I wore the same clothes for nearly four days. Same shirt, same socks, same shoes. For almost four days. I could feel my grandparents, modern pioneers who immigrated from Mexico in the 20th century, curse my name. I could hear them saying, I didn’t change my citizenship to have you go without a proper shower and wearing the same undies for over half a week, Monique Yvette! Regardless, it was an adventure, and we’re young, so why not while we’re able to sleep sitting up for multiple nights in a row! Who says travel always has to be glamorous… I digress… we left Dublin on Sunday evening and eagerly headed for our first stop, Chiang Mai, in northern Thailand. An overnight flight on Emirates (which is now my new favorite flight experience!) landed us in Dubai on Monday morning. After spending the day exploring Dubai (spoiler alert: nothing to write home about…), we took another overnight flight that landed us in Bangkok on Tuesday morning. We stored our luggage at the train station and spent the day walking around Bangkok. Then, Tuesday night, we took the overnight train to Chaing Mai! We were so relieved to be on an overnight train because they had seats that turned into proper beds, complete with sheets and a pillow! We pulled our individual curtains shut and slept the entire 14 hour journey due to being so extremely tired from sleeping on airplanes the two nights prior.
Finally, after two nights sleeping on planes and a night sleeping on a train, we finally had reached our first vacation spot: Chaing Mai! It only took 7,136 miles and nearly 30 hours of planes and trains to do it. We got settled into our adorable guest house and were ready to take on the day!
As far as what I thought about Dubai and Bangkok… both were crowded and flashy. Dubai is very much so a male-dominated culture. Yes, it’s full of expats, and, yes, we were able to eat at Texas Roadhouse, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that men treated us like children at the Dubai airport, and stared at us weird in the metro for reasons I won’t ever understand. It’s always interesting to explore a culture so different than your own, but it’s not always fun to be talked down to simply because we’re females. Overall, I’d never take a vacation there… it’s a little too male-dominated for my slightly feminist tastes. It is also SO HOT. Like, so hot. I could fry an egg on the sidewalk in no time at all. We stayed in the Dubai Mall for most of our day simply because it was too hot to be outside, even to wait for the metro! Temperatures were over 100° while we were there and the sun BURNS, I am not exaggerating.
And Bangkok? Bangkok was also something completely different from what we were used to! Most of the younger people we saw spoke English just fine, but some of the older people struggled to tell us what their prices were. Of course, we didn’t go in expecting it to be completely Western, but it was nice to know that in many places, a fluency in Thai isn’t necessary! Our first impression of Asia was that people were really friendly, but holy moly is Thailand hot at this time of year.