AMONG SKYSCRAPERS AND CROWDS
During our winter vacation I wanted to go to a place that would be completely different from our everyday schedule, plus it had to be warm, so after some searching we decided for Bangkok. Bangkok is one of the the most visited cities in the world and it seemed both exotic and quite cheap. We went there during the hot season in March.
We arrived in Bangkok after a ten hour flight and not so much sleep, at least not for me. We had already decided to take a taxi from the airport, even though Bangkok is notorious for its traffic jams. It did go okay though and the trip to the hotel took about one hour. Suvarnabhumi airport is approximately 30 km from Bangkok.
We stayed at Lebua at State Tower which is near the riverside and Saphan Taksin Skytrain station. The photo above is taken from our balcony on the 24th floor. The big white building with an R on is the Robinson shopping mall which became our main grocery store. There were also a few good cafés, some lunch places and a few pastry shops in the building. Behind the Robinson mall was the Skytrain station, with air conditioned trains, which was a big relief during the heat. It was around, and over, 30 degrees Celsius almost every day.
My first impression of the city was that is was big, loud and a bit dirty. A lot of traffic everywhere of course, probably half of it consisting of scooters.
During our first day we only visited the shopping centre and the streets nearby. While walking down the narrow road heading towards the shopping mall I was approached by a lot of different scents coming from all the small stands along the way. Some of the scents seemed to belong to delicious food, but some of them smelled like something my nose did not want to come in contact with any more. (Unfortunately it did, every time we walked down that road.)
I was also fascinated by the lack of pedestrian lights. The roads did have zebra crossings, but the traffic never stopped to let people cross. You simply had to take your chances. I did see two, probably tourists, with one of their feet in bandage during our trip. We started crossing the streets when there were other people around, it seemed more safe in a bigger group, plus preferably with a Bangkokian.
Another thing that really fascinated me was the old local buses. This one in the picture below is actually one of the newest one we saw. The really old ones seemed like they would have been made during the 60's.
I had read that Bangkok suffers from air pollution, and when seeing the daily non stopping amount of traffic, I wasn't astonished. I also wasn't prepared for all the garbage that laid around. It was on the streets, it was bobbing in the water at the harbours, it was in the canals ...
Bangkok is continuing the Skytrain-lines and making it longer, which is a great thing. The Subway and Skytrain system is like a breathing space when the traffic is in a standstill. We had an experience with never ending traffic jams during our taxi trip back to the airport when we were leaving. Thankfully we had started extra early so we had a few extra hours on our sleeves. After sitting in traffic jams for about one hour and not moving more than two kilometers from the hotel, the driver finally suggested we take the train. It took quite a while to get to the train station as well and the train was clammed, but air conditioned, and it did take us to the airport, so the fact that they are continuing to extend the lines are definitely a good choice.
Bangkok really is a diverse city. You'll find everything from luxury skyscrape hotels and tiptop malls who only sell designer things to street markets where you can negotiate about whether the price should be low or even lower.
You could probably get lost in this city for months, literally.
My name is Malin. I like to take photos and make illustrations. My aim is to spread feelgood through glimpses of me and my boyfriends trips and travels, spiced with a few illustrations. We are based in Finland and our trips go both near and far. Enjoy! :)