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Bangkok’s invitation to the best day everIf you are interested in the photos that go with this story, visit the Thailand section of my website
With Thailand’s phenomenal beaches in the south and stunning greenery in the north, I was a bit unenthusiastic about being “stuck” in Bangkok for a few days. I now know that this gem of a city offers beautiful culture, food, sites and plenty adventures to help satisfy the soul. My soul sister (Hannah), love interest (Ruben), and I arrived in Bangkok without a plan, without an itinerary and not expecting much. Our hostel owner suggested that we go see “the best floating market.” She wrote down a couple words in Thai on a piece of paper, directed us to the correct bus station and didn’t give us anymore detail on how to get there. But we trusted her…or at least we strongly believed she wasn’t leading us to get robbed. What we didn’t know, was that little piece of paper was our ticket to paradise. We arrived at the bus stop and showed some friendly locals the small characters on our torn paper. When our bus came we were lightly pushed onboard by a man who told the bus driver where we needed to get off. He affirmed us with a smile and a nod. Approaching our stop the bus driver turned to us, pointed with another smile and said something in Thai. Assuming this meant this is your stop, we got off at a train station and found another smiling person who helped us get on the right train.
The train ride itself brought my two friends and I an abundance of majestic memories. Outside the windows revealed the beautiful surrounding greenery and a group of young kids playing on either sides of the train. When we caught their attention they began to wave and chase after the train.
After some time—none of us could tell you exactly how long we were on the seemingly transcendental journey—the train began to slow down and Ruben was grabbed by a random man who brought him to the back of the train. Worried about what was happening, Hannah and I jumped up and followed them. After working for an anti-human trafficking organization and taking karate classes, we were constantly in “we got this” mode. After catching up with them at the back of the train, we were completely confused and ready to take the stranger down, when he smiled and pointed out the window. The train tracks were covered by giant canopies that were collapsing one right after another so the train could get through. As we searched to ask if we could get off—this market was too exciting to miss—the train came to a complete halt. We jumped off the train and spent the next couple of hours exploring frogs on sticks, fried insects and some of the strangest things we had ever seen, at what we called “the train market”. After sipping away our heavenly Thai tea, we journeyed on with our little paper and were taken to the back of a beaten down truck. Feeling hesitant but trusting that our little white paper was leading us somewhere magnificent, we hopped in. Our rugged journey seemed to be taking us nowhere until we saw water and boats in the distance. We stepped out of our truck, paid the driver according to what one of the Thai passengers said, and headed over a giant bridge where we stopped to get an overview of the beauty before us. Below us was a giant river filled with wooden boats selling various incredible crafts and delicious smelling Thai food. On both sides of the river were many wooden structures selling more goodies. We were in Thai paradise. While trying to take in the surroundings, warm rain started to pour down. My Ruben pulled me under a canopy and kissed me. “This is one of the best days of my life!” he said.As the rain died down, we jumped into a small boat that took us around the area. As it started to get dark we were taken to the riverside to look at fireflies. “Go hold Ruben’s hand!” Hannah said. I slid to the opposite side of the boat and laced my hand in his as we watched the fireflies in the wooden Thai boat on the outskirts of Bangkok. This was indeed one of the best days of our lives.
No, not all of our South Asian adventures were this smooth, but we learned to deeply appreciate the journey and the beauty of going with the Thai flow. And what came of that Bangkok romance? Well you can ask my husband…Ruben.