Bangkok is often overlooked by travellers seeking the crystal-clear waters of Thailand’s Southern Islands or the lush jungles teeming with wildlife and waterfalls in the North. However, Bangkok offers a sense of authenticity that a large number of the tourist orientated islands don’t and the madness that the Northern region doesn’t.
Food, Food and More Food
Bangkok is literally a mecca for food lovers. There is always something new, weird and wonderful around every corner. From noodles to whole skewered squid to deep fried insects, scorpions and spiders – there is literally something for every type of traveller. What’s better is that the local people actually want you to try their food, often offering you a free taster and eagerly await your reaction.
Bangkok’s vibrancy isn’t only emulated by its bustling activity, but also by the colours that shine throughout. From the neon signage in China Town to the glowing gold trading shops. From the colourful fruit vendors to the grand mosaic temples. From the handmade flower garlands sold around every corner to the lush greenery bursting between the buildings that make up this concrete jungle.
The sheer number of rooftop bars there are to choose from is spectacular. I know that there are rooftop bars all over the world but in Bangkok, you are so spoilt for choice. The breath-taking view of the skyscrapers lit up at night combined with the carefully constructed cocktails on offer makes for a well spent evening.
Modernity Vs Tradition
Bangkok has the perfect mixture between urban modernity and tradition. Glass skyrise buildings rise above the intricately constructed temples. Classy café’s and high-end shopping malls are balanced with mobile food carts that line the streets. The balance makes the city a perfect place for tourists as it has the best of both worlds.
Coconuts & Thai Style Roti’s
Coconuts and sweet Thai Roti’s are a staple part of the Thai diet. Whether you want coconut ice-cream, coconut pancakes or just a straight up fresh coconut to quench your thirst, you’ll easily find them throughout the city. If coconuts aren’t enough to make you love Bangkok, maybe you should try the Thai style roti. You can choose from a variety of fillings and they’re usually topped with sweet condensed milk or chocolate sauce – need I say more?
Calling all coffee lovers and café goers. Café hopping is a full-blown activity in Bangkok and I promise you, it won’t disappoint. The city is filled with a variety of cafés from the quirky, to the cute, to the dazzling, to the traditional, and everything in between.
Did you know that Thailand was never colonized? In some ways, the Western culture has influenced parts of the country, especially as tourism is a major source of income. However, the culture has largely stayed true to its roots and has maintained the essence of what it stands for.
It is a city filled with cultural contrasts. Around every corner, there is a Buddhist shrine where Thai people will pray, Wai or place flower garlands to show their respect. On the other hand, Bangkok is also home Soi Cowboy where you’ll find women dressed in next to nothing attempting to lure you into their club for an erotic show.
The fact that flowers hold significant symbolism within the Thai culture means that you can find them pretty much anywhere. I mean, who doesn’t love being surrounded by flowers!?
Tuk Tuk Galore
Bangkok is home to one of the most fun modes of transport – the Tuk Tuk. Don’t be alarmed if your driver drives on the wrong side of the road, weaves between cars or takes a shortcut through an alleyway. It’s honestly exhilarating.
Bangkok is truly a magical city that I urge people not to skip!