The clock struck five on a cold, cold morning in South Korea. We groggily dragged ourselves out of our beds and dressed in the dark. This was the end of our time in South Korea, and we were headed for Thailand. Thailand was one of the first countries to be put into our itinerary, and was the place I was most excited about before setting out. Spending all of our time in new and exciting places, has certainly pushed away all excitement in anticipation for what’s to come, leaving in its place, of course, a sense of bubbling excitement for wherever we currently are. I’m very easily excited. So, I had forgotten just how excited I was about Thailand. I found myself worrying instead. I was worried that we didn’t speak Thai, I was worried that we were jumping from temperatures far below freezing to some of the highest temperatures I’ve ever been in. However, it didn’t take long after our arrival for those worries to disappear, and for me to remember why I was excited and find out that I was completely right to be so. Thailand is amazing! We have only been here but a few days and it is already a highlight of the whole itinerary.
Basically it is a vegan food paradise. This is particularly conspicuous coming off of South Korea, where things weren’t as simple as we’d hoped. We dropped our stuff off at our hostel and immediately found out about a wealth of vegan options for dinner. Our few days in Bangkok have consisted of us going around eating many different things from many different places. It’s kind of a playground. Besides all of the wonderful vegan restaurants and cafes, there are street vendors selling fresh fruit and amazing juices everywhere. I have bought a young coconut every single day since getting here. Coconuts here are as ubiquitous as they are delicious. Many street vendors will display them, and for pennies will hack open the top with a machete, stick a straw in the hole, and set you on your way with a delightful drink. The fruit here is incredible! I even had a dragon fruit that didn’t just taste like water wrapped in an endearing colour scheme.
The fruit is certainly only one element of the delicious vegan food on offer here. Among the many things I was excited for regarding Thailand, the food was certainly a high ranker. I am such a foodie, and in particular I love very spicy foods with lots of flavour. It was difficult not to be excited by what was going to be on offer here. When it was first time for us to head out for food I was bursting with enthusiasm. We went to May Veggie Home, an all vegan place, which promotes vegan activism as well as providing beautiful food. Immediately ignoring the advice I was given that I should be careful not to order spicy, I ordered very spicy! By this point in my life I am yet to find something that I feel is too spicy, and I was wondering if being in Thailand could bring that around. This, unfortunately was not the case, but what we had was amazing! The intense flavours and wealth of spices in this meal took the enthusiasm I already had and really kicked it up a notch. This is going to be a good few weeks.
Our days in Bangkok were pretty much spent going around eating tasty food. One of the joys of Bangkok is how affordable delicious food is. We initially planned to spend very little time in Bangkok – we were going to spend the day we landed here and then move on. It turns out we had an inaccurate and unfair idea on what the city was like. As it turns out we love it here! I am extremely glad we were convinced to at least give it a day before moving on.
The time did come to move on, however. We decided on a whim that we would visit Kanchanaburi for a few days. We looked around for how to get there and found out that there was a tiny train station boasting just two departures that way per day. After reading that the trains from here have open windows and the journey is as cheap as the bus at just 100 Thai Baht (that’s just $2.80!) I was sold! The journey here is beautiful! The train, while direct, does not go incredibly fast, so one can really take the time to appreciate the scenery passing by. It’s a pleasant crawl for around three hours and a great place to speak to locals. People in Thailand seem to be incredibly friendly and approachable. I spent an hour speaking to someone on the train, exchanging small trinkets from our travels. The rest of the time I was hanging my head out of the window like an excited dog. The lengthy journey is broken up with frequent stops at other small train stations, where people selling fruits, drinks, and foods will board and walk the length of the train. It’s very easy to stay refreshed and hydrated on this trip.
Our time in Kanchanaburi was nice. It’s a small town located on the River Kwai. We decided to go out and explore, and ended up spending a day here just wandering around drinking coconut water and looking at temples. We seemed to stumble into an area where every time you walked a few feet to take a picture of a beautiful temple, you would see another one in the background. There is so much to do here and nearby. We didn’t have as much luck finding a wealth of vegan restaurants here, so we ended up frequenting the same place every day we were here. We established an amusing parting of the staff telling us they would see us tomorrow. We were surprisingly saddened when the time came that they said that and we told them we it was our last time here. My biggest problem with Thailand is that it’s all going by so fast.