It was about 6am when my internal alarm woke me up 30 minutes before my actual alarm. My eyes beamed open and I thought “ASIA!!!” It was like Christmas morning when you know this is the day you get to run to the tree and open all of your presents. I finally got to finalize my packing and head out to the airport to catch my flight.
Kaitey and I got to the airport at about 9am, walked straight to the China Southern Airlines counter to process our boarding passes and then… surprise! Kaitey received her ticket but unforutnatley I was not allowed on the flight because my travel agent from Flight Center decided to put my middle name on my ticket. My ticket didn’t match my passport. No flight for me!
We waited over 1 hour for my parents to get home and scramble around the house looking for documentation with my middle name to prove it was me because you know the fact that it’s my passport, drivers licence and all other info wasn’t enough to prove it was me with a middle name. Thank you security laws.
Time passed and my parents sent proof, we got our tickets and headed off to our boarding gate. Finally! We boarded a 14 hour flight to Guangzhou, China and spent our flight sitting beside the most pleasant and hilarious new friend named Josh from Calgary, now living in China. Spent 1 hour in the airport with another new friend, Steve from New Zealand and set flight again for 3 hours to Bangkok, Thailand.
We arrived in Bangkok at 11pm exhausted from being up for 35 hours and a 17 hour flight, starving from lack of food and excitement that we were in Asia. After all of that all we could do is laugh hysterically when we found out our baggage was lost! Everything we needed and packed, all of our personal possessions were missing and nobody at China Southern Airlines could advise us on where it may be. We left for our hotel luggage-less in a foreign country and had 16 more days ahead of us. This trip was going to be awesome!
We arrived at our hotel on Rambuttri Road – a major strip of bars, restaurants, hotels and shopping markets. The city was bustling on a Monday night, very different from life in Vancouver.
We spent our first night trying to locate our luggage and eventually fell asleep with no hope in getting it back.
We woke up the next morning and first thing was first, call the airline then get breakfast then back to work on finding our bags. After hours of getting nowhere we decided we should put our travel insurance to good use and purchase necessities. Thank goodness that 7/11 is everywhere in Thailand or we would be without toiletries and midnight snack runs. We decided these markets were not going to do because we need receipts for our insuarance so we headed to the mall.
We were told to go to MBK mall which ended up being a massive 4 level mall that was basically the outside markets, inside. USELESS! We ran around the mall for over an hour thinking this can’t be it, this can’t be their mall. Where are all of the stores we were told about!? We asked many locals about stores like H&M, Zara, etc. Nobody knew what we were talking about even though we saw the stores shopping bags.
We finally found the Siam shopping centers! This mall takes up what felt like the entire downtown core and is split into 3 sections. Each section is designated to a hierarchy of shops. For instance, one building is filled with Chanel, Prada, Louis Vuitton and high end car dealerships. Another is filled with boutique type shopping like the Karl Lagerfeld store (which I didn’t even know existed!) and anther filled with our local favourites like Forever 21, H&M, Zara, etc.
We managed to get our essentials like shorts, tanks, sandals, main toiletries and new (much, MUCH smaller) luggage. Thankfully, I took my camera, phone and laptop on the plane with me. Unfortunately, this meant I didn’t have my chargers or cords for my camera. Not to dwell on how frustrating it was but China Southern Airline really fucked up the first days of our trip. Try buying underwear and bras in Thailand with bodies like ours… it’s nearly impossible! My usual small underwear ended up being a large and my bra size was non-existent. I had to purchase the only bra they had in the entire department store that came close to fitting me. Also, I spent my first 1.5 days in 30+ degree weather in a sweater, pants and closed toe shoes. With that said… in the process of trying to replace everything and I wont go into detail because there is so much of it. Kaitey and I bonded and learned so much about each other and ourselves and what we can actually do with and without. We laughed so hard that sometimes we almost peed our pants and cried the happiest tears. A blessing in disguise I guess!
We spent our first night eating delicious green curry, deep friend prawns and pad thai…I even ate a BBQ’d grasshopper! We got a chance to take in the city with a little bit of relaxation and ease knowing we had some items to work with. We took a walk down our street to check out the markets and headed back for a cozy night in.
Next post will be on Wednesday – I didn’t realize how many photos and stories I have to share. Instead of 4 posts till will more likely be about 8-10!