Bangkok is absolutely my favorite city in the world, hands down.
Pure magic, full of life, it seems no one can resist smiling in this city.
Bangkok is rightfully famous for its amazing shopping, red light districts, and fabulous dining, but it is much more than that. It is a city that will change you, it will forever alter the way you view “really living”, if you let it in, and this is why.
Land of Extreme Extremes
Bangkok embraces extreme contrasts. You can find a 1000-year-old temple sharing a sidewalk with a mall or ride in an auto rickshaw next to a Ferrari. In fact on my last trip, we saw ancient ruins by morning and the red-light districts by night, how’s that for extremes! It is this crazy contrast that makes me love this city time and time again. It’s the temples lighting up the Chao Praya River, the endless skyscrapers sandwiching alleys overflowing with street food. Bangkok is anything you want it to be.
Eating out, often costs the same or less than cooking at home. In fact, most people share studio apartments not equipped with kitchens creating a 24hour cheap and delicious food culture. Eating out is part of the lifestyle, where people enjoy meals together, filling their tummies while encouraging community and relationships. Markets, alleys, sidewalks, roof tops, even floating boats all tempt you with seducing spices, chewy noodles, and grilled meats. Whether you want its dinner and drinks with friends or scoring a steaming hot bowl of noodle soup at 4am, Bangkok’s friendly food scene is rock’n.
Check out the street food surrounding Victory Monument for a real local feel.
Health and Happiness
The Thais have a famous saying “My Ben Rye”, meaning “No worries, or its all good.” They use it all the time. If you are late for a meeting, miss the train, bump into someone on the subway, even if you want a blue shirt and all they have is red, its all good. It’s a universal understanding that life is too short to sweat the small things, and I love it! They also embrace holistic health with Chinese medicine and Thai massage easily accessible and affordable. If you love massages like I do, on any block you can opt for a traditional Thai massage, which uses a combination of stretching, kneading, and pressure to encourage toxin release and muscle restoration for about $6 per hour. Bangkok is even just a few hours ride from beaches.
The BEST Transportation!
Planes, trains and automobiles is where Bangkok just gets started. Three wheeled tuk-tuks, the van network, the BTS Skytrain, the MRT Subway, and motorcycle taxi’s make Bangkok, and all of Thailand, easily accessible to travelers on any budget. There are even water taxis that can zoom you all the way across town for $1, and its like a free boat tour of the city.
An International City
Bangkok, is one of the most international cities the world. In fact, the famous Khao San Road, has been named “The most international street in the world”! With thousands of Expats and hundreds of thousands of travelers, you are never to far from a familiar face. Although the mass amount of foreigners can can also be a downside to Bangkok, I found being able to find a little piece of home a very comforting aspect of the city. Missing your football games and BBQ cookouts, there are many sports bars all over the city. Mexican food, English Breakfast, your got it! Sometimes, just the opportunity to speak your native language over a cold beer can cure even the worst homesickness.
Basically, I am in love with Bangkok, the list could go on and on.
Have you been to Bangkok? What are some reason your love (or dislike) it?