I made it to bangkok alive!

Click here for more of my photography from Bangkok!

I am experiencing a new culture in the craziest city in the world. There is so much going on here it’s hard to compute. I have seen some temples and took a river boat tour. Got on some scooter taxis and had some of the best street food to date. Oh yeah, and I got a tattoo on my forearm on Khao San road.

There is much to do in this massive metropolis and I barely scratched the surface in four days. Tourism is booming here and the locals know how to take advantage of that. You have to be careful not to fall for any scams. Whether it be fake boat tours or the overpriced VIP taxis, it’s easy to be caught off guard in this foreign land. Be mindful that there several scams in this city and keep an eye out for the suspicious characters. Here are some of the more popular scams in the nations capitol…

  • The grand palace is closed. (TukTuk drivers will take you to other temples because the grand palace is closed, he will get his cut from the temple guards and you will end up paying much more than needed).
  • The Patpong scam. (Suspicious locals will try and persuade you into their club to watch a show. It will end up costing you a lot of money for nothing).
  • The TukTuk scams. (TukTuk drivers will offer to take you to a special government discount on gemstones or tailored suits, you might get some nice stuff but at a cost much higher than what it’s worth. And the driver takes his cut or gets a “coupon” for bringing you there).

There is no wealth like knowledge…

If you know what to watch out for, you have far better odds than the average tourist. Avoid the TukTuk driver’s who try to call you over, or politely refuse their service. Try not to look lost all the time, staring at your phone and looking around in circles makes you a prime target. Be aware of your surroundings and try to avoid sticky situations. I got taken to a custom tailor shop and I did buy a suit. I’m happy with the price I paid but it was definitely a pressure sale. I’ve heard horror stories from fellow travellers since being here. So watch out!

I don’t want to scare you but it’s a good thing to have a bit of knowledge before taking on Bangkok. Most importantly, stick to your original plans. Don’t allow locals to tell you what you want to see unless you know and trust them. Even asking for directions might cost you 20/30 baht. I don’t want to make it sound dangerous or misleading here. This city is amazing and will leave an impact on you no matter what. It’s just nice knowing what you’re up against. Check out my photography from this wonderful city here.

Thanks for reading,

Jonny D

Happy Travelling!

day one…

Here I am on day one of my Southeast Asia trip. Who knew I’d be hitchhiking from Vernon to Kamloops today. It took three hours to get picked up which left me  surprised. I figured I looked clean cut enough to get picked up within thirty minutes or less. Apparently I was wrong. Also it seemed there was an abundance of elderly drivers this afternoon, it made me feel like my chances were slim with this demographic. Either way, I made it 87 kilometres in a vehicle instead of walking.

 

My pack is heavier than I expected. I did have to walk almost 10 km throughout the day and my shoulders and legs are feeling it for sure. I weighed my bag before I left and it was 47 pounds with the carry on. This did not seem heavy to me then, however it does now. I’m sure it’ll get easier as I go, it’s probly just muscles I haven’t used for a while.

Today was eventful to say the least

I first had to tie up all my loose ends in Vernon before getting dropped off on the highway to hitch a ride. I had to cancel my insurance and park my van at my sisters. Then she gave me a ride to a good spot on the highway for me to set up thumb. After what seemed like an eternity, a firefighter from Vernon offered me a ride to Kamloops. This renewed my faith in good humans.

Upon arrival in Kamloops he said he would bring me to the Greyhound station after he ran a couple errands. I complied and we set out to accomplish his tasks. He then took me to bus station to see when the next bus to Vancouver was leaving. There was one bus leaving at that exact same moment so I rushed outside to stop the bus. I asked if he would wait five minutes for me to buy a ticket. He denied my offer and said to take the next bus.

The next scheduled bus for is for 4:00 am and I figured I could get picked up hitchhiking before the bus would get here. I tried for over an hour until the sun went away and the rain clouds started forming. Back into town I came to get the last hour of wifi at Starbucks before they closed. I will make my way back to the Greyhound station to patiently wait for the next bus in the morning.

To wrap this up, I would say hitchhiking is an exciting way to start a trip. I wouldn’t use this method as your first choice, but it works when needed. All in all it was a learning experience for me. I now have the true backpackers hitchhiking notch on my belt. Thanks for reading , I’ll post again once I’m in Thailand! One Love

Jonny D