Yum: Hanoi’s Addictive Street Food
Oh boy, where do I begin? Northern Vietnam had hands down my favorite cuisine of the 20+ countries we visited over the past year (note: I do not feel it would be fair to include Italy in the running for ...
Cat Ba Island: Taking the Plunge
With our time in Vietnam running a bit short, and having gotten our exposure to the countryside and mountains on our motorbiking trip, and to city life with a few days in Hanoi, we decided what was missing was some ...
Motorbiking in Northeastern Vietnam
Before visiting Southeast Asia, we weren't big motorbiking enthusiasts; in fact, Claudia's motorbiking experience consisted entirely of a few anxiety-ridden hours in Europe many years ago, and mine consisted of crashing a small toy bike into a fence in Portland, ...
Monkey Business: Ziplining Through the Jungle in Laos
Our first stop in Laos was a three-day adventure in the Bolaven Plateau in the southern part of the country. After an all day bus trip from Phnom Penh (Cambodia), we crossed the border and arrived in Pakse, a sleepy ...
Are you a bro on spring break from college looking to score? Then you're going to love this place! Let me back up...
We took the overnight bus from Krabi to Bangkok, and arrived at the unfortunate hour of 5:30 am. As we walked down Khao San Road toward our hotel, the smells of beer-stained asphalt, leftover pad thai and desperation hung heavy in the humid air. It was still dark, some bars and clubs were still thumping to the beat of crappy techno, drunk guidbros who look like they are still mourning not making the cut for Jersey Shore were stumbling down the block, street cleaners were sweeping up broken beer bottles, and ladies of the night were looking for their last customers of the evening. I was thrilled when we entered our seemingly clean, safe, and stylish hotel lobby. Little did I know, there is no safe haven on Khao San Road, the legendary ground zero of Southeast Asia's backpacker scene. The place is basically Cancun, minus the refreshing sea breeze and somewhat clear ocean water. Here's a timeline of the scene that unfolded before us:
5:50 am Nick and Claudia arrive to the hotel fresh off a tiring overnight bus ride; our room is obviously not ready so we take a seat in the hotel lobby.
5:55 am A short, rotund man walks into lobby with a very tall lady-boy and pays for a room.
6:00 am The lady-boy leaves the hotel.
6:10 am Two young American men come down to the lobby and check out of their room. They call their other two friends who were staying in a different room, beacuse it is time for them to take a taxi to the airport. The receptionist, while giggling, tells the two young men that their friends "took two ladies up a few hours ago!"
6:20 am The other two young men arrive in the lobby with huge grins on their faces. We do not feel it would be appropriate to transcribe the conversation that ensued among the four young men, but suffice it to say there were some gems. Among other things, they were discussing one of the young men's certainty with regard to the prostitute's anatomy. They all leave for the airport while high-fiving.
[6:25 am Claudia takes out the laptop to write about this scene.]
6:45 am A young man enters the lobby with a prostitute; they check into a room on the ground floor.
6:50 am The young man leaves the hotel.
6:55 am The young man returns to the hotel with a small bottle of milk.
7:00 am A wholesome looking couple comes down to the lobby from their room. I realize the female half of the couple is the first woman I've seen in this hotel lobby who is not a prostitute.
7:15 am We're let into our room and are comforted by the printed sign on the wall laying out the hotel's rules. Among them, "Do not bring prostitutes in the hotel" and "No person with infectious diseases are allowed to stay."
This, my friends, is Khao San Road, Bangkok. All the hand sanitizer in the world can't come close to making this place anything but filthy.
*Note: There is no photo gallery for this post. You're welcome.