Bangkok epitomizes most of what is Asia. Where else would you find a golf course in between two runways? Not only traffic jams but ‘people jams’ in a small lane-way in China Town. Not even a small space between two-way traffic. Shoulder to shoulder, fronts to backs. Peter, being the only blonde head which towered above the great mass of humanity, was the only one who could see any possible end in sight.
Traffic tiers into the sky – cars, trains and pedestrian crossings all rise at different times above the cars at ground level. You have to be fit – just to cross a busy road means you have to walk up the equivalent of three flights of stairs at times, then the same down the other side. No wonder the Thais are thin people!
The throng of the long tail taxi boats up and down the klongs, the market places, the exhaust fumes you inhale as you go out for a ‘healthy’ stroll! We assume form looking skyward that the notion of ‘black rain’ could have been invented here. The sound of Bollywood movies at high volume alert you to the fact that yes, you have found ‘Little India’.
The rivers and klongs all have multiple uses. Children swimming, people bathing, washing clothes, maybe a discharge for sewage? However less of the latter as the government makes an attempt to clean up the water ways. The city otherwise is remarkably clean. A great effort is made towards this.
Beautiful large, multi story houses are built along side old shanty huts, all with Sky TV antennas. It is definitely a case of the best house in the worst street. Some people, who live behind, or next to their shop, can be seen relaxing on the floor watching TV as you walk along a busy street.
Of course there are shopping malls to boot! Wall to wall shopping for those who wish; Bangkok is certainly the place you can buy anything! From quality to copy, they find you.
A great fun restaurant to visit is 'Cabbages and Condoms' where you can buy any condom - even full body ones!
There were many friendly local people who wanted to stop and ‘help’. “Where you go? I show you.” So whether we wanted it or not, our poor well used map had many annotations from our ‘helpers’ that we seemed to collect. We may not know our neighbours at home or speak to them, but in our small guest house/hotel, people stopped and talked. Our guest house, ‘Wendy House’ (plurals to not get translated) was basic, clean, air conditioned, hard beds, soft pillows, hot water, internet, included breakfast and the best tea/coffee for 90 cents! Of course we were on the 4th floor and as it states in the Lonely Planet guide..there are indeed, no lifts.
The buzz of Bangkok. A place to come back to!