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I was a bad tourist in Bangkok.

I had done no research whatsoever prior to entering the country. Not a single glance at TripAdvisor or Wikitravel. No looking at Bangkok and Thailand hashtags on Instagram. No learning key Thai words and phrases. No list of “must-do” and “if time” activities for my first time in a new country. In the rush of finishing my job with a bang and packing my life into some boxes in a closet at my family’s house, I simply hadn’t had the time to prepare anything resembling an itinerary for my visit to the capital of Thailand.

Even so, I had a fantastic time!

My flight arrived late on a Sunday night after a jam-packed 10 days in Hong Kong. I cleared customs after midnight and met my friend Stéphane before heading into the city and getting a good night of sleep.

I spent the next four days being the laziest traveler ever! My days were spent socializing, walking around the area near our hotel, eating delicious vegan food, and following Stéphane through various parks and gardens.

Day 1 was recovery day. I was so exhausted from Hong Kong that I ended up spending my Monday resting and then eventually working up the motivation to go on a walk around nearby malls. Stéphane carried around my camera the whole week, so on this particular day, all the photos he took were of me.

By the end of the evening, I was reminded of my celebrity status in Southeast Asia when someone asked to take a selfie with me. This used to happen all the time when I lived in Indonesia, and it was something I always found extremely uncomfortable in the past, but I’m not so painfully camera-shy anymore and now I happily pose when asked!

The nature adventures began on Day 2, when we walked to the nearby Benjakitti park on our way to meet up with a friend for lunch.

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I enjoyed seeing all the flowers, and I was so excited that we even saw a beautiful spider and a monitor lizard.

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Our vegan lunch at May Veggie Home was amazing. I ordered the “shrimp” pad thai, and it was as pretty as it was delicious!

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Later that day, we ended up in Chinatown. I loved getting glimpses of some temples, and I loved the Chinese New Year decorations everywhere.

I was also in love with all the cute motorbikes propped up against picturesque backgrounds. If I had to pick a favorite, it’d be this cute pink one.

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The highlight of Day 3 was a trip to the Bangkok Insectarium and Butterfly Garden. Since I love bugs, and Stéphane is an actual entomologist, visiting this place was a total no-brainer.

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It was being renovated and was really just a tent with some pretty butterflies, but we also enjoyed the walk around the many nearby connected parks.

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Day 4 of the trip was another quiet day of socializing and not much else, other than packing and heading to the airport.

So ultimately, while I feel like I barely got a taste of Thai culture, I loved my relaxing days spent walking around nature in the heat and humidity of Thailand’s capital city. I look forward to returning to the country one day to see more, but for now, it was a good reintroduction to Southeast Asia. My next destination was Indonesia!

Love, Elizabeth

*All photos of me, as well as the shot of the monitor lizard and the spider, were taken by Stéphane. The rest were taken by me on my phone!

Have you ever been to Thailand? What should I add to my to-do list when I go back?