It was around 7am when I settled on Ung’s Magical Jungle Safari as my first activity of substance on Thailand’s third largest island, Ko Samui. The glossy flier spoke of the same crocodile dens, waterfalls, genitalia-shaped rocks, and mummified monk as the others, yet it was the portrayal of carefree Western backpackers riding the roofs of jeeps through the jungle that won me over. I had gathered the pamphlets upon arrival at the popular and gorgeous Chaweng beach the day before.
I then surprised myself, sleeping for 15 straight hours without the aid of a single sip of alcohol. In retrospect, I needed to make up for more than just the 3 hours of sleep on the overnight bus ride from Bangkok to Surat Thani. I needed to make up for the lack of sleep my first 5 nights in Thailand.
Before the trials of India, the trek in Nepal, the modern Asian metropolises and even before the Kuta clubs on Bali, I’d been fantasizing about my travels to Thailand. I wanted to hit Bangkok with a bang! Maybe not the first night, but I imagined late nights in large dance clubs, drinking in the streets, meeting girls left and right, and getting my first taste of authentic pad thai.
Then reality slapped me in the face, but not before I enjoyed that first pad thai.
So lets rewind and review those first few days in Bangkok before heading off on Mr. Ung’s undoubtedly adventurous jungle safari.