Thailand (2014) - Holiday of the Oceanside Buddha
Date: January 30, 2014
Duration: 7 Days
Type: Free Tour
Agenda: Bangkok - Pattaya
The Fox - Ylvis
I Love L.A. - Randy Newman
“The Walking Dead” Season 4
What is the point of travel? It isolates us from the busy work, allows us to see the world in different versions, calm our minds, meet new people and be a better human being, etc. I don’t know, you name it. That’s exactly how I felt about traveling at that time. Now it’s 2014, only two trips left, but we were about to go crazy this time! Let’s GO!
The trip to Thailand, mmm how do I start? This trip was discounted from a travel club my mom joined. She found it late and took a while to make the decision, so this trip was pretty sudden, and I was surprised as well. However, it didn’t matter which country if we were traveling abroad. One good thing about it was we could avoid the winter coldness. Thailand in January was around 30 degree celsius so it was perfect for me. In my mind, the Thailand trip was divided into two parts - the gorgeous golden Bangkok and the fresh blue Pattaya. Thailand is a Buddhist nation, and they are more classic than China. Thinking of going abroad for the second time and this time only with my parents, there would be a big language barrier. Even though there were many western faces in Thailand plus many locals could speak English, or even Mandarin, my parents couldn’t speak English very well, so it’s all counting on me! In fact, I was doing much better than I did in the US, although most of the time we were relying on my Aunt and Uncle in the US and I was even having trouble ordering a hot dog. This time in Thailand, shopping and asking for directions were a piece of cake for me (but it was really a shame when I ordered Coca Cola and accidentally said Cocoa, aka hot chocolate fuuuuuuuuuuuk)... Additionally, speaking of Thailand, many people would think of the ladyboys there. That’s right, we actually had a really close interruption with them in Thailand. How? Let’s see!
Oh yeah, at first we already encountered difficulties. We did not head to Thailand right the way on the first day, instead we spent half day at a new but also familiar place - Wuhan. My mom told me that it would be cheaper if we fly from Shanghai to Wuhan first, then transfer to Bangkok. What a queen of money saver.. Sadly the flight to Wuhan was delayed for 6 hours due to advection fog in Shanghai! For our dinner, we were just eating cup noodles at the airport. When we arrived in Wuhan, it was midnight and we were super sleepy. There’s no more flight so we had to sleep in Wuhan for one night, damn…
On the second day, the flight to Bangkok was also delayed. Why was it so hard to go to Thailand? While we were in Wuhan for most of the day, my mom wanted to go take a tour, but me and my dad were not in a mood to go anywhere but stay in the hotel haha. Finally we flew to Bangkok at night, and I gotta say, our suffering would pay off!
Once we arrived at the Bangkok airport, I immediately fell in love with the smell. It smelled like western countries somehow, which gave me flashbacks to the US. Thailand drives on the left-hand side, that’s one of the reasons we didn’t rent a car. Our hotel in Bangkok was pretty tidy and lovely. People were nice too. However, our room only had one bed, that’s because my mom wanted to save money, smh… I had no choice but to make a bed on the floor for our stay in Bangkok because I absolutely refused to sleep with two people, even they were my parents… There were some relaxing bars and stores near our hotel. What surprised me was that there were a lot more westerners than the local Thais. Honestly, Thai people didn’t look a lot different from typical Asians like us. Then we went to a small bar next to our hotel for a late night meal, it was so delicious. I couldn’t believe there’s such western style food in South East Asia. By the way, the currency here is called Baht, which was 5:1 ratio compared to RMB. So the products in Thailand were pretty cheap for us. Lucky~ I was gonna go shopping like crazy!
Here were the two popular convenience stores in Thailand:
Next day, our trip officially began! We went to Chatuchak Weekend Market, Siam Square One, Erawan Shrine, plus we checked out the parade, which was pretty popular (and serious) back then. I already said I would go shopping like a madman, and here I was! I saw plenty of interesting stuff at Chatuchak Weekend Market I’d never seen. My very first green watch was bought right here, although it’s made in China… After I brought this back to China, my friends saw this greenish watch and came up with the word “Green Tea Bitch”. I had no idea what that meant, but I felt this was such a great name for it, so I started calling it “Green Tea Watch” (In Mandarin, “bitch” has the same pronunciation as “watch”). Sadly this watch was such poor quality that it’s already broken by now, but I still wear it from time to time (as of 2023, this watch is already gone for a long time). Additionally, I got an extremely blue plastic belt from that market:
On our second day, we went to the well-known Grand Palace, which was a lot more gorgeous than the Beijing Imperial Palace. We could enter some of the temples, but we needed to take our shoes off. I was in there praying that I would get a good score in the Zhongkao exam this year haha… Occasionally I could see some tour guides, but when I took a closer look, it’s actually a Chinese tour. Dang today China seemed to be the only country that had tour groups like this and they were EVERYWHERE.
Then we went to Wat Pho, a giant statue of a buddha god lying down. It was very high and long, it’s very difficult to get a good shot of this in such a narrow space:
This was a local we encountered that day, he appeared to be a teacher and he was the one who helped us head to the Great Palace. I knew many people in Thailand could speak English:
Time to head to our second station, the eastern Hawaii - Pattaya. It took us around half-day to go to Pattaya from Bangkok by train. The ocean over there, if I keep it straight, would easily defeat the South Sea in Sanya. Not only the sea water looked like green jellies, the sky also was extremely blue, it was beautiful.
We took a boat to Koh Larn island, time for some swim, sunshine, and beach time. Honestly, we lived like a king over there!
Here’s a 3D art museum we went called “Art In Paradise Pattaya”. We took plenty of photos with creative poses as most of these arts were three-dimensional, and some of them were even illusion. I felt like I had become a model:
Here we are, time to talk - Tiffany’s Show Pattaya. I was pretty excited to see the ladyboys in Thailand. Unfortunately photos were prohibited during the show, but I still sneaked two haha. Surprisingly some of them could even sing Chinese songs. After the show, the audience were taking photos with them outside of the entrance. Since we weren’t planning to do it with them, we decided just to take photos of them from a distance. Then I got an idea, I approached some of them to get a more clear view, turned around, raised my phone, had them as the background and got ready for a selfie. However, before I pushed the snap button, two ladyboys caught me. They came over and grabbed my phone from my hand without any hesitation, and started forcing me to take photos with them. What’s scary about it was they had a smile on their faces the whole time. Within 15 seconds, they took 31 photos on my phone of me hugging them (well, they made me hug them). They looked like women but their voices sounded like men. It was so chaotic that I was acting numb and didn’t know what’s going on (as you can see from the photos below). And I didn’t know exactly what to say. Finally, my father came to me and he’s wondering what’s happening. Then they charged us 200 bahts. Oh my actual god… what a crazy experience.
After that, I was thinking… I was actually pretty sad for them. Because those people were very poor, those men had to do something like becoming a ladyboy to do business. After taking those drugs, they could only live for 40 more years. Let’s hope for the best for them! Two hands together, praying…
Lastly, Pattaya Floating Market:
Time to go home. We returned to Bangkok for the flight back to Shanghai. The flight being delayed was already under my expectations haha. Therefore, we went to Khaosan Road for some dinner.
That’s the end of the Thailand journey, our comic book sponsor “Little Pudding’s Childhood” presents the preview for the last teenage journey:
Man.. it’s such a long blog, but finally, we reached the summer 2014! That’s when we had the latest and the most complex trip we’ve ever done - Spain.