Being in Bangkok confirmed something that I’ve known about myself for quite a while now – I love a good city. I love the crowds, the noise, the lights, the colors. I love the fast pace. I love the diversity – of people, food, experiences. I love the buildings, the skyline. I love the accessibility. The ability, by foot or train, to easily reach world class healthcare (or world class shopping). I’ve spent most of the last 4 months in rural Asia, in places so vastly different from this (and from where I came from). It’s been eye opening and deeply meaningful. The chance to really experience (and live in), worlds so different from my own. To meet people whose lives are so foreign to me (and mine to them). It’s given me perspective I just didn’t have before. But being in Bangkok reminded me of my life back home. The modern city, freckled with old temples and glittering shopping malls, is truly special. And I spent a refreshing few days soaking in all of the luxuries of the city.
So what did I actually do in Bangkok? I stayed near Khao San Road (very touristy, “bro” area). A foot massage costs less than $5, so naturally I had one every day. I shopped at MBK and Siam Center, and enjoyed pad thai, smoothies, and fresh coconuts from street carts. I rode the sky train as much as possible, and loved it for its cleanliness, speed, and clear maps and directions. I visited a few wats (Buddhist temples) – Wat Pho (home of the giant, golden reclining Buddha), Wat Arun (temple of the dawn, unfortunately under lots of construction), and my favorite, Wat Saket (temple of the golden mount, a hike up lots of steps with amazing views of the city). I rode a 3 Bhat (about 9 cents) water taxi across the Chao Phraya River, again with pretty awesome views. I danced in a huge crowd of strangers on Khao San Road, which offers a nightly, all night party that fills the bars and floods the street with carefree travelers. A lot of people skip Bangkok (or just spend a night pre or post flight), but I loved my time there, and would happily have stayed much much longer.