31 Oct Bangkok, The City Of Angels
The full Thai name of Bangkok is ‘Krungthep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Ayuthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Piman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasit’ and will be recited with a pride by any of the friendly residents you encounter on your stay there.
Although simply ‘Bangkok’ works well for this City of Angels and the 8 million who live, work and worship in this exciting and vibrant cosmopolitan city they call home. A welcoming first point of call for most visitors to Thailand, it not only offers you a sense of the capital, but a friendly introduction to the culture and tradition, the way of life and diversity of the Thai people.
Here skyscrapers sit comfortably next to intricate Buddhist temples, food stalls invite delicious decadence, and the endless entertainment and shopping opportunities at the malls and markets are found to be irresistible. Yet among it all, there is peacefulness and contemplation in the gardens of The Grand Palace and the surrounds of the Wat Arun Temple.
At the heart of it the Chao Phraya river that has been a lifeline to the Thai people as long as memory serves, used for transport, food, irrigation and more. Long tail boats weave between the offshoot canals to the quieter Klong Bangluang riverside communities and drop off visitors at Wat Arun and to see the reclining Buddha.
Tradition and religion play a large part in Thai society and this is demonstrated well in Bangkok where small colourful spirit houses are found outside buildings and top end hotels, just as they would be in a rustic village homes in rural Thailand. Tuk-Tuk veer between cars, hundreds of scooters carry local families to work and school while bicycles scoot past tourists stopped to capture the magnificence of it all.
Each area of the city has it’s unique attribute and offerings, all have rooftop bars to draw sunset appreciators at the end of fulfilled and happy days. Time here is not only a look at the capital city, but an introduction to the culture of Thailand and it is important to allow enough time to be truly absorbed by it and it’s smiling people.