If you’re wondering whether I’ll ever stop going on about my love for Bangkok, the answer is “No.” I returned to the Thai capital earliest this week, as I mentioned I would in another recent post.
As I hypothesized, my elation knows no bounds. In fact, I would even go so far as to say I now consider the city my spiritual home, pretentious as that sounds.
In spite a near 14-hour journey from Berlin, I spent most of my first day back in Bangkok exploring the city and shooting photos. It’s my fourth time here, but I think I still managed to get a fresh take on Bangkok.
What do you think?
I was nasty after the flight, so I headed to my hotel in hopes they would let me check-in early — and they did! After a quick shower and unpacking all my things, I headed out into Silom, the surrounding district, with my camera.
Rather than retracing my footsteps through the city (as I was originally tempted to do), I pretty much just followed my instincts. Not surprisingly, they led me to a Thai iced tea stall. Well, that was probably my sense of smell, but whatever. Nectar of the Buddhas!
One thing that never fails to surprise me about Thai people is how unabashedly image-obsessed they are, whether it’s fixing straight teeth, whitening skin or getting all-out plastic surgery. The abundance of tacky, colorful advertisements, even those that don’t relate to beauty, are a big part of Bangkok’s charm for me.
Another thing I love about Bangkok is how it manages to be beautiful and ugly at the same time. Busy Silom Road, for example, is lined with pots of green plants and flowers, like the magenta zinnias, which incidentally match Bangkok’s taxi cabs.
I made a Bangkok travel newbie mistake yesterday: I flagged down an off-duty tuk-tuk driver and asked him to take me somewhere. I’m not sure if he dropped me off over a mile from my intended destination (Thewet Flower Market) on purpose or not, but I wasn’t upset — I was in a prime spot to explore Wat Po, a Bangkok temple I hadn’t yet visited.
Wat Po is most famous for its reclining Buddha statue, one of the largest in the world, but is also a great place to relax away the stress of the city. Apparently, I’m not the only one who feels that way.
I ended the evening at Patpong Night Market in Silom, just a stone’s throw from my hotel. Patpong Market embodies many Thai clichés, with sex and sexuality being the most conspicuous ones.