Note: This post continues my series to document my travels and inspire other women to plan their own adventures. Travel is a huge part of my ideal life and I know it’s a value that many HBW readers hold as well. Stay tuned for more diaries from my trip to Thailand!
I made it to Bangkok, Thailand! After a 24-hour trip plus a few flight delays, I’m finally getting settled into my room. I decided to spend a few days in Thailand’s capital city by myself before I meet up with my Project Getaway group in Koh Tao. First impressions on the way to the hotel: Thailand is HOT, y’all. It was about 1:30am when the hotel’s driver picked me up from the airport and it was 85 degrees outside. Even at that time of night, I felt the immediate whoosh of heat and humidity engulf me as soon as I stepped outside of the air-conditioned airport. I’m reminded now that it’s summer in Thailand during April, the hottest month of the year here. Tomorrow, it’s supposed to be 100 degrees!
It’s hard to believe that just a few days ago, I was still trying to figure out how to fit a month’s worth of clothes and toiletries, plus my big laptop into one backpack. I bought The North Face Overhaul 40 Daypack at REI and it had an extra compartment just for my HP with a 15 inch screen. Worked like a charm! Of course, it helps that I packed actual summer outfits, unlike my clothing snafu last year in Europe when I brought jeans and light sweaters to wear in the summertime. This time, I rolled up t-shirts, shorts, light pants and capris into my bag along with my underthings, bathing suit and a few pair of sandals. (I’ll do a separate post on everything I packed for my trip – I’ve got enough for at least 16 different outfits!) Anything else I need I can buy here. I’ve heard that clothing is super cheap in Thailand and there are a ton of shopping centers that cater to tourists.
On the 13-hour flight from DC to Tokyo, I forgot to specify that I needed a vegetarian option for my meals. I don’t think “pescatarian” was an option, which I would have chosen had I remembered, because I do eat fish. I was painfully reminded of this when the flight attendant came by asking, “beef or chicken?” Ugh. Lesson learned. I had eaten before boarding the plane and brought a few snacks from home, but nothing that would last me 13 hours. I ate the salad and bread, then went to sleep to avoid the hunger pangs. I was tired as hell, anyway. I wasn’t able to sleep the previous two nights out of excitement and worry – but mostly excitement!
A few hours later, I wake up and the flight attendant brings me a vegetable wrap from first class. She feels bad for this starving vegetarian back in coach. It’s such a nice gesture that I don’t want to tell her I really don’t like vegetable sandwiches. (Clearly, I’m way too picky to be relying on airplane food!) Maybe she sees it on my face though, because she also offers to bring me some fruit. Then, the woman sitting next to me pulls out a little gold box and presses it into my hand, saying it’s the best pineapple cake from her country, Taiwan. I take it gratefully and eat the cake (which is yummy, by the way) along with the fruit salad for as proper a meal as I’m gonna get.
On that long flight to Tokyo, I remembered that no matter where you go, there is always someone who will be willing to help you out!
Eating sushi in Japan
My vegetarian struggles have a silver lining though – next up is a fantastic sushi lunch during my layover in Tokyo. Eating sushi in Japan has long been on my bucket list, but little did I know I’d find some at Sushi Kyotatsu in the Narita Airport on my way to Bangkok!
I order a selection of nigiri at the counter and watch as the sushi chefs prepare each piece with care and precision. They look so serious about their sushi. Clearly, this is not a game! As I taste the first bite of unagi (eel), I think, so THIS is what real sushi tastes like! I also eat tuna, tomago (sweet egg omelet) and shrimp, finishing almost everything on the plate. I don’t get up quite enough nerve to try the salmon roe. Just thinking about little fish eggs popping in my mouth makes me gag, even though I’ve been eating sushi since I was a teenager living in Hawaii.
The second leg of the trip is seven hours from Tokyo to Bangkok. I feel like I’ve gotten at least 12 hours of sleep on the plane already, so I plan to catch up on my movie-watching instead. I watched three films in a row: Sliding Doors, Broken and Life of Pi. I love a good drama and all of these were excellent!
Now I’m getting settled in my room at the Adelphi Grande, which is pretty nice for what amounts to about $80 a night including free breakfast, wi-fi and late checkout. It’s really more like a little studio apartment, with a full kitchen and washer-dryer combo in here.
Time for me to take a bath and try to get some rest, even though it’s a 13 hour time difference. It’s so wild that it’s 4:30am here in Bangkok and 5:30pm on the east coast right now. My body is so confused LOL.