First steps in Asia – Thailand (ประเทศไทย)

Now THIS is a big step 🙂

I know myself by now, and I’m aware of how easy it is to move by yourself across Europe, but Asia?… I have to say this was a very thrilling experience
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I planned my trip to join my good friend Lauren, who was travelling for 3 months across South East Asia. We decided to meet and have a few weeks trip in Cambodia.

I wanted to have some time on my own as well, so I chose to fly to Bangkok, and then to cross the Cambodian border by land. Flights from Paris to Bangkok are also more affordable.

Here begins my journey. After a short flight and a 2h stop in Amsterdam (unfortunately not enough to go for a walk), I’m taking my first flight to Asia. I’ve packed my passport, cameras and a few clothes, and I’m completely excited to discover a whole different world !

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Above Amsterdam

When you land in a tropical country, the first thing that strikes you is the air. You get out of the plane, and you take this big ball of heat and humidity right into your face 😁
“Welcome to Thailand, wake up!”

So here I am, Bangkok! From the aerial city line, you can see a lot of Buddhist temples, and the city looks HUGE. I’m very interested in seeing what the Capital is like, but I planed do it on my way back. For the moment my aim is to catch a bus to reach a little city called Trat, nearby the Cambodian border.

Finding the station isn’t a peace of cake, but thanks to two nice Korean guys -who are the only English speakers around- I manage to take the right city bus in all this mess. Because yes, Bangkok is a huge mess 😉

The bus trip takes about 6 hours and I haven’t slept since I was in Paris, so this is the perfect occasion to rest a bit, plus Trat is far from beeing the end of the journey.

On the way I meet Heinrich, a German guy who has lost his passport -but seems really serene about it-, and two french guys. The light from the sunset is amazing but it’s weird, the sky looks different here! Unfortunately I can’t stop the bus to take a good picture, they won’t let me 😏

We reach Trat at night, and everyone goes its separate ways. I head towards the Ban Jaidee guesthouse, a colleague of mine in Paris knows the place, and asked me to bring some medicine to the owner. She is a very friendly Thai woman. A thunderstorm is rolling in a few kilometers away, and she advises me to quickly go and find something to eat before everything closes.

The atmosphere is very different from everything I’ve seen in my life, the streets are quite dark, with some spots of light here and there, and it’s still very warm. You hear the sound of a TV, people watching a kung-fu movie, and a few places still serve some food. I try to know what I’m ordering, but only one guy speaks English. He is friendly despite the fact we don’t understand each other well, and anyway I’m starving and love to try unexpected things, so be it 😋. I seat down on my plastic chair and enjoy my first true Thai meal, awesome ! But to this day I still don’t know what I ate.
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The mix of heat and jet-lag makes it nearly impossible for me to get some sleep that night, and “Oh ! Hello mister Gecko”. It will take a few days to get used to it. The good thing is, it gives me a good occasion to have a walk at sunrise and take a few pictures. It’s 5am and you already feel the liveliness, the market is opening, the Buddhist monks are fetching supplies.

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I don’t have much time left here, my Bus for the border leaves at 7 am, and I know it will definitely be a long day. I want to join my friend Lauren in Koh Rong, an island in the south of Cambodia.

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