Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Bangkok first impressions

Bangkok is so incredibly different from all of India it's not even funny. It's so, so clean, and not just in comparison to India; it's cleaner than most US cities I've been to also. It's very metropolitan and you can tell by the way people dress and act. Fashionistas abound, even at 7:30 in the morning. Shopping could pretty much take up all of your time in Bangkok if that was your thing. (I wish it was my thing, but since I'm living out of a backpack right now, space is of the essence. Shopping will have to wait til next time.) Traffic - vehicle traffic, people traffic, train traffic - is what you'd expect in a city of almost eight million, but it somehow seems more organized than I've ever witnessed before.

Having said all that, Bangkok is still a historical city. So while one minute you might be looking at this:

The next minute you're looking at this:

It's a crazy juxtaposition and it really does have me pinching myself (as ToadMama suggested), asking if I'm really in Bangkok.

Today I got up and out of the house early and, after taking care of a couple of errands/Skype calls, I headed to Wat Phra Kaew and Grand Palace (pictured above). That ate up a good chunk of time and I wasn't quite sure what I felt like doing after that, so I headed north towards the neighborhood of Banglamphu, specifically the backpackers' mecca - Khao San Road. Here you can find more food, drink, internet cafes, and stuff for sale (including naughty t-shirts) than you can shake a stick at. And remember when just a moment ago I said that space is of an essence and I can't buy stuff blah blah blah? Yeah, well, I bought myself a a roomy, $3 shoulder bag to use as a day pack. The one I've been using is a great size and perfect in every way. . .except on those days when I want to carry a travel guide with me, then it's just too packed and weighed down.

Anyhoo, after a couple hours of wandering Khao San and people watching, I headed back to the house. Tonight Sam and I will go out for dinner (traditional Thai food which is good since I had a burger for lunch today - what can I say, I've missed eating beef!) and then to a place called Moon Bar which is supposed to have fabulous night time views of Bangkok.

Btw, today's jaunts involved two train rides, two boat rides, and LOTS of walking. Guess who didn't get lost? Me! (At one point I didn't really know where I was, but then again, I didn't know where I wanted to head either, so that doesn't count.) Huh, I guess maybe after 15 weeks of being on the road I'm finally learning something. :-)


  1. Naughty t-shirts? Awesome. See any Engrish yet? You know I am waiting for that. Who knew Bangkok would be clean? (Laura, please read my comment out loud to Aaron so he can have a chuckle on me.) Love ya!

  2. See?!! I knew you could do it. No compass either! I'm so proud. ;)

  3. ToadMama - Nope, no Engrish yet, but my eyes are peeled for sure! And thanks for giving Aaron another laugh. I tried to work into my post that I'd written Bangkok x number of times just to make Aaron giggle, but then I realized I hadn't actually used it all that much. Oops.

    Aja - I don't think you could be as proud as I am, lol.

  4. love it! Aaron says to tell you to ask someone what the capital to thailand is, hit them in the nuts and say "bangkok!" . i've married a child everyone . . . xoxoL

  5. Laura - that is hilarious!

    I'm glad you're having fun and I hope we get to Skype soon. It feels like forever ago since we actually talked.

    Miss you and love you!