Posted by: James Shannon | November 16, 2010

Grid-Skippin’: From Van City to the City of Angels (the Asian Version)

5 days into Thailand, and I’ve covered alot of the old part of Bangkok … right now I’m sitting in Lub’d, an ultra-stylish hostel in the heart of Modern Bangkok.  It’s located next to the National Stadium, where Thai-boxing occurs regularly.  I’m bouncing from the city soon, so I probably won’t have time to see some before I go, but when I’m back, I will probably take in a fight.

This post will focus on the opening days of my trip, from Vancouver to my first morning in Bangkok…

Looking down at the Alberta Rockies from my WestJet flight to Vancouver

 

The next day, I went out on a tour of Granville Island, a former industrial area which has been transformed into an artist’s and foodies paradise…

Houseboats moored at Granville Island … you know when housing space is limited when…

Granville Island Food Market: bustling with every type of food imaginable … Vancouverites are so lucky to have access to this resource!

The quintessential Vancouver scene

Downtown as viewed from Stanley Park

Sunset at Second Beach in Stanley Park

Touched the Pacific … t’was quite cold …

I hear that Vancouver is quite the busy port

My bunkmates, Rik, Brian and I, out for a night on the town before they left for Whistler and I left for Asia … very fun guys from the Netherlands!

 

The next morning, it was a mad dash to the airport to check in at a half-decent time (never did international flights before).  Checked in with Air China and ready to roll, we lifted off the tarmac, I wished North America well, and the 11 1/2 hour trek across the Pacific began …

First of two full in-flight meals (this was pork and rice with some veggie I can’t identify) … this needs to be brought back in North America!

Over Chinese airspace … the lighter parts of the screen denote daylight, while the darker parts where it is night in the world…

 

Finally, after a painfully long flight, our plane touched down on Chinese soil.  I took my first breath of air on a foreign continent, and it was quite smokey to be honest … how smokey?  Take a look below …

This scene should be familiar to anyone who worked at Maligne Lake this summer…

 

I went through International Transfer security, and then jumped on a flight to Bangkok three hours later.  I landed one minute after Midnight in the City of Angels (that is one of BKK’s nicknames if you didn’t know before), and after officially entering into a foreign country not named the United States, I scrambled to find somebody heading to Khao San at this late hour.  After finding Simon and Courtney from San Francisco, we hopped in a cab for 500 baht ($16; 150 baht, or $5 was my share)

Busy Bangkok freeway on the way into town

 

It took 45 minutes to drive from the outer asteroid belt of the capital city to Khao San Road … in this time Simon and Courtney taught me Thai phrases other than kap-kuhn-kap (thank you) and sawadee-kap (hello) … phrases added to my repetoire included sa ba dee mai (you are well, no?) and my-ow-kap (do not want).  Incidentally, the last one has gotten used the most over the past week … I love touts!

 

I finally arrived at NapPark (HIGHLY recommended, you will have an awesome time here!) and crashed on my exceedingly comfortable bed…

Hallway at NapPark hostel; amazingly, I forgot to get a photo of the lobby … I’ll be back there soon anyhow!

 

Barely halfway through my first day in Bangkok, lounging at the hostel to get over my jet lag, I was welcomed in a big way by some parade/procession outside … couldn’t ask for a cooler start to my time in Asia!

 

I’m gonna cut this post off right here … next photo/video blog will have coverage of the Grand Palace, and a night out on Khao San Road, when it really comes alive!

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