New, pretty, clean gear purchased in Minnesota prior to departing 6 months ago, is appropriately dirty, torn, discolored and worn. Arriving in the western and cosmopolitan city of Bangkok, Thailand, I had the opportunity to replace clothes and restock toiletries. This post is an update on my gear.
I bought jeans at The Gap and donated this pair to the hostel’s give-and-take box. I also bought a black dressy tank top at The Gap because my white dressy tank top became a gray/brown color.
At Uniqlo, a fast fashion retailer better known in Asia and Europe, I bought black, light-weight pants to replace these holy, patched linen pants. I left the worn pants with the staff at the Bangkok hostel to be used for scarp fabric.
I threw away my Indian outlet adapter and my FitBit. The FitBit stopped holding a charge when I left Cambodia. I wish I were still gathering data from the tracker but it was a hassle to charge a device so frequently. I will get a new FitBit when I return. For now, I use the pedometer in the Health app on my iPhone.
I am still searching for yoga pants to replace the pair I brought from home that have patches, mending and holes. I left shorts, a tank top, and a sports bra in a hostel bathroom in Bangkok. This outfit was my pajamas and I will be replacing all these items during a week layover in NYC.
Over time, I lost a pair of socks, an EOS lip balm, and the cover for my inflatable neck pillow. These are small items, however everything I packed had a purpose and I notice when something is missing.
I sent the tailored dress from Vietnam back to Minnesota when my friend Justin vacationed with me in Thailand last month. Through clever coordination with my parents, Justin brought me an early birthday present from my Mom and Dad. They gifted me a versatile, black, casual dress I added to my pack.
I have not adopted the hippie backpacker look and enjoy dressing in clothes I would wear at home. No Thai elephant pants, Indian Ali Baba trousers, or ponchos for me… yet.
Riding the canal ferry was the most efficient way to travel from my hostel in the older area of Bangkok to the above ground BTS transit system in the newer area of the city. The canal ferries cost a few bhat for a ride and, like a public bus, they follow a route with specific stops. Boat travel is also a great way to avoid the heavy traffic on the streets.
The passing of the King remains sad news in this country. Signs, banners, people dressed in mourning attire, and other tributes to his legacy are present in the city.
Shopping malls abound in Bangkok selling goods to match all styles, needs, and budgets. The malls I visited were impressive, glistening structures with lots of public spaces and layouts where I easily got lost.
Another country, another Lush store. As I did in Hong Kong, I restocked body and face soaps at the Lush store in Bangkok.
My spa day in Bangkok! It was a treat to relax with a massage, facial, body scrub, foot massage and pedicure. I was a guest at the Infinity Spa.
A passenger train travels from the central Bangkok train station, Hua Lamphong, to neighborhoods north of the city. I road the train three times to travel to one of the airports and to visit the Immigration Office. It is a slow, hot, scenic ride and passengers are lower income Thai people. The cost of the train is less than 50 cents.
To extend my 30-day Thai visa I visited the Immigration Office in Lak Si, a neighborhood north of the city. I enjoyed seeing a government building and government officials. It was an efficient, clear process to extend my visa and I was impressed. At noon in the atrium all the government officials in the building engaged in a singing tribute honoring the late King.
James, a friend from New Year’s Eve in Kochi, was in Bangkok too! We stayed at the same hostel and met Anna. Together we all explored the Chatuchak Weekend Market, the largest market in Thailand.
More than 9 types of goods are sold here including plants, antiques, books and clothes. We wandered for an hour and only covered a small area of the market.
Charlie Brown’s Mexican Cantina is a popular bar in Bangkok where James, Anna and I had a great meal. I was surprised to see this collection of beer cans including PBR, Milwaukee’s Best, and Miller at a bar in Bangkok. Small reminders from home are always delightful.