Saturday, October 20, 2012

Thailand: My Hosteling International HI Experience in Bangkok

Before I went to NZ, I signed up for Hosteling International (HI) membership for 2 years. It helped me save some bucks in accommodation especially when I bought the vouchers in bulk. Since I was traveling alone in Bangkok and my stay was short, I opted to stay in YHA.

Actually I have nothing much to tell from this point onward. facepalm!
I was in Sukhothai bus station and planned to catch the bus at 5pm to Bangkok. When it's my turn in the queue, ticket was sold out and the next bus to the city was at 8.30pm. Lol. Due to the 3.5 hours gap, I arrived in Bangkok at 3.30am in the morning. My plan was to wait until daybreak so that I could catch a train to Siam station and check in to Lub D hostel. After some time, I realized that this was not a good idea so I decided to check in to a hostel first and catch a sleep. Prior to my arrival, I wrote down a few YHA addresses and informed the metered taxi driver to send me to the YHA in Dusit area. HI Baan Thewet and HI Bangkok are located nearby. In case there's no 24-hour reception, I still have an option. That's my so-called contingency plan. Lol. After some troubles finding out the location of the hostel, finally I made it there. The problem of traveling in Thailand is the locals couldn't understand address in English and I have problem writing Thai language. I gave up before the taxi operator giving up. I need to thank him very very much. Kop khun ka!

Bangkok YHA

There's a late-middle-age guy arrived before me. His nationality is France but he looked like an Asian. He wanted to save some bucks so the receptionist reckoned him to stay in dorm instead of single room. She told him that he had to bunk with another Thai guy in the dorm. He popped a question, "Is it safe?". Lol. He must be a first-timer.
Since it's still early, I asked the receptionist where could I do dana offering to the monks. She showed me the map and explained to me that the Thais make offering in odd number like 1, 3, 5 etc. She didn't know why and that's the practice so I just followed suit. Streets in Bangkok are lively early in the morning and alms offering is best to be done before 7am. I bought several ready-made fried rice packets and offered to the monks. Some monks would chant a prayer after the alms-giving. Take a read at this blog post to learn more about offerings to monks. H.E. Tsem Tulku Rinpoche explains best.

This plant looks special to me. You can't find it in KL, only soi in Bangkok on YHA wall.
Interesting Plant On The Wall

The hostel did provide pretty decent breakfast. Toast, eggs and coffee/ tea. I shared the same dining table with a Thai business man and a few Cambodian undergraduates. The undergrads got scholarships from the government to obtain their tertiary educations in Thailand university. One of them speaks English well and others just afraid to talk, I guess. And the course that they enroll in is IT. Opps!
The hostel host is an American guy from San Francisco. He's patient because I overheard his conversation with the Japanese guys and he repeated the same sentence for a hundred times. Lol. He hired the locals to help him in cooking and cleaning. One Thai lady let me try a cup of blue-purplish chilled drinks. She said the plant is called "Butterfly Wing" and showed the flower to the host somewhere outside the hostel. I think it is made from the flower that made up the color of nyonya kuih. The locals just boil it and drink like herbal tea. My favorite Thai beverage still goes to Roselle. :p

Hostel is not luxurious but being a frugal traveler, I'm satisfied. I call YHA in NZ home.



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