"Bangkok - Modern Asian Metropolis and Capital City" Bangkok by dlytle
Bangkok Travel Guide: 10,206 reviews and 22,508 photos
All right, so I had no idea what to expect when I was told I would be traveling to Bangkok on business. I have traveled throughout much of the world, but to me Thailand still evoked images of Yul Brynner in the movie and stage play 'The King and I' (yes, I am that old). My minds eye could see lots of silk gowns, ornate places, temples dotting the countryside, heavy duty crowds - in short, all the images that TV and the movies are so good at giving you.
Well guess what, except for the amazing silk gowns (now taken over by westernized day wear) it is pretty much what I had pictured in my head. Oh, the new, tall, glass office and hotel towers were not in my imagination, nor were the incredible traffic jams in the early evenings, and all of those vendor stalls crowding the sidewalks were no where to be found in my imagination, but all in all it pretty much met my idle speculations.
Right now I am looking out of my hotel window (room 1106 of the Cape House) on a nice Sunday morning. Not too much traffic along the tree lined streets this morning. I can see the hotel and office towers peeking over the tops of the lower buildings lining the streets. A profusion of building colors and architecture styles are highlighted by the daylight of the partly cloudy sky. At my height in this building I cannot hear the incessant roar of the motorcycles and what I call the 'toot-toot' taxis for the sound of their horns. Looking around I can see patches of greenery (small parks and such) each of them acting as a shady oasis in this modern sprawling town of riotous growth.
Bangkok seems to sprawl in an unplanned fashion along the banks of the Mae Nam Chao Phraya River. It might interest you to know that most of Thailand's people have never even heard of the name 'Bangkok'. To them, their capital is Krung-Thep-Mahanakorn or for short, they call it Krung Thep. That names translates as the City of Angels. Others refer to Bangkok as The City Where Anything Goes But The Traffic. And after you have visited you will come to believe it is also The City of Gorgeous Temples and Golden Buddhas.
By the way, the full name of Bangkok is in the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest named city in the world.
What a mouthful that is!
On most of the maps you will come across, the eastern portion of the city is what is highlighted. That is because most of the respectable hotels are in these sections that are called the Silom and Sukhumvit areas. These two leading tourist centers are crawling with shops, pubs, restaurants, ultramodern office buildings and entertainment complexes. Nearly all the nightlife attractions, along with the popular night markets, and most of embassies, can be found here.
One of the things that I found most intriguing about Bangkok is its endless array of street vendors that invigorates the visitor's senses and emotions. It is almost sensory overload. As you walk along the already narrow and uneven sidewalks suddenly you will be squeezed into an even smaller space by rows of often gaily-colored booths. They are found along most of the major and minor streets and seem to operate day and night. The colorful booths, the aromas, scents and smells of herbs and cooked food and incense are then coupled with the noise of commerce and traffic creating a delight for all of your senses.
And you will find the people to be delightfully polite and courteous. Smiling often and addressing you with their hands in a prayer-like position, they bow and offer you kindness and service (and usually in very good English) that will eternally endear you to these wonderful people and their dynamic city.
- Pros:Cheap food and inexpensive hotels, kind and generous people, large active river, temples, huge prawns in the restaurants, vibrancy of the city, great and friendly people
- Cons:Hot and sticky in the summer, pollution and smog, you will get hassled in the tourist areas, traffic is overwhelming - getting anywhere often takes a long time, the tuk-tuk drivers are con-artists
- In a nutshell:You iwll enjoy a visit here immensely!
The best place to go for any type of computer shopping is the multistory Panthip Plaza. Prices are very cheap and the... more travel advice
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