We’ve been here just over a week now but I can honestly say that it feels a lot longer! Fortunately (despite barely sleeping on the plane) I didn’t seem to suffer any jet lag – just the usual tiredness anyone would get after a long journey and adjusting to the heat! On our second night here I was awoken by what I thought was the BTS train derailing outside our apartment. Turns out it was ‘just’ a thunder storm. I can honestly say that I have never heard or seen a thunder storm like it! But it’s amazing how quickly you adapt as it happens at least once a day/night and now it’s totally normal. What would be a big deal at home has become everyday life! Unfortunately trying to get a taxi in the rain is a near impossible task and the traffic is horrendous, and the public transport becomes incredibly packed – literally like sardines (thank god for air-con!).
For our first few days we stayed at an Airbnb studio in On Nut, along the BTS line which takes you straight into town. It made a great base for exploring BKK and checking out other apartments to permanently move to! After a few days doing touristy things and getting a feel for BKK we decided it was time to find a permanent apartment. This was a very hot and sweaty day, between walking and catching taxis we ended up looking at about 10 condos in one day. Some were stunning new high rise builds, others not so much… Some were filthy and looked like someone had been squatting there with dishes in the sink, toys on the floor, photos of the owners on the wall, shoes randomly left on the floor… I could go on! The final place we looked at was a residential part of a hotel complex. We nearly skipped viewing it because we were so hot and bothered but i’m glad we persisted. The location is in a place called Bang Kapi – quite far out of the center but closer to work. Between 10 – 40 minutes to work depending on traffic, 30 minutes – 1 hour drive into the city, or 10 minutes to the Airport link that gets you into town in 10 minutes. Nearby is The Mall (Bangkapi) which hosts a Tesco Lotus, Gourmet Market (our new favourite supermarket), a night market, a department store, cinema etc. The condo itself has a gym and swimming pool and was the biggest apartment we looked at (62m2 – a lot for BKK!) After a big trip to IKEA and a few markets it’s already feeling like a home from home for us. There is a tiny little garden center (more like a plot of land with a few plants dotted around that you can buy) next door so we’ve even started a mini garden on one of our balconies!
The food here is amazing, and cheap! Although I must confess that our first meal here was a Mcdonalds (the shame!) but it was 12am, we had only just arrived and didn’t know where to eat at that time. Since then we have been exploring the street food more, including some incredibly spicy food as well as some really tasty food – phad thai, thai curry, papaya salad – all normally between 50 and 100 baht (that’s £1-£2 roughly)! As cheap as it is there isn’t any good street food near our current place (there is street food near us but not sure i would trust it…) so we have been exploring the supermarkets and cooking a little at home. Unfortunately we dont know how to cook much Thai food but we did try and make a Thai curry with freshly made curry paste from Tesco Lotus. This didn’t end well, we used 1/2 teaspoon of curry paste and 2 tins of coconut milk and our mouths were on fire (which caused a serious case of ‘delhi belly’ the next day).
After just over a week of being here, we’ve got out apartment and phones sorted and we start our new jobs on Monday. Rob cant wait, I however, am feeling a bit anxious about it but feeling ready to get started and now we are settled it would be nice to start meeting other people and making friends! We just need to get a bank account opened and oh yeah, I still need a work visa! (I’ve been told I will need to get the train into Laos, stay over night and then return the next day with a 60 day visa**. So that’s going to be fun! Maybe?!
I am aware I may come across a little negative at times about my experience in BKK but despite the craziness of it all, l love it and can see myself being here a while. I want this blog to reflect an honest experience or mine and Robs time here – my aim isn’t to paint a pretty picture of “what an amazing time we are having” and “see how perfect our lifes are” like so many social media apps do these days – there will be ups and downs, good days and bad days (we’ve had numerous people/taxi drivers trying to scam us already – more on that in another post!) and I want this blog to reflect that.