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What To Do in a Day: Bangkok.

I’ve been to Thailand four different times, but this time was different. I did not visit with my family or with my soccer or softball teams: just me and cousin. There is something different about walking into a foreign country by yourself. All your belongings in a backpack, most of the cash you saved for the trip in an envelope (unless you have a credit card, but that’s just for emergencies, in my case.) Now in Bangkok “backpacking central” is known as Khao San Road. It costs no more than 500 Baht (14 USD) to get there from the airport, but your taxi driver should only charge you 400 or 450 Baht. If you are backpacking in Thailand, you must start your trip off at Khao San. 

Khao San Road is a street that has hostels, cheap hotels, restaurants, fast food, and possibly the most foreigners you will ever see in one place. There are carts that will make you pad thai noodles (the best in the world!), carts that sell spring rolls, corn on the cob, and carts that sell an assortment of bugs. You can have your choice of scorpion, spider, cockroach, or grasshopper on a stick. According to my cousin… do NOT eat the scorpion.

Khao San Road at night is a giant flee market. You can buy bathing suits, bags, shirts, elephant pants (Or as Americans call them, MC Hammer pants), anything really. Everything is cheap, you can buy most things for $20 or less and always haggle down the price. You can take the risk of getting a Thai Massage, and I am warning you… Thai massages hurt. They bend your body in ways your body should not be bent. You’ve been warned, they are not relaxing at all.

When traveling in Bangkok, you have to take a visit to the MBK mall, which is literally a flee market that spans seven floors. And nothing in the MBK is a set price, so spend a couple hours in the “mall” find your fake designer bag or sun glasses. Get some hand made jewelry, or more clothes: just have fun exploring.

Don’t be afraid to walk up to other backpackers and ask them advice on what to see in Bangkok or in the rest of Thailand. People backpacking are usually friendly, always want to hear about your experiences and share stories from their adventures. Talking to people could give you new ideas of what to see, and who knows you could hear about the next country you want to see next summer.

I know that it is everyone’s instinct to plan out every detail of your trip, because it gives you a sense of control in an environment that is completely unknown to you. But from personal experience, know how long you are going to be in the country, know what parts of the country you want to see, but leave room in your schedule for spur of the moment changes. You may get to a part of Thailand that you want to stay and visit for longer than you originally intended. Backpacking is supposed to be interesting, fun, and full of unplanned, memorable experiences.

Cierra is a fun loving, well traveled person, who wants to share her stories :P
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