Getting emotional about the chaos that’s happening, Anton asked me to compile photos about Bangkok. Last night as I was drafting stuff for the video blog, I went through my old blogs for reference and I saw this 2-year old post. It says much I know about Bangkok so I thought of just updating it and repost.
I can still remember my initial reaction when I learned that I’m going to Bangkok, “I don’t like to go there!”. So what’s with Bangkok that made me go back over and over again? Maybe I should list it all down here so that once and for all, I could find all the right answers to my question:
A MECCA FOR FOOD LOVER – When you’re in Bangkok, you don’t need to go to posh restaurant for a very good meal. The best foods are found on the streets. Hawker (meaning stalls or push carts on the streets selling home-made specialties, they are found at street junctions, along Sois [Soi means street in Thai] or just about anywhere as long as there’s a space and crowd hungry for REAL food] food are just the best. Bangkok comes alive at night, so the best time to feed your appetite is past dinner time until wee hours of the morning. There you can find different kind of really delicious noodles, fried chicken, grilled sausages and corn, fried crickets and bugs, and they serve the bottled drinks in a plastic bag with crushed ice. I tell you, Thailand, particularly Bangkok, is a hawkers’ paradise. OK, ok, if you’re really into posh dining go to Vertigo (highest open rooftop restaurant in Bangkok located at Banyan Tree Hotel) or The Dome, Le Vue to name a few. They offer dinner with a breath-taking view.
SHOPPING HAVEN – Shop until you drop when you’re in Bangkok. Again, the best bargains are not found in those high class places. So bye-bye credit cards because you’ll be needing cash, cash, cash and more cash as bazaars and flea markets are the best place for shopping. They have a particular shopping area for all the street fashion apparels found at Siam Square and MBK, the fake and imitation stuff are found all over Bangkok (which I hated,haha), but to be particular go to Pat Pong, textile and other cheap items are found in Pratunam. They have this night Bazaar in Suan Lum which houses 300 plus stalls, and the best of the best is Jatujak weekend market that has 15,000++ stalls. Whew! Just typing these all down makes me want to pass out.
TEMPLES, TEMPLES – Around 90% of Thais are Buddhist. Never miss their colourful temples or what they WAT, rich in culture and history. I have learned that ladies can not touch the monks. If want to give them something you have to pass it on to a guy or put in a basket and never ever touch them. You also need to remove your shoes when entering the temples and for some, no cameras are allowed. In almost every corner of the street you’ll find altars or what they call “spirit houses”. It comes in different kinds with different gods, and has different purpose. Don’t be surprised when you see locals lighting an incense and praying as they pass by that altar. They also offer flowers and food and that red Fanta drink. It’s like us Catholics making a sign of the cross as we pass by a church.
A ONE OF A KIND TRANSPO – Bangkok traffic jam is terrible and nerve wrecking. So you better avoid rush hours which starts at 4PM. Avoid riding their colored taxis if you don’t want to put all your cash to trash. If in a rush, take the BTS Skytrain, if you want adventure you can try their Tuk-Tuk, but be sure to have an expertise in haggling for the fare price….but for MORE adventure, you should try their Motorcyle Taxi. Yes, you read it right, a two-wheeled taxi. Im telling ya, you’ll be in your destination before you know it. Just make sure to hold as tight as possible if you don’t want to be on the headline of Bangkok Post the following morning.
COLORFUL NIGHTLIFE – In the early years, we’ve been clubbing to places that you can find in the internet where all the Farangs (foreigners) go, such as Bed Supperclub (bring your passport or they won’t let you in), Q Bar, Narcissus, Twisted Republic, and Glow. Thank heavens, we discovered RCA—it’s a strip of club FULL of locals. We really feel like one of them, it’s cool. Farangs were outnumbered by the locals (parteee people) and we can actually blend in. It’s like Encore and Manor in Manila,just enjoy and PARTEEE!
GOOD COMPANY – Bangkok always give me good happy memories. Joven and Maya joined me on a separate trips and it really made my stay there extra special. I also got the chance to bond with my ex-colleague from APL Thailand—Ornthida. Last year I met my friends from Multiply—Mommy Ludette and Mommy Rocky to meet up with our Thai friends Sherry and P’Mod. And most of all, it’s always with my love.
It’s been 6 years and 19 trips and I still can’t get enough of Bangkok. At this point, I can say that I hated myself when I said I don’t like to go there. I miss Bangkok every single day. Here’s wishing that the chaos would finally stop so I can go and be a Thai once again, but for now, all I can do is dream about that special place.