Travel, Teach, Live in Thailand
I have been to Bangkok once before but it was at least 10 years ago.
With a complimentary return ticket with an airline I got the chance to see the place again at the end of April. This time I could see more of Bangkok though I just stayed there for 3 days. I had not enough time to see many places but for sure after the visit I could tell that I like the place a lot.
Unlike in some European countries where there are their royal families, you can always see pictures of Thai king and queen everywhere in the streets. You can simply tell that Thai people respect a lot of their royal family since apart from the Buddha, pictures of royal family can also be seen in taxis and many outdoor places.
Although you might have been warned of some taxi drivers who want to make a few extra dollars by not using the taxi meter, you would also find that most of them are in fact very honest and helpful. So just don't give up and you will find a good taxi driver. Don't worry too much when getting a taxi too. It is just so cheap to get anywhere in Bangkok since you won't be paying more than GBP3 for a 2-hour ride.
You may also see that there are quite a lot of stray dogs around in some areas, particularly in some older areas in town. Just don't get too close to them then you will be OK.
What do you think which contributes to the bad traffic congestion in Bangkok? Well I have come across two incidents though they may not be the real reasons. I got stuck in the middle of traffic one time when the taxi driver told me that the Royal family was leaving a temple after their royal visit. And the second time was when I had to wait for a long train to pass the middle of a road. Maybe I hope that some time in the future someone can tell me the genuine reasons since the traffic there seemed to be bad all the time!
I was also surprised to see that there were just so many outdoor markets in Bangkok. I went to the Chatuchak Weekend Market and it is said that it is an outdoor market which is as big as 25 football pitches. Well what I can say is that for sure it is a really big market and I managed to just walk for about 2 football pitches in one day. You will be amazed by the things the stalls sell there since whatever you want can be found there and for sure they will offer you some good prices or big discounts if you buy in big amounts.
Apart from going to the world's biggest outdoor weekend market, another world's extreme activity you can take part in would be to visit the Grand Palace in May, which was something I did. Why is it an extreme activity? It is simply because you walk to different parts of the palace without shade except your own umbrella in at least 36 degree Celsius. And of course you won't just leave after paying for the entrance! What is more, the three-part ticket requires you to go to the third place by bus which you can take only by walking to its designated bus stop. For me since I had to go to the airport on time I missed the third part of the ticket which was for the palace which is located about half an hour bus drive away from the Grand Palace.
In fact a lot of the outdoor food stalls were very tempting, particularly to someone who likes to eat so much. Well, just beware that they are clean and hygienic enough. For me, I didn't choose to eat in any of those outdoor stalls because the bucket of water which was used to wash the plates and utensils looked quite muggy. Try to find somewhere which has at least a live water tap then at least they can wash their things properly. Then somewhere with a covered seating area would be a better choice.
All in all, I think Bangkok is a really nice place which one should definitely see. You can enjoy a lot of things at a reasonable price while at the same enjoy the lifestyle which is shared by most Asia countries.