Different Bangkok

2 02 2010

We experienced a very different Bangkok than last time around.  Last time we were in the old city, which is both dirty and filled with cheap stores and markets and at the same time magnificent with her temples and the Great Palace.  Now we stayed close to Siam square where all the fancy malls and expensive hotels are located.  You could see the growth everywhere, new office buildings being built and traffic everywhere you look and people shopping, shopping, shopping.

It was much easier to see how big the city really is than in the old town, which felt like a little cozy village after a few days – not a neighborhood in a city of 6 million people.  The traffic at Siam Square at rush hour was endless and people everywhere.  To accommodate all this or keep up with the rapid growth the Thais build a pretty impressive Skytrain on top of the regular traffic which fitted perfectly.  The Skytrain has two tracks so far and is fantastic to use.  They do also have an underground in some parts of the city and a lot of busses that are very hard to figure out when you don’t read Thai.

We went to Lumphini Park, a public park close by, and lounged for a few hours.  The park had a lake that was filled with some sort of swimming dragons that were about one and a half meter in length and tortoises and fish.  In the afternoon the park started to fill up with runners and ladies doing aerobics and Tai Tsi that was open to everyone.  Twice during the day they stared playing the national anthem and everyone stopped what ever they were doing and just stood straight to show respect.  This happened as well when we went to the movies, before the movie started everyone stood up and they played a movie showing the king’s life under the national anthem.

When we were in one of the malls we started hearing intense screaming coming from the other side of the mall.  Curious we ran to the other and and saw hundreds of young girls trying to see a group of guys on a stage below.  Supposedly it was one of the hot boy bands in Thailand and you can just imagine the noise when hundreds of young girls between fourteen and twenty scream of excitement over those guys.  We were just surprised that the glass in the shopping windows didn’t shatter.

We were happy that we decided to stay in a different neighborhood and were able so see the diversity of the city, at least to some extent.  We will probably stay either in Chinatown or close to Khao San road when we come back after our journey through Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos – but who knows?

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2 responses

15 03 2010
Best Thailand Travel Deals

Hi there.

Good blog I must say.
Interesting journey with lots of variation, just been reading through your Cambodian post and down to this Bangkok post.

Bangkok really have a lot of different things to offer, even if most people tend to be drawn to Siam Square and not least the MBK mall :)
Personally I think the Pratunam area is better for shopping if variety and good prices are wanted.

Cheers.

16 03 2010
othordarson

Thank you very much!
We’ll have to check Pratunam out when we return to Bangkok before flying to Hong Kong
Best regards
– Ö r n –

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