Amazing people I met in Bangkok: travel changes my life
For the last 20 years, I stayed at home and welcomed Tet - Lunar New Year with family and relatives. This year, 2018, I decided to...
For the last 20 years, I stayed at home and welcomed Tet - Lunar New Year with family and relatives. This year, 2018, I decided to pack my bag to Bangkok to discover the country I wished to visit before 22 years old. Now, I am 20, about to turn 21.
In the whole of my life, I spend time travelling alone and I am into it so much. I remember when someone asked me that why I didn't return home at Tet, I simply thought that being far away from home at special holiday like Lunar New Year was not abnormal. It isn't because I don't want to meet my parents, it is because I want to spend this time exploring. It is the longest holiday I have this year when I must not work for an entire week. I would love to live for my own, I travel.
In Bangkok, I met different strangers who helped me a lot though we didn't really know each other. I met a girl at the bus station, asking her the way to DraftBoard. She opened the map and then told me that she could take me to the place I wanted to go to. We said goodbye to each other at the door of DraftBoard and then she returned to the bus station to get to her offfice. She was amazingly kind-hearted and friendly. I felt thankful to her so much for her sincere treat. When I was in China Town, a local guy asked me if we could hang out together. We knew each other on Couchsurfing. I texted "ok" and told him the coffee shop I was sitting in. After 40 minutes, he turned out and he took me to everywhere in Bangkok on his motorbike. He was so so nice and friendly. He didn't mind walking with me. We walked a lot. He showed me to Golden Mount, to some festivals, to Khao San Road, to other tourist spots and we had dinner under the bridge. We talked a lot. He seemed to be cozy and a little bit shy. At 8 pm, he drove me to the hotel and we said goodbye to each other.
Each day, each hotel, I met different friends from different countries. When I got to Petit hostel, I realised that it was actually one of the most awesome hostels in Bangkok I have ever known. The service was amazing, the host was so friendly. He showed me the places and food I should go to and experience. I could use free bike and they had a big and clean kitchen where I could cook some food and boil water. The hostel was near the river, at night, I got to the top floor where I met a friend named Hector from Colombia. We talked a lot of things, enjoying the firework over there at the river. I told him that a lot of people left university and worked for the rest of their life, other people left university and continued to learn till they died. When I travelled, I saw that a lot of people at my age also travelled alone and they have been to a lot of countries in the world. Travel opens my mind, of course, and travel makes me feel like that I am only such a little fish in a big ocean.
I see that at my age, money seems to be the main problem which hinders me from visiting different countries. I try to visit 2, 3 countries a year and when I get older, I will approach more countries. I think knowledge is the key to get financial freedom. This year, I earn about x million dong, maybe next year I will earn the double. So don't worry about the thing that you don't have a chance to travel a lot, but please gain knowledge in different ways you can: maybe not from travel but from books, internet and especially, from the people you meet, from the experience you create on your own. I like progress. It may not progress about physical stuff, money but the progress you get from inside.
I love the way when I see even 70 years old man learn how to speak a new language while many young people stop learning after they graduate. They just work, make money and just that. I see a lot of young people I met in my trip to Bangkok, they travel cheap, with the money they have, they don't spend on expensive hotels, they stay at dormitory, sharing room with many other travellers. The people who are knowledgeable know how to use money intelligently. I remember when I got to Bangkok on the first day, I met Rio, a 27 year old Filipino girl who has lived in Vietnam for 5 years as an English teacher. She said that she worked and sent money back home. But now, she wanted to stop it to save money, learning about investment. At school, they never teach us how to manage money. They teach us a lot of things but have never taught us about making money and using money cleverly. That is a reason why so many young people are still stuck in finance.
I don't think it is selfish when I say that I feel free when I am far from home. Perhaps, at my age, or just my liking, I want more freedom and nostalgia doesn't happen often in my life for the last 3 years. My parents call me and ask how my life is and if I am broke. They don't ask me when I go back home so I have less pressure. I want to go further and I really love progress. I like meeting new people, talking with them about different things. I don't care if who they are, white or black, which religion they have, which country they come from providing they are good ones. I want to host many different meetups at the place I live. It may be in Saigon or in Hanoi, anywhere. I want to writing anything that can make people progress, too. So, from the moment I created the project "100 influential people", I never regret about the decision I made. I love it. I love pressure. Pressure is a good thing when you calmly think twice about the merit you build is from the effort you make. Pressure is always necessary because it makes us grow.
I talked to an old Russian friend. He was in Bangkok when I was in Bangkok. He worked here and I told him that sometimes I really wanted to be alone, all alone but from time to time, I needed to talk. I really prefer a deep talk to a small talk. I like spending time with someone that is willing to share stories. When I talk, I will talk a lot. When I prefer to be alone, I will be alone, dumb, and relax.
Today, I rode the hostel's bike to somewhere near the river, spending time all alone and if you ask me if I feel lonely, the answer is absolutely yes but sometimes, I feel peaceful inside. It is life, never gives you 100% perfect moments. Following the advice of the host of the hostel, I rode the bike to Asiatique to enjoy the vibe there. We had free boat travel on Chao Phraya river where I could see the a vibrant and wealthy Bangkok with tall buildings and high-quality structures. I got off the boat and tried to walk around. I stopped at Buddhist Temple, it was one of the colorful and beautiful temples I have ever seen in the whole of my life. There, I saw a man who was selling ice cream. I asked him to have one and gave him all the coins on hand. I wasn't sure if it was enough, I gave more coins. He took the coin 1 baht and gave me back 0.5 baht (about 350 vnd dong). "Wow" I was surprised that he gave me back that really really little money. He kept 10 baht on hand (just about 7.500 dong). Now, I saw a Thai man was so honest and fair like that.
If you visit Bangkok, I recommend you to stay near the river and book a room at Petit hostel and enjoy the vibe here. Local food is so great, taking a free boat at Asiatique at 4pm till 11 pm on Chao Phraya river and walk around there to visit different temples. People in Thailand were so amazing. I felt like at home when I was here. Tourism in Bangkok develops well and I see why it grows fast. Because the service progress, the way Thai people treat other people is so gentle and so friendly. They don't sell things with higher prices for foreigners, they take care of tourists in a positive way. That is what I see from 5 last days in Bangkok.
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