Hot and humid, the streets of Bangkok seem to ebb and fall with a tidal wave of the masses. People walking their daily routes for work or leisure. The pulse of the streets seems palpable with the combination of tropical heat and city surge. Dipping into a small café to get some relief from the heat, I sit down to enjoy a refreshing milk green tea. A concoction I just learned about the day before when my wife and I took an adventurous journey and ran across an older lady just on the edge of China Town selling the nectar of deliciousness. A combination of condensed milk, regular milk and green tea on ice, the sweet elixir is refreshing and rejuvenating.
While sitting in the café, I reflect on my experiences over the last week in my much-anticipated trip to Bangkok. Was it all that I really anticipated? Had the trip been everything I expected? I suppose I have been influenced with the romantic images of 18th and 19th century world explorers and images of international spies losing their nemesis in the dense streets that make up the downtown markets. Had the place failed to meet those romanticized images I have managed to cultivate over the years?
I argue that very little of this opinion has changed amid the electric feel of the Thai environment. All your expectations will be exceeded!
When walking the evenings in the “China Town” district of the city, one is accosted in two ways. First with the amazing smells of the diverse and culturally rich foods that are prepared religiously and with such great pride along the streets. The second is the sheer mass of people that come to enjoy those portioned out plates of pride. When walking along and you are mesmerized by the sights of seafood, rice dishes, noodle dishes, dishes with bugs, dishes with pork, dishes with……I have no clue! However, why question what is obviously a gastronomic delight!
While traveling through the city center, I strongly suggest taking the time to travel in the river taxis. Watching the life base of Bangkok from the water ways is fascinating and enlightening. Viewing the history of the city and the diversity of its infrastructure can be best facilitated thru the water taxi system. Simple, cheap, and relaxing, it is the best way to see the span of the points of interest throughout the city.
From the Palace to the historic Watt’s of Bangkok. Great Buddha’s and modern skyline. Bangkok continues to be a city in contrast and fluxing with modernization. The value of a trip to Thailand is not in the extravagant shopping offered, or the virtually non-ending line of cuisines offered to satisfy any taste. The value of a trip to Thailand is set in the rich culture and the preserved heritage of the Siam region. Seen in every facet of life here, the heritage runs in step with daily life and is embraced by Thai and visitor alike.