It was a hectic few days in Bangkok; the normally busy city was completely crowded out by the New Years vacation crowd.
At night, nearly every table in the huge plethora of open air bars and restaurants was occupied, each ringing with the orchestra of a thousand accents and languages. The massage salons stay open until well past midnight, packing the sidewalk in front of their shop with wicker lawn chairs and grateful clients.
Vendors walk from table to table with trinkets, lighters, bracelets, flowers, sunglasses…and do not easily take no for answer. However, much to my relief, the majority of stationary shop owners did not share this hard hustling mentality, and allowed us to browse their wares graciously and uninterrupted. I picked up a cloth tote bag (much more comfortable and convenient than my backpack), a leather bracelet, and one of many varieties of screen printed tanktops, perfect for the muggy weather. Even my lightest items of clothing can’t compare.
All in all, the first few days in Thailand have been a whirlwind, and I find myself very grateful to be boarding a train out of town today. We are headed on a 10 hour ride to Chiang Mai, which will likely be nearly as crowded as Bangkok due to the holiday, but has been described as a little cheaper and less….Bangkoky. I anticipate that after all these crazy cities, our time spent in peaceful Laos will be a welcomed reprieve.