I'm not sure why but for some reason I had imagined Thailand to be a bit like India, especially in terms of development and infrastructure. I was very wrong.
Bangkok is very very modern with all the infrastructure you would expect in a city of six million people in any part of the world. It was not at all what I had been expecting.
I grabbed a bus and was soon at Thanon Khao San and got a room for the night. The street was crazy. I think there where more foreigners than locals though as it looks like this is backpackers central in Bangkok. Yet, the prices for accommodation in this area are relatively high considering so many backpackers are around. I checked out the next day and headed to the hostel near Thanon Sukhumvit, a major road but the hostel, thankfully, was on a quiet alley off the busy street. Must better sleep this night as there was no noise and bars open all night right outside the room. And, as a bonus, it was only a block away from the skytrain, making it easy and cheap to get around town when needed.
Seven of us in the dorm room that night and four of us from Canada. Besides one older lady from California I met in Cervantes, I have a tough time remembering the last time I have met an American since I left Europe. Everyone else in the dorm had similar experience. There have been a tonne of Canadian, English & Australians I have met since the middle east but no Americans that I can remember.
Although, to be fair, I'm sure some of the old creepy guys I see on the streets of Bangkok are Americans. It's not hard to imagine why they are in Thailand and since I have rarely seen any old creepy western guys on my trip I doubt they are on the backpacking trail or interested in seeing the sights of the country.
The plan was to head down to Ko Pha-Ngan for the full moon party on June 1st. Before I booked a train ticket I checked online and found a great discount airfare for about $50 return. sold. Because the flight would take one hour, as opposed to fourteen for the train/ferry I had an extra day to spend in Bangkok before I headed south.
I had been thinking about getting some prescription glasses and a suit tailored while in Bangkok because I have heard they can be very affordable in Thailand. I spent half a day or so going to a few places and looking at some online reviews to make sure it was going to work time-wise and price-wise. It looks good. I think I have a couple places that could work that I will go to when I get back from Ko Pha-Ngan in a week or so. very nice.