Keenen’s high school BFF Ben picked us up from the airport to take us to his apartment on the other side of the city, where he and his lovely wife Kaitlyn have graciously let us stay! Ben and Katelyn have been living in Bangkok since last July and work as teachers at an international school here.
Feeling tired from our early morning, we spent the day in at Ben’s awesome place, getting food from the restaurant on the first floor. Thai food is freaking amazing, and the number one thing I’ve been looking forward to! Naturally, I had Pad Thai for my first meal while Keenen enjoyed the classic basil pork. We finished off with a dish I’ve been dreaming about eating again since the 8th grade but could never get right, mango sticky rice. The sticky rice is covered in gooey, sweet concoction of coconut milk and condensed milk and other secret goodness and served with fresh mango slices. I tried it once in the 8th grade during a Hmong food day, but haven’t been able to successfully make sticky rice since. I’m in heaven, and I’m going to eat boatloads of it while I’m here.
After Katelyn got home we set out to get street food for dinner. We had spicy Thai fried chicken, sticky rice, fried wontons filled with quail egg dipped in chili sauce, and these marvelous mini desert pancake tacos filled with what must be magic. I’m so happy to be back in the land of street food. Since Ben and Katelyn had to wake up early, we made it an early night.
We had planned to leave the next day to see Bangkok, but the draws of a comfy, private, air conditioned apartment with fast WiFi were too much to resist. We’ve been travelling for a long time and been homeless and living out of bags for even longer (three years now!) so the nesting instinct is strong. We decided to stay in and plan our route through Thailand, but we didn’t get as much planning done as Netflix.
When evening hit, Ben took us to Khao San Road, the premier touristy party location in Bangkok. There we (I) overindulged in drinks, played a rousing game of ‘odds are’ (thanks for teaching us Jen), and saw a sad ping pong show (if you want to respect us after this don’t look up what that is).
The next morning we dragged our sore and dehydrated bodies to Chatachuk market, one of the biggest weekend street markets in the world. It seems infinite when you walk around, and if you see something you like you better buy it the first time because you won’t find it again. They have everything you could want there, from the white girl Thailand uniform (crochet or patterned crop top + elephant pants) to plates, statues, fine art, shoes, lots of street food, the cutest kittens and puppies you ever did see, fish, squirrels and sugar gliders, antiques, electronics, and even pet monkeys.
We shopped around for a while, slurped some delicious Thai iced tea (do yourself a favor and get some next time you have Thai if you’ve never tried it), and enjoyed haggling with vendors to get a great deal. Though there’s no way we saw all of it, a long day in the hot sun had us deciding to spend the night in with delivery pizza.
The next day we felt lazy again, and didn’t leave the apartment until dinner time. We’re seriously nesting here. We took Ben and Katelyn out to get Korean BBQ. They give you a little hot plate with broth around the edges, and you order plates of meat and veggies to grill up just the way you like it. We had thinly sliced chicken, pork, and beef as well as baby corn, carrots, several different kinds of mushroom, pumpkin, bok choy, and noodles. It was delectable to say the least. Korean barbecue is fantastic!
Tuesday we finally got our lazy butts out of the house to visit Ayutthaya (eye-yute-tea-uh), some ruins from the Khmer empire, also responsible for Angkor Wat. We visited 5 ruined Buddhist temples spread across the city, all in various states of decay but beautiful and grand nonetheless, and a giant reclining Buddha.
We spent the next day in again, because Keenen caught a cold. Tonight we make our way south on a sleeper train in preparation for the Full Moon Party on Koh Phangan. What in the world are we getting ourselves into?