Bangkok was phenomenal. I’ll start there.
The Dins arrived at night on Wednesday the 18th, and we headed straight to our hotel, the Sukosol, a gorgeous hotel a few miles outside the city center. We were all pretty tired after a long day of travel, so after getting some nourishment at a nearby 7/11, we all conked out.
The next morning, groups of Dins met up to go and explore Bangkok. Thursday was a completely free day for us, and we all wanted to get an early start on taking the town. I, along with Kevin, Ethan, and Sam, hopped in a cab to head to the Thai Royal Palace. The four of us walked around the palace grounds and took some photos, taking in the architecture, a style vastly different than what we had seen so far on tour. Reds, greens, yellows, and gold abounded, with flame-like designs and a lot of pointy adornments called Stupas.
We, then, headed toward Wat Phra– wat being the Thai word for temple – the home of the famous Reclining Buddha. The Buddha lived up to the hype – or lived down to it? It was massive, and words don’t do its size justice.
After Wat Phra, I split off from the group in order to explore the city with a bit more speed. In the next four hours, I managed to walk across the whole city, take a three Bhat ferry across the river, see an additional four Wat and a Dragon shrine, partake of some on-point street food, have a conversation about Thai politics with a Thai political science professor, and eat the most phenomenal vegetarian Pad Thai I have ever had (a large plate + large glass bottle of water was 100 Bhat = $3 USD)! It was great to have a bit of personal time to explore, and it was one of the best and most tiring days of tour for me!
Photos by Eli Troen #250
That night, the Dins all met up to head to Pinky Tailor, a long-standing tradition for the Dins. Pinkys is a tailor shop the Dins visit every tour to buy cheap but wonderfully-made custom suits. Picking out fabrics from the copious selection and getting measured for hours is a bonding experience like none other, and we were all so thrilled to be getting some dapper looking formal wear. Wait 'till Singapore to see photos!
After that, all of the Dins rushed on over to a nearby movie theater to catch a screening of The Incredibles 2. We laughed and we [read: I] cried, and we all left the theater, mouths agape because it was so spectacular.
The next day, we had an early wake up – and we walked down the street from the Sukosol, to perform at a local school. We had such a fun time at the performance, and the audience seemed to love it! We were each presented with a really nice boutonniere, which we wore during the performance. After, a few of us took advantage of our short break to hit up the pool and the gym (probably working out for the first time in over a month!). That night, we had two back-to-back performances at the Sukosol, the first for a group of ambassadors and diplomats and the second for an intimate crowd of hotel guests.
After our performances, many of the Dins met up at the hotel bar for some cocktails, and later, Michael, Sam, and Sydney took me out to a Drag Club as a belated birthday celebration! At one point during the night, I was taken up onto the stage and improvised a provocative dance to “All That Jazz” from the musical Chicago. I hope there are no videos. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
The next day, Kevin, Sang-o, Michael, Austin, and I went out to the Chatuchak Market for some shopping – and we were not disappointed. There were knock-offs and unique clothing pieces and lots of food. I could have spent so much more time there than I did – but I, at least, got a few cool items.
Ending our time in Thailand, that night we headed over to the Siam Hotel, one of the Sukosol’s sister hotels, and we performed a really snappy set in a really cool space. Nylon Thailand, a fashion magazine, also stopped in to take photos and to write a little bit about us!
All in all, Thailand was one of my favorite stops of tour. The culture and the food and the architecture (and the people!) that we experienced were all so amazing and so unique, and I know that I will jump at the next chance I have to go back and explore more!
Eli Troen #250