We were in for a shock going from small villages in Bali to a the ever expanding city of Bangkok, Thailand. Trading our Bali villa for a modern high rise was going from one extreme to the other. We were sad to say goodbye to our motorbike life but enjoyed the adventure of exploring Bangkok using the BTS, taxis, tuk tuks and river boats.
With the advantage of our friends, Drew and Eunhae living nearby, we didn’t have to search long for the best local spots (thanks Drew and Eunhae for showing us around)! Bangkok is full of expats, but many times we were the only white family visiting the local restaurants and vendors. Navigating language barriers while trying to order food was a challenge. We tried our best to learn Thai but the tones are very hard to mimic. Thank goodness for Google translator!
Our time in Bangkok wouldn’t have been the same if we hadn’t met Tim and Amy Hupe who run a nonprofit called Creative Life Foundation. Amy and Jannelle met through a world schooling Facebook page. Having a lot in common, we became fast friends, especially since our daughters were similar in age. Along with the non profit, Amy works as a counselor to refugees at the UN. We were able to join along on a few school days with refugee students and learned about the extreme hardship and lack of resources many refugees face in Thailand.
What we learned during our time in Bangkok:
I learned that it’s a bigger city than I though it would be with nice people. There are a lot of geckos everywhere that I liked to catch. Everything is super duper cheap and the Thai Tea is A-MAZING. Going on the BTS is crazy, a lot of people try to get on all at once!
My favorite thing about Bangkok is that I made some friends to hang out with. On some days we did school together at their non profit that helps refugee children. I also enjoyed exploring the giant malls. Bangkok is very crowded and has a lot of street vendors. I liked trying all the different teas. Some foods that surprised me were the scorpion on a stick or the fried frogs. How do they eat it?! My favorite way of getting around Bangkok was using the water taxi boats. Three words I would use to describe Bangkok is crowded, loud and interesting.
You haven’t been to a mall until you’ve been to one in Asia. Our friend who lives in Bangkok jokingly said shopping is a national sport, but in all seriousness, it is. Many Chinese and South Koreans will travel to Bangkok with empty suitcases with the primary focus of shopping. I was shocked to see that the Thailand I visited many years ago was now mostly run by foreigners, like the Chinese. The dynamic of the city has changed and many Thai locals are struggling to keep up with the growth in their own country.
Pics coming soon…