Why I Love Bangkok, Thailand

Why I Love Bangkok, Thailand

Why I Love Bangkok, Thailand

It was love at first sight. I fell in love with Bangkok the moment we met–as my over 24-hour journey from America was ending and I was descending into BKK Airport. I was greeted by a flood of purple–the tents, the awnings, the trucks, and the shirts on the ground workers–and knew that I had made the right decision in coming here. You see, I’m a believer in signs, and since purple is my favorite color, I felt like this was right.

My love affair grew deeper as the taxi I was in weaved in and out of traffic at lightning speed, on its way to my hotel. My eyes were glued to the colorful cars, tall buildings, winding roads, and fruit stands on the side of the street. Bangkok was like no place I’d ever been, and I immediately felt at home.

My obsession with cities was reaffirmed during a semester spent living in London. These places are alive with all kinds of people, activities, and events.

I think that has something to do with my love of cities. I grew up on Long Island, New York and hated everything about suburbia. In fact, I went to university in Philadelphia, and loved everything about the City of Brotherly Love. My obsession with cities was reaffirmed during a semester spent living in London. These places are alive with all kinds of people, activities, and events.

There is always something new to do or see, there is always noise, and cities are dripping in culture. I love taking public transportation, I love walking around with strangers, I love having endless options for food and drinks, and I love never getting bored. Every city in the world shares these defining features.

In the morning, the streets look the same. I find myself walking around with wide eyes and an extra pep in my step at all hours of the day, even at 3 AM.

In my opinion, it is because of this that I have never felt alone or scared in a city–I always have some idea of what to expect. However, each city has its own profound feel and character. No two cities are exactly the same.

Bangkok is a perfect mix of old and new, ancient and modern. You can stand at the edge of a rooftop bar with a perfect view of temples and golden Buddha images in the distance. When you walk down a street like Soi 11 or Khao San Rd, you are met with Westernized restaurants advertising burgers and fish and chips, and with food carts parked right outside.

The Chatuchak Weekend Market is full of traditional Thai goods, silks, jewelry, clothing, housewares, specialty items, and delicious food and drinks from multiple cultures.

Why I Love Bangkok, Thailand

The city never sleeps. Walking down the streets of Bangkok at night is refreshing. They’re filled with life–locals, tourists, expats–drunkenly singing, dancing, selling food and goods, offering taxi rides, all while cars whizz by. In the morning, the streets look the same. I find myself walking around with wide eyes and an extra pep in my step at all hours of the day, even at 3 AM.

During a typical weekend in Bangkok, I spend one or two nights at my favorite hostel, Cheqinn. It’s located off the Nana BTS stop.

The area is not the best, and the hostel itself is down a small, sketchy alley, but it’s absolutely beautiful inside. For just 350 Baht/night, you get a six-person room (female, male, and mixed gender rooms available) with air conditioning, shared toilets, showers with hot water, and free (fantastic) internet connection in rooms and in the lobby. Laundry facilities are available, as well.

With the current political situation, some places in the city may be out of reach or best avoided, but there is still so much to see and do, and so much to discover for yourself off the beaten-tourist trail.

The hostel is within walking distance to Sukhumvit Soi 11, which is, in my opinion, the place to go for Western food. I use my weekends in Bangkok as an excuse to do just that.   There are many restaurants on this street to choose from. I’ve had Mexican food from Charley Browns, pasta from Chez Pape, and the most incredible veggie burger from Firehouse Burgers. As the night continues, I start at one of the many bars on the street and often end dancing away at Levels night club.

The next morning, I’ll get a great English breakfast from somewhere near the hostel; maybe I’ll even treat myself to Starbucks. Then, I head to Chatuchak Weekend Market at the Mo Chit BTS station. It’s one of the largest outdoor markets in the world, and I promise, exhaustion will come well before boredom.

You’ll never know until you try. Bangkok truly has something for everyone, so keep exploring until you find your niche.

Some other must-sees in Bangkok include the Grand Palace/Palace of the Emerald Buddha, Wat Pho, which boasts the largest reclining Buddha image as well as the most Buddha images in one place, Chinatown, the Bangkok Arts and Culture Center, Siam Paragon Mall, Ocean World, Lumpini Park, and Terminal 21 mall.

With the current political situation, some places in the city may be out of reach or best avoided, but there is still so much to see and do, and so much to discover for yourself off the beaten-tourist trail.

My favorite thing to do in every new city is to just explore without an agenda. Hop on the BTS skytrain or MRT subway, pick a popular stop, get off and just walk! You may realize that the area is not a great place to go, or you may find something beautiful, new, and exciting. You’ll never know until you try. Bangkok truly has something for everyone, so keep exploring until you find your niche.

Why I Love Bangkok, Thailand

Why I Love Bangkok, Thailand

Related Reading

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How the Phi Phi Islands Surprised Me
6 Lessons I Learned While Teaching in the “Land of Smiles”

Have you traveled to Thailand? What were your impressions? Email us at editor@pinkpangea.com for information about sharing your experience and advice with the Pink Pangea community. We can’t wait to hear  from you.

About Nichole Baldino

One thought on “Why I Love Bangkok, Thailand

  1. Avatar
    SUNGUARD
    July 26, 2019
    Reply

    All weather canvas awnings are in vogue these days.

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