Bangkok – Melting Pot, Metropolis and City without Limits
08 Sep 2014
There are many reports and many different opinions about Thailand’s capital. After we left Phuket by plane, we could soon make up our own minds. Our host Tor welcomed us warmly in the evening and we agreed to meet up the next morning because he wanted to show us the surrounding area. Through narrow backyard alleys, which we would never have dared to enter alone, we explored the surrounding neighborhood. We not only learned about the history of the area, but directly tried out local delicacies like chrysanthemum tea or banana rice grilled in banana leaves.
At a station characteristic of Bangkok – the water taxis – Tor left us and we started our first river cruise. The boat took us to the temple compound Wat Pho, where we planned to have a closer look. The entire complex surpassed in many respects everything previously experienced: the size and number of temples, shrines and statues, the intensity of the roaring sun and the associated heat, the mass of people (and communicative pupils). Everything was bigger, better and warmer.
Following our visit we drove for the first time in a tuk tuk (three-wheeled vehicle which is characteristic of Southeast Asia). We had previously always been put off by the little effective slogan of the drivers: “Hello! Wär ju go? Tuk Tuk???” At this point we also want to proudly state that we succeeded for the first time to reduce the fare by half (thanks to Anna’s relentless negotiation skills).
Our second day we spent much quieter with a Lumphini Park visit. Bangkok is crisscrossed by smaller and larger parks and we wanted to get to know the relaxed side of the city. Impressed we watched joggers and cyclists who did sports in the sweltering heat, in which we were already sweating while sitting. We also explored the park from the water side as we borrowed a small paddle boat (dirt cheap – 50 cents for 30 minutes). We even learned to know some more park residents who feel at home both in the water and on land – monitor lizards and tortoises.
It is often written that during a stay in Bangkok a visit to the Khaosan Road (backpacker street) should be an integral part and so we decided to explore this famous street at day time. Pretty unspectacular. Except tuk tuk drivers, people who want to sell you a suit and “all original” tech stores there was not much to see and so we proceeded to the Chatuchak Weekend Market (the largest weekend market in the world), where we quickly lost our orientation in the endless rows.
On the last night Anna was exhausted and so Lucas went alone to the State Tower, from which’s Skybar one has a fantastic view of Bangkok. Thus our Thailand adventure was over again, but Hong Kong is already waiting for us.
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