The sixty days we were granted on our first Thai visa were coming to an end, so we finished them off right where we started, in Bangkok. We were flying out to Singapore from there anyway. The minute we stepped off the bus from Pattaya, into the crazy Bangkok city heat, it immediately felt like home. The smells, the sights, the transportation, everything was familiar.
The comfort we felt after spending our first two weeks there was a little surreal and it was only intensified by a coincidental visit from our two college friends, Chris and Brandi. We never thought that we would get to see a recognizable face during our backpacking journey so it was truly a win win situation. Having come to Thailand for their honeymoon, they graciously offered us to stay with them for a couple days in their beautiful suite at the Marriott. Although it felt almost wrong to crash their honeymoon, it was an offer we couldn't refuse. It cut us some slack budget wise, the pull out couch bed alone was better than any hostel bed we've slept in so far (not complaining just facts), plus they went to the beach for a couple days so we had the full suite to ourselves just to relax, unwind and embrace this gift of luxury. It was so out of our new norm, that we almost forgot we were in Thailand. In that suite, you could be anywhere in the world. We really couldn't thank them enough for it.
We all ended up having the best time together, catching up and getting to know the adult versions of our college selves. On Chris and Brandi's first night we took them out to dinner in Chinatown and somehow became a spectacle for the Chinese tourists who just couldn't stop taking pictures of us while we were eating. We figured it was because of their intense curiosity for people of color. All we could really do was laugh and shrug it off and give them the peace sign since we know we're not something they're used to.
Our Bangkok adventures with the honeymooners were like really long double dates where we ate, shopped, partied and even had a double dose of lovers' quarrels, but no need to go down that road again. Everything works itself out in the end, right? Right. Interestingly enough, between Chris and Trav who are both photographers, we couldn't manage to get a family photo! I guess some great experiences are strictly for the memory book.
One really cute sight we got to catch in Bangkok was a whole bunch of paper-mache pandas. 1600 of them! In 2008, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) partnered with a French paper-mache artist to make these unique pandas representing the 1600 pandas left in the wild. The pandas have traveled around the world since then raising awareness on conservation and environmental responsibility. We're really happy that we got to experience the magnitude of their message to save the pandas. It's a really cool and creative way to bring light to a subject you probably would not otherwise. Check out their Facebook here!
Our last night in the city was spent on Khao San Road with Johannes, our German friend that we met at our first hostel on the first day of our adventure. The night was just as wild as our first one on this party street and it was like our first leg in Thailand had come in full circle. Of course it was rough getting up the next morning to catch our flight to Singapore because well, you know, slight hangovers. Also, it was a bit sad to be leaving Thailand. We had become so accustomed to the Thai way of life in just a month and a half. The beauty of becoming a backpacker though is we were on our way to a new country, adventure and way of life.