BANGKOK – The City That NEVER EVER Sleeps!
|2 Dogs Sleeping|
Last stop in Thailand. Using Thai Airways for the domestic flights and everything is very smooth. The airports are great, efficient and all the flights have left on time and arrived early. The planes are huge. 70 rows with 3-3-3 config. so that’s more than 600 people on one flight and the flights are full then there was another flight 55 mins later so lots of people here in this country. Shopping markets open late – they have a lot of midnight markets. Just so many tourists too from all over the world and everyone is on different sleep schedules so I guess that’s why the street are ALWAYS FULL no matter the time of day or night.
So as I mentioned in other posts for this time frame. I decided to take a trip to Asia for my birthday. Unfortunately I had to do it solo for various reasons. Its not what I preferred but it is what it is and I am having a blast. At this point already been to Chiang Mai and Phuket and next headed over to Shanghai and Beijing. Figured I should see the great wall if I am this close right?
So as usual when possible I take public transportation from the airport. This was especially efficient here in Bangkok. They have an express train to downtown and the price is cheap plus I think its faster than a taxi so why not. It actually let me out within a block from my hotel. If you are interested just do the research online before you leave and you should be good.
Decided to try something very different (for me anyway). Kickboxing is way out of my comfort zone but the concierge mentioned it and they were ring side seats so I figured why not. There was no blood but lots of sweat but 2 guys did get taken away on the stretcher. One guy got knocked out and the other guy got kicked so hard on his leg it just bought him down.
It was an interesting crowd all the way around. On my left were two very interesting french gentlemen or maybe Belgian as they were pretty hot (giggle) and on my right a couple that looked like they stepped out of a James Bond movie. It was a blast.
Take a look at the pics below.
Yesterday I did a lot of sightseeing in Bangkok. The biggest attractions are The Grand Palace, Golden Buddha and the Reclining Buddha. I also went via the river taxi and walked through China Town. Its not hard to navigate the city as it caters to tourists. Communication was not a problem and its recommended that you ask your hotel to translate important things like the hotel address into Thai just in case.
The population of Bangkok is more than 8 million people. I would say that is a conservative number. It feels more like 16 million. This city never sleeps, for that matter Thailand never sleeps. I could walk out of the hotel in all 3 cities, 2 am, 9 am 1 pm and the street activity traffic is the same. I guess because people are from all over the world on so many time schedules so everything just stays open.
Just like Chiang Mai in the north, Bangkok feels very safe, even traveling alone. I’ve had no problems while here and the people are very friendly.
I just can’t say enough about how different Asia seems than to Europe the US and Canada too ( actually unlike anyplace I’ve been so far). People will set up a place to cook, eat and sleep ANYPLACE- really. Pans are frying up food on the side of the road, in alleys on corners in stores – everywhere. You can’t take 10 steps without walking into someone sleeping, eating or cooking on the street. ( or selling something on wheels) and I am talking about Bangkok not on a back road in a small town.
I guess this goes along with city or government regulations. Also, there is not an inch of unused space on most streets. I am just trying to figure out if this is a preference or because its so many people (and tourists) it just seems like organized chaos to me. I guess that’s what makes the world so great is that everyone and place is different.
There is a lot to see and do. Shopping is great and the prices are reasonable. There is a raised public rail system that works very well. There are buses as well but I took the rail or walked. Taxi’s are plentiful but I always feel like I am overcharged and the language can be a challenge. If I use a taxi I prefer to get one from the hotel and ask how much it should cost so that I have an idea of what I should be charged. Also its important to get someone in the hotel to write in Thai since they do not use our alphabet so if they do not speak english chances are they can not read it as well. Addresses and restaurants etc. should be written in Thai for the taxi drivers.
People seem to be constantly on the go so it seems they need food on the go or something because someone is always around cooking it, selling it and eating it -boom like that – so the only thing they need do is walk a block and they can grab something to eat. Mind you they also have storefront food stores and shops so the street vendors are in addition to this.
Also like some parts of the Caribbean, a lot of the storefronts don’t have doors ( if they do i cant see them) because its always so hot here and I guess they are open almost 24 hours.
Today is my last day in Thailand. I woke up too late to go to the floating markets so I spent half the day in the spa instead. 4 hours of various treatments for about $100 US. Amazing right, and this was a really nice spa.
|Rituals Before the Fights|
Here are various pics of Bangkok. Took a river taxi to the Grand Palace, Reclining Buddha, China Town and the Sunday Market.
|Outside Largest outdoor Market I have ever experienced|