Photographed in November 2019.
Photographed in November 2019.
The streets of Bangkok are busy. The law of the strongest applies here and it does not favour pedestrians. Basically you just have to cross the street and hope for the best. The same applies to Tuk Tuks, small basically self made Taxis. There is a saying in Bangkok: “If you aren’t able to pass your driving exam, you drive Tuk Tuk!”. Still it’s part of the experience and definitely a nice way to get to know the city. Usually you have a Tuk Tuk for a whole day and it brings you to the major sights, just be careful if it seems to cheap (20 Bat), because then some drivers like to bring you to suit shops first to cash in some commission.
Thailand is a deeply spiritual country. Most of the inhabitants are Buddhists, though there is a significant Muslim population in the south of the country close to the border to Malaysia. Bangkok in particular is a very interesting place to discover Thai Buddhist temples, also called Wat. There are many forms of Buddha statues as well as depictions of demons to see and a lot of gold and colour in general.
Bangkok with its eight million inhabitants is the sprawling capital of Thailand. A multifaceted metropole with modern districts and high rise buildings, but also traditional Asian houses with twisted streets and channels. There are many Buddhist temples to discover and amazing street food around every second corner. Bangkok is a loud and noisy city for sure, but inhabitants and visitors alike can rest in the city parks and enjoy large lizards casually crossing the walkways. A city of many wonders for sure.
The Buddhist Temples in Thailand are actually called “Wat” stemming from a Hindu word for enclosure. They are like sacral fortifications with monks living and praying in it. Many of them can be visited when showing respect and covering shoulders and legs. Sometimes you even get to know some monks and can have a talk with them, they are friendly and actually have a good sense of humour.
Thailand for sure is the most accessible country to travel to in South East Asia. It is very safe, has a pretty good infrastructure with many low cost airlines and you can discover it on a budget easily, without sharing your bed with cockroaches. Also it can be visited best during the winter time on the Northern hemisphere when generally there is a dry season in most of Thailand and the conditions for travelling and enjoying the beaches are very favourable.
At the same time Thailand is also a country with a long history and a lot of culture, being an independent Buddhist kingdom which has never been colonised by the Europeans (sharing this honour with Japan by the way, not the only similarity between these countries). When obeying some strict rules like respecting the king, who can be seen everywhere on pictures, you can pretty much roam freely in Thailand and the people are pretty open minded. Being transgender for example is not a big issue over here, the sight of so called ladyboys is pretty common. Thais are very friendly to tourists and of course some will see an opportunity to sell you something, but you are not a walking dollar bill like in other parts of Asia and Africa. Unfortunately still the level of fluency in English is not very high among Thais, especially the older ones, but it changes and some kind of communication is always in reach, may it be with a little bit of imagination or the help of google translate .