I had no intention of drinking today. And yet it’s 12:30am and I’m kinda tipsy. Oops:)
I arrived in Bangkok mid-afternoon and exhausted despite sleeping rather well on the plane. By the time I got to my guest house – one train, two skytrains, and 30 min wandering the ‘soi’ alleyways with my rolleybag I needed a nap. By the time I was up, showered and ready to see the city it was around 7:30pm and dark. I had one goal: find a hairdryer I can take with me to Burma (I’m planning on staying in low-mid range guest houses so not sure if they will all have one available).
After wandering the night market in Patang a few blocks from where I’m staying I decided to check out tripadvisor for a decent restaurant in the hood. I’m so glad I did! #67 rated restaurant in Bangkok, The Oasis Lounge, was nearby and boasted authentic thai food. I headed there and ate my first thai meal: spring rolls & papaya salad with freshly cut open coconut water to drink. Yummy.
Little did I know that wasn’t the best part. Towards the end of my meal, my lovely server asked me where I was from. I told her Canada…Toronto. Her eyes lit up and told me that the owner is from Toronto too. Before I could say anything she rushed downstairs (it’s a two level restaurant) to get him. He invited me to the downstairs bar area to see the rest of the place and I ended up staying to chat for a while. Turns out he’s originally from Elliot Lake (Jen Kennealy, can you believe it!? He didn’t know your family name but knew a Richard Kennealy – is that Devon’s dad?!)
Two drinks on the house later and we’d now covered a wide range of topics ranging from his previous business back in Toronto/Elliot Lake (industrial crystal/glass etching), thai politics, why, according to my new friend Philipinos are apparently better at cleaning than Thai people (Thai people are better at the big picture vs details) and the best entertainment in the area. Tipsy, I left with new friends, a plan for tomorrow night (Robert’s wife Bom is going to take me to a pingpong show) and entertainment for tonight! If that wasn’t all, on the way out Robert told me that his main server is Burmese…what luck! After talking for a bit she told me that her boyfriend is in Burma and if I’m in the Inle Lake area he could show me around…yay!
Leaving the Oasis around 11pm I made my way to the strip bar down the street, which Robert told me holds amateur muy thai fights every night around 11pm. Sure enough, I walk in and the first of three fights is in full swing. They’re so quick I had trouble getting a good shot, but it was fun to watch! Around midnight the fighting was over and I was tipsy by this point (there’s no cover but you are expected to buy drinks to stay). At midnight the ring was dismantled and rolled up, the dancing poles and tables are replaced, and the dancing girls with lifeless eyes return to their shift. I watched for a little bit, got bored and walked home through the street vendors to my guest house. A rather good first night in Bangkok.