Where I Lost My Heart, part one: Bangkok

February 17, 2018

I’ve got to experience my dream journey. It was six of us that travelled, me and five more. There, in Thailand, I felt so happy I could scream. And I did, we all did.

I have so many stories to tell, I don’t know where to begin. It was a crazy and exhausting journey. The first crazy bit was that I didn’t even know any of my five companions. We got in touch with each other on the internet and just went for it. And when we reached our destination, the crazy was just about to begin. We hauled around our sleeping bags and backpacks, ever too heavy. We slept wherever we could: airports, buses, beaches, cheap hostels. We ate anything that looked edible. We bathed in cold water... when it was available, that is. We drank and danced all night, but still had the energy to traverse tens of kilometres during the day. We met tons of people from different countries, with different ideas for their future.

Bangkok, the islands, and Chiang Mai. In Chiang Mai, I got my first tattoo. On the islands, I fell in love with dashing down its spiraling roads with my scooter. And Bangkok... It is pure love and insanity.


My hotel, as cheap as they come, was on Rambuttri Street. An amazing place. Parallel to Khaosan Road, the best-known backpacker street in the world. They both do as they like at night, but Khaosan is so loud that you can lose your hearing. Rambuttri is like its calmer little brother. But no matter the street you’re at, though, the smell of coconut is there. It was stuffy, of course, and there were a lot of smells, but the coconut is like a trademark of the backpacker area.

I remember the days spent in Bangkok as a crazy kaleidoscope of joyful experiences. I was literally high on that place. I perceived everything in an entirely different way; positively as never before. Everything was just as it should be. I could sense that the chemistry of my body had been altered somehow, I was swimming in endorphins. I long so badly to return to that state.

We would cover about twenty kilometres every day. We saw loads of Buddhist temples and spending time inside of them filled me with tranquillity and joy. The most beautiful of them all is, I think, Wat Saket, the Golden Mount, from the top of which you can see the entire city. We burned incense sticks for Buddha and took hundreds of photos. No monk was left unbothered as I struggled for a perfect portrait.

That day we also visited the area with the river and Wat Arun, the Dawn Temple, beautifully illuminated after the sun sets. Thai people are amazing but also crazy, so it came as no surprise to us that while we were still walking the quay, our boat started to set off. We jumped onto the back of it at the very last possible moment. And that is how it all went.

In Bangkok, we also enjoyed a few crazy tuk-tuk rides. I think that the drivers make bets on which of them will scare some tourist the hardest. Maybe they keep score or something.

While we were on our way to see Wat Arun lit up for the night, we entered the Wat Phra Chetuphon temple complex. It was full of cats with the occasional monk passing by. Some women were removing New Year decorations. I remember how fascinated I was back then by the Thai lifestyle. By the fact that one of the most important words in their vocabularies is sanuk – which means something joyful, fun, relaxed. Why do anything that is not sanuk?

I’m not some topography queen, but in Bangkok, I always knew where to go next. I could find dark, forgotten paths that seemed scary and disgusting, but turned out to be useful shortcuts that would lead me exactly where I wanted to be. I could set off on my own and I would still feel safe and at home. I don’t think I can express the way I felt, but I can say it was incredible. The best in the world.

It’s hard to believe that I actually only spent three nights in Bangkok. We saw so many things! But the timestamps on the photos serve as evidence. We only slept for a few hours, the rest of the time we kept running around, trying to see as much as possible. That might be one of the reasons why I felt so high. However… later there were the islands and there was Chiang Mai, and the trip kept its double meaning. But that’s a story for a different day.

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About me

I am at a crossroads with several passions that, in general, may be described as words, sights, and feelings. Formally, I'm a Polish Philology and Sociology graduate and right now I work as a TV editor. Not so formally, I’m just a word lover and an amateur photographer.

Here is another thought storage of mine, old, dusty, and abandoned, where I used to write while I was studying literary criticism.

© Sylwia Kluczewska