hostel on Google Maps and off I went!
Learning to catch a bus
I’m making my way onto the ‘Airport Rail Link’ train that goes into the city and getting off at Hua Mak station to catch the 519 Bus. Catching a bus turns out to be harder that I thought since I have no idea how to catch one here. They don’t seem to stop!
I couldn’t find the bus stop for the 519 bus initially so I tried to ask a stranger, but we couldn’t communicate much due to the language barrier. Eventually I found the correct bus stop after some wandering around.
Observing how the locals did it, I copied them and ran out partially out on to the street to wave down the bus.
It very dark, but luckily there was enough light for me to make out the 519 sign on the bus (which by the way isn’t very well lit), successfully waved it down, and hopped on!
How the fare system works is you take a seat and another employee at the back of the bus will come up to you to collect the fare.
Let them know what stop your destination is and you’re charged based on distance. I showed her my stop on Google Maps and was charged 30 bahts. Easy.
Arrived at the hostel
My first stay in Thailand is at Trica Hostel and Cafe.
It feels like a great first stay in the city, the whole place has a nice vibe. The beds are comfy and the place is air-conditioned.
Upstairs is the hostel area and lounge area and downstairs is a fully operating cafe! Sweet, I don’t have to go far for my morning cup of coffee or tea.
I arrive late at night and the cafe is closed and the staff already left. For late night check-ins they have a key lock box outside where I can get access for the front door, which is convenient!
Before moving upstairs to retire into the hostel area, I took a moment to check out the Thai baht currency.
I noticed a new face on the notes. It was no longer the previous King Bhumibol Adulyadej (King Rama 9), but instead his son Maha Vajiralongkorn (King Rama 10).
This isn’t my first time in Thailand, I had made a trip to the Kingdom back in November 2016, a month after King Rama 9 had passed away. The whole country was in mourning and everyone dressed in black for a whole year. It was a such an important event to be able to witness.
This year, it looks like I’ve came back in time to catch another history in the making, the coronation of King Rama 10! I’m so stoked to see what sort of events happens around Bangkok for this special time!
If you don’t know, Thailand is very extravagant when it comes to large celebrations.
The whole city gets a make over with colourful decorations and flowers, special music that is composed just for the Kingdom is played everywhere in public, and people celebrate all over the country!
I think it’s time to go to bed, I’ve had a long day.
Let’s see what the following days hold!