We love Bangkok. We came here twice and we felt very comfortable everytime.
How could this chaos city make its way right into our hearts?
The people we met here are the main reason. We can only rave about the Thais. Of course, they’re friendly as they earn their money with us. But this is the case in every country. Still it was different here.
Their relaxed way to deal with people – I would describe it as ‘We really have something better to do than to get upset’-attitude, totally unconcerned about all those many strangers in their country who don’t behave very respectfully sometimes.
It’s always the others being annoying
Of course, we were not running around full of love and thinking everyone was nice. Especially one French guy with obvious magnesium deficiency and a antipathy towards Germans tried to ruin our day. Every day he was passing by with a plastic bag full of bananas and said to us Germans were rude and reckless people. Why? We don’t know. The situation was awkward, funny and scary at the same time. He was probably insane!
Bangkok is an international hub. You’ll meet people from everywhere around the world. It’s especially a Mecca for Backpackers. You can hear all kinds of languages and nobody’s really interested where you’re from. The standard questions are: Where are you heading? Where have you been? How long are you travelling?
Partly, we were so jealous about some answers, especially when they told us about travelling in Asia for half a year or even making a trip around the world. Our hearts beat faster when hearing the latter… You will definitely find your kind of people here. Everyone is suffering from wanderlust here!
Bangkok – City of contrasts
This city will make you wow. You have to be open for the Bangkok insanity.
Khao San Road for example is really popular under Backpackers. This place is busy around-the-clock. You could call it the party district. This scenery is interrupted from time to time by monks asking the residents for food. Commerce centres next to Buddhist temples. Western cars next to Tuk Tuks.
When leaving Bangkok for Chiang Mai by train, you don’t only pass the huge modern buildings, but also the slums of Bangkok. Places, the usual Backpacker doesn’t visit. King’s Palace is a little bit prettier to see than poverty. But if these slums actually start two meters next you passing by, you can and have to risk a glimpse.
Rich women shopping in expensive boutiques while other women trying to earn their money by selling street food. Luxury resorts next to tin-sheets.
Poor and rich and tradition and modern spirit – these contrasts get along very well in Bangkok.
‘Tuk Tuk? 20 Baht!’
This is the question we heard the most in Bangkok. Driving with one of the Tuk Tuks is adventurous and nothing for anxious people. I can’t really describe it. During the ride you feel like being on a rapid chase.
You should at least make a ride with a Tuk Tuk once. It’s also the cheapest though not the healthiest kind of transportation.
There’s no guarantee you’ll survive it as some are driving like lunatics. But this is a part of Bangkok and you should put this on your bucket list.
Chao Praya and Pustefix memories
One of the most beautiful experiences we made was in Santichai Prakan Park located at the Chao Praya River (near Khao San Road). I had a Pustefix with me because I’m immature. For those who don’t know: Pustefix is the name of a company in Germany producing soap bubbles. I wanted to make beautiful bubble pictures.
We had already started our first tries as two mothers came to us asking whether their kids could play with the bubbles. And that we could take pictures from them at the same time. Impossible in Germany where mothers kill you with their eyes just because you looked at their children for one second.
The kids were totally happy and got the attention of everyone in the park. Kids happy, mothers happy, we happy and everyone else too. All this during a beautiful sunset at the Chao Praya River.
During our first trip to Thailand, we made a boat trip at the Chao Praya River. We bought the tickets before to use the normal commuter boat. We recognized two little Thai girls, which were laughing at us ‘Farangs’. Jan gave me a kiss and they seemed to think this was funny. We tried it again, Jan kissed me again and they were laughing even louder. Of course, we laughed with them. Thai kids are so adorable.
When getting off the boat, our tickets were checked. We must have bought the wrong ticket, because the ticket inspector yelled at us on Thai for quite a long time. When he realized, we don’t understand a single word (we really tried hard not to laugh), he started laughing and said in English ‘It’s ok, go on!’. Being given hell in an Asian language – check!
We were sightseeing in King’s Palace when a bunch of school kids came to us asking us to take part at a survey for their English class. While I was filling in the survey, one of the little girls was observing me and said, when she’s big, she wants to be as beautiful as me. I didn’t expect something like that and my heart started melting. Thai kids are so cute. If I was Angelina Jolie, I would adopt another one from here.
One hand washes the other
Of course, there are also things odd here in this huge city. Prior to what’s coming in the following: You have to be aware what you’re messing around with. All travel guides advise you to avoid this. We did it nevertheless and we weren’t disappointed.
What it’s all about:
Tuk Tuk drivers earn some extra money by bringing tourists to jewellery and cloth factories. They try to sell you stuff. The Tuk Tuk driver earns money by just bringing you there. He would get more if the tourist buys something. Fact: You’re not forced to buy something and the shop staff were always polite. I have to admit, it was a really interesting situation.
This meeting was organized by a dubious guy telling us, he belongs to the tourist police and then calling his friend, a Tuk Tuk driver, to the conversation. This one offered us to make a city tour with two sights of our choice. In return, he brought us to two factories for which he got provision. We paid 20 Baht per person! One Euro for a special kind of city tour. An offer we couldn’t refuse.
We left the factories very quickly. Our driver didn’t care. One hand washes the other and everyone is happy. Of course, this could have turned out shit, but usually this is not the case in Thailand! Maybe you shouldn’t do this when you’re travelling solo.
We could tell many more Bangkok stories but this would go beyond the scope of this. We will always connect Bangkok with good memories! Both stays were incredibly fun and we would go back in a heartbeat!