Friday, October 5, 2012

Thailand Calling: Bangkok

All Rights Reserved. A snippet of Bangkok's skyline.
Hi!

Tomorrow, we're traveling within Myanmar, visiting two fabulous places I'll tell you ALL about when we come back. Hopefully with lots of cool pictures to share, also. 

While on holiday, I'm doing a new blog series: Thailand Calling, highlighting my very first trip to SE Asia in March this year. 

I'll give you all sorts of juicy tid bits about our exciting Thai vacation over five posts. Be sure to subscribe/follow my blog so you don't miss out on any of the adventure. 

To know the background to our Thailand vacation, read yesterday's post here.



- Bangkok -

 

We arrived at the height of the hot season. It was very, very hot.  The heat and humidity didn't smack us in the face.  It didn't sting. It just swarmed, encompassing us like a huge blanket, threatening to suffocate.  

Did I mention it was hot?

Bangkok is a huge, sprawling city. Everywhere I looked, I saw people. Street vendors selling fruit, meat, cheap Chinese toys, and shark fin soup spread in front of shops selling rubies, exotic Afghan jewelry, and antiques.  Next to those shops were fancy-ish restaurants and expensive hotels. 

 All Rights Reserved.  Street stands selling amazing, cheap food.

Hole-in-the-wall places abound.  Streets were crazed with non-stop traffic. Large buses spewing black exhaust competed with thousands of little motorcycles and mopeds threatening to run you over if you weren't careful. 

Add millions of pedestrians, taxis swerving in and out of cars, tuktuks….you’ll have a little idea of what it’s like.

Walking down the cramped streets, we constantly dodged large crowds of people, sometimes not dodging them at all. On busier sidewalks, I’d walk in front of F, holding her hand, pulling her behind, trying my best to get through the swarms. It could be pretty stressful. And hot

 Did I mention it was hot?

We saw the most strange + exotic/different things, like marigolds and bright, beautiful colors against grey and black crumbling concrete. 

Often, we'd smell the lure of jasmine, garlic, peanuts, followed by a heavy waft of open sewer or rotten food. Sometimes both.  

F walked down streets, promptly holding her pretty, sweaty, pink little nose. 


- Other lasting impressions -


  • In general, people were so smiley and friendly, that when someone wasn't, it was noticeable. 
  • The wai  (hands in a prayer position under your chin or up to the bridge of your nose) is a sign of respect. It was very important to wai the appropriate people.
  • Mind your feet. It's rude to put them on furniture, point them at anyone, stretch them up, anything like that. Feet are seen as dirty and the lowest form of the body. On that note, do not touch the tops of others’ heads. Even kids.

    Next up? Adventures on a River Taxi...check it out tomorrow!


4 comments:

  1. You painted that well...the good and the bad which I like. I like your ability to observe and put it into words. Not always easy to do..as we all know. You do it well. Nice. June Maddox

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    1. Hi June!
      Thanks for your comment. :) I think there's always positives and not-so positives everywhere. :)

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  2. i adore writers that can make you feel like you are there ... you j=did just that. thanks for sharing your travels and observations. fun read!

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    1. Awww, thanks, Jenn!! What a huge compliment! :)

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