Bangkok to Bali - Leaving Bangkok

The next suite of updates over the coming week covers my trip from Bangkok to Bali. The trip, which lasted month, exposed me to some more beautiful parts of our world which I was lucky to share with an amazing group of people. For many, including myself, this trip was life changing. Here are some of those stories...

I arrived at my hotel in Bangkok ready to start my final big tour before heading to a new life in Australia. I remember entering the room and seeing a pink suitcase on the floor with a girls name on the tag.  I had book this next stage of my trip with a travel company called Gap Adventures (now G Adventures).

My last Gap Adventures trip was Beijing to Kathmandu and so whilst in the UK I thought I’d finish my Asia tour with a final trip. With these trips you share a room with someone. I was lucky on my last trip that Terrance, the crazy American guy, wanted a room on his own so I got one all to myself.

The weeks approaching this final trip I really didn’t want to go on it. I wanted to get a refund and be somewhere else. I had to way up whether it was a good idea or not.  I decided to continue on.

So back to the room. A pink bag. My first thoughts were that I’m sharing a room with a girl. That’s going to be a hard one to explain to the boss. Then as I spent time thinking of some excuses, a lad walked in by the name of Eric. Eric would soon become a famous individual on our trip, but more on that later.

We introduced each other and he was a great lad. His parents originally from Vietnam, Eric was born and raised in the US and was an intelligent 18 year old, working hard to go to medical school to become an anaesthesiologist (I must say, I spelt that correctly first time!).

He explained the pink bag to me and I explained the reasons behind my panic. After that we headed down for our meeting with the rest of the group, then off for dinner together to get to know each other and get the opportunity to meet our CEO (chief experience officer) Nin.

The place we went to eat was called ‘Cabbages and Condoms’. A famous restaurant that has impressive displays built or decorated using condoms. Okay okay, it sounds weird I know but when you look at the pictures you can see it’s quite impressive.

The food there was good too and we got a great opportunity to know each other. We managed to get our first group shot together too, however by the end of that night some where at lot worse for wear.

The group

The following day was a free day before our overnight train ride so Eric and I headed to my favourite mall and ate at my favourite restaurant before taking in a movie.

At the cinema a local Thai band where there promoting their album I believe. They were clearly popular as the place was heaving with cameramen, photographers and reporters all looking for that perfect shot. Eric and I joined in the photography taking, not knowing whom we were taking a picture of or even if it was the right person too – it could just be one of their assistants, I’ll never know.

That night we all headed to quite a nice sleeper train from Bangkok station. As we were ready to depart from Bangkok, Nin brought our group together ready for a quick update on what’s going to happen over the next 24 hours. Everyone was there but one person. Eric. This was a defining moment for Eric on our trip as it led to numerous calls throughout the following weeks ahead of…

“Where’s Eric?”

The train began to depart the station; alarmed our first thoughts were that he was still on the platform (we were located at the end of the train, closest to the main concourse). Checking the platform from our windows we could see he wasn’t there. I then headed to the vestibule area where the toilets were located and found Eric answering the call of nature.

The sad thing for Eric and more importantly those relatives on the platform waving goodbye to loved ones, was that Thai trains don’t have the same style restrooms that we have on British trains. They are not chemical toilets but in fact a hole in the ground that goes straight to the track.

So not only were those relatives left with tears down their face watching their loved ones leave as the train pulled out, they were also left with a little present from Eric sitting in the middle of the track.


  1. Great read Dave,Love the photo'

  2. It's been 8 years since I was last in Thailand, but on the trains south towards Surat Thani and Trang each carriage used to have a toilet at each end. One hole-in-the-floor and one western style. I never realised until my friends told me afterwards as I just went to the nearest end each time. Not sure if has changed since then but did you try the other end?


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