What can I say about Bangkok? It’s a city words can’t even begin to describe and it immediately puts all your senses in a constant hyperdrive. But I can definitely easily say what Bangkok is not: boring, average, forgettable. It surely puts you out of your comfort zone from the moment you step on one of its streets, which is not necessarily a bad thing. In my experience, it’s only a matter of how you approach it.
Our original plan was to basically avoid spending much more than the necessary time for transit here, but since our plans change every five minutes, so did this one. We decided to give Bangkok another chance and experience it in a leisurely way, far away from the classical touristy routes we once both already took. And so our 6-day Bangkok adventure began! Our first night was spent in a shabby “hostel” near Don Muang airport, where the only upside was a dinner at a local food stall that serves excellent soup in a hot pot with accompanying ingredients you cook yourself (which was excellent, despite the inclusion of beef liver and pig intestines). Luckily, we were out of there by the next day and made our way to our current oasis in this crazy city (that by the way took us almost an entire day with an extremely slow and packed public train, a taxi drive that abruptly ended half way, the Bangkok-way, and sweaty, but happy hour-long walk).
After two weeks of travelling, we have finally managed to get a grasp of our non existent time pressure, so we really took it easy in Bangkok. That means late breakfasts while slowly wandering through our neighbourhood’s food stalls, drinking Thai coffee with the locals, getting a pedicure in a small shopping mall, taking a two hour local boat ride (and getting soaked with disgusting river water in the meantime), discovering various night markets and lively neighbourhoods by foot, enjoying our favourite bubble tea, getting lost among countless arcade game machines, taking a stroll in the Lumphini park, and, of course, getting a well needed massage. One of the highlights was definitely a food street tour we took through a site called With locals, where a Bangkok native of your choice takes you on a 3-hour long eating and tasting tour of many delicious classic Thai street stalls. Our food-expert guide was Ram, a very friendly and funny guy, with whom we really hit it off and after eating way too much delicious food ended up at his place, because we just had to meet his girlfriend. Definitely one of the best experiences here!
All in all, we have to say that we saw Bangkok in a different light this time. We managed to stay well away from the tourist crowds, where there is very little charm left to this lively city. And maybe we can even say, we kind of fell in love with it this time. Despite the chaos, the smog, the crazy traffic, the heat, the dirt, and the crowds, this city has so much more to offer. It has the best food, the friendliest people, the weirdest, craziest hidden corners, culture and spirituality, wild nightlife, and smiling faces all around. It is definitely a city that you either love or hate, but it surely never leaves you cold (figuratively and literally).