And it begins! Exactly thirty hours after leaving my house in Menands, New York, I arrived at my hostel in Sukhumvit, Bangkok. Things of note:

  • As I was about to get off my first 13 hour flight leg in Tokyo, doctors boarded in the plane in getups that were some sort of odd combination of hazmat suits and scrubs. They walked up and down breathing creepily in their masks and staring at everyone. Then an announcement came on thanking us for our patience and letting us now they were taking one of the passengers into quarantine, and if any of us would like masks just let a flight attendant know. Gee thanks, after our air has been circulating with Swine Flu Patient X’s for 13 hours, now that they’re getting off, yes, now I’d really love a mask.
  • In contrast to my New York to Chicago flight last week, where I was snarled at for asking if they had any pillows on board, I was totally spoiled by ANA air. In addition to the pillows and blankets, I had my own little screen on which I watched whatever movies I wished (The Reader and Gran Torino) and played Tetris till my fingers hurt on my own little remote controller. Every time I glanced up there was a smiling flight attendant shoving food at me. They even had little baby Haagen Daaz ice creams! Which I may or may not have had seconds of.

Hi Hostel Sukhumvit

  • Anyway, the hostel is very friendly (I have a private room), and the reception people came out and greeted me when they saw my cab outside, and then even carried my human sized backpack upstairs! The room is clean but pretty tired. Its a good thing that I was exhausted and passed out easily or I’m not sure how well I would adjust to Southeast Asian mattresses. I understood that the beds were quite firm in Asia but what I didn’t understand was that by “quite firm”, they actually meant “we piled a bunch of cinder blocks together and put a fitted sheet over them.” Not that I’m complaining. I woke up this morning in Bangkok! Thailand!

over packing

Off we go!

  • Tucker
    June 6 2009

    Hey Alex,
    You’re right, they are not walking me enough and the vet says I have to cut back on the filet mignon. I got another shot for this terrible psoriasis or whatever is making me so doggone itchy.

    LOL about the cinder blocks. I’ll think of you tonight when I’m snuggling up on Kathryn’s bed. Or my new cushy dogbed.

    If you had taken me, I would have carried your backpack up the stairs, and let you use me as a pillow. You never take me anywhere fun. And don’t even think about getting me one of those, My mommy when to a hot, sweaty place and all I got was this lousy dog shirt. Your humble servant, Tucker.

  • Clothes and Creativity
    March 11 2014

    Which hostel would this be? And what was the tariff like?

    • Alex
      March 11 2014

      This was so long ago I have NO memory of the price, but I believe it was the HI Sukhumvit πŸ™‚ Hope that helps!

      • Clothes and Creativity
        March 21 2014

        Thanks, Alex!

        We are planning to take up a place on Khao San Road (hopefully)! I’ve heard it gets pretty noisy and it’s difficult to get some shut eye in the night! Comments?!



        • Alex
          March 21 2014

          I agree with that statement πŸ™‚ Even some of the higher end places with pools and whatnot are very poorly soundproofed. If you are a light sleeper I would go elsewhere.

  • Jordan
    November 11 2014

    Hahahaha, I completely forgot about the hazmat suits on the plane in Japan. I was on my way home for the first time after having lived in South Korea for the past year. I went home in May ’09. My layover went from 4 hours to close to 10 because of the inspections. Thanks for that reminder, brings back memories I haven’t had in years!

    • Alex
      November 13 2014

      Crazy! I didn’t realize it was so common πŸ™‚ It was my first big trip alone!

  • Thia
    November 30 2015

    I lived in China for a year and reading this brought back memories of what a mission it was to GET a thick mattress and the 4 hours it took to figure out how to get it up the stairs to my bedroom. It was hard as a rock but I loved it! I had the most relaxing sleep of my life on a hard mattress

    • Alex
      December 1 2015

      Years later and I’m still not used to the rock hard Thai mattresses. I miss my pillow beds, I admit πŸ™‚ One of these days!

  • Thia
    December 1 2015

    When I first moved into my apartment all I had was a 2″ reed mat for a mattress haha it wasn’t very firm for a typical Chinese mattress -probably because it was old and broken in the middle. But the supermarket and street markets sold little quilted mattress pads that you could place over your mattress to make it a little softer. I would never have guessed that’s what they were as they were rolled up and tied with string. Maybe there’s something similar you could pick up at one of the markets? It makes a big difference even though they’re not even an inch thick

    • Alex
      December 3 2015

      I’ve bought a duvet (not that you can get great ones here, but it helps) and have it tucked under the fitted sheet. Definitely makes a small difference!

  • Sandy
    April 25 2017

    I’m going through your first posts :D. Hearing about the mattresses isn’t making me want to visit Asia anytime soon but I’ll get there eventually hopefully.

    • Alex
      April 26 2017

      Ha, I hope you’ll see a great improvement in my blogging over the last six years πŸ™‚

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