This summer, I headed East and the first destination was Bangkok, Thailand’s capital. It was part of my ‘pursuit of happiness‘ to explore new places I have never visited before. I had very little knowledge of Bangkok, and those little learnings I did have is that it is home to the opulent Grand Palace and its sacred Emerald Buddha temple, warm friendly people and the chaotic streets seen in The Hangover movie. C’est vrai. Little knowledge but was super excited to check it out.
After a long flight, I arrived pretty late and took a taxi to the hotel looking dreamily out the window at the city lights as we sped down the motorway. Once I arrived, I chucked everything on the ground and took a long shower to wash the flight off me. Nicolas arrived a few hours later and I could not have been happier to see him. The next 48 hours, we went exploring.
Lost in translation
Two little days went by so quickly, just enough time for a quick hello and farewell before heading to Phuket but thought I would run down what we did and lessons learnt in bullet form. Allow me:
- As usual, I was not dressed for the weather – rather, the air-conditioning. South-east Asian cities are notorious for its dense heat but I had forgotten about the Arctic shopping malls. Remember to bring a light jacket!
- Dress appropriately, Thailand is full of beautiful Buddhist temples and require that your shoulders and legs are covered. Shoes/sandals to be removed also.
- Amphoe Damnoen Saduak, Thailand’s largest floating market is totally worth the trip. You are taken around in a little wooden boat visiting stalls selling leather goods, jewelry, local souvenirs and seeing people’s homes. Very interesting.
- You spend way too many hours stuck in a traffic jam. As a result, we missed the Grand Palace and surrounding temples twice 🙁
- At times, we were lost in translation. Originally we wanted to visit a local floating market, near the Old City however took a 4.5 hour round trip to the largest one (no regrets). If there is somewhere you have in mind, I urge you to show this to your driver on a map prior to any journey.
- Everything is so inexpensive – taxis, food – we had a lunch meal that cost just £3 for two.
- Most of the food is hot. I mean, the intensity of the spices send your heart racing.
- Wired up. I wasn’t sure how a city could function with the electrical cables that run along the streets so low and what appeared to be tangled.
- The Bangkok lifestyle seemed very relaxed, everyone is helping one another, food is taken seriously with restaurants and eateries aplenty. My kinda place.
Our trip to Bangkok was short and in all honesty, we didn’t experience as much as we’d have hoped considering that we spent a majority of the time in a traffic jam – but I guess there is always next time …
Alas I return to the soulless embrace of my French grammar textbook; oh to rewind three weeks.
We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves – Buddha