Bangkok—According to the World Meteorological Organization, Bangkok is the world’s hottest city. By day it is a mega-city And at night it’s a steamy, intensely turbo-charged sensory extreme overload—and it’s magnificent. Having never been to Bangkok, Deana didn’t know what to expect. I knew one thing—we will not be bored!
We left Surat Thani on Thursday for the final destination of our six-week exploration of Thailand. Bangkok. We had it all organized—bike panniers and other baggage all bundled up for the one hour Thai VietJet flight. We had some bargain tickets, around $85 each including the bikes. We arrived at the little airport, tossed all our bags on the weigh scale, and that’s when we got the Big Shock—everything except the bikes was considered “excess baggage” and was exorbitantly pricey. That’s all we’ve got to say about that….we just had to suck it up and carry on.
Our first hotel looked great on booking.com. The Palace Prince Hotel was considerably less than great—it was downright disappointing. Our new rule: no matter how good it looks online, no matter how good the reviews, never book more than one night. Grimly committed for one night, we pulled up stakes first thing in the morning and went to a newly built hotel, the Lilit Bang Lumphu Hotel and it’s fantastic.
We took a canal boat several kilometres to capture scenery from a watery perspective. Homes butt right up against the canal edge and their contents spill out of their confines. Laundry and other personal wares hang out to dry suspended over the water. Honestly, if a big windstorm comes along there are gonna be a number of naked Thai people looking for their clothes downriver! Plants grow in pots along skinny strips of concrete edging, along with pots & pans and other instruments of daily living. Families sit together eating & socializing perched on the skinny edge of the canal. Riding the canal boat allows us to peer briefly into lives that we can only imagine.
We took the canal boat to the end of the line (we think) and exited to see whatever we might see. Being Canadian and from a small town we are entertained easily, so perhaps there’s that…. But we found the Pratunam Night Market. It was a chaotic jam-packed swirling mix of street vendors, food, clothing, shoes, massages, scooters & cars squeezing through tight narrow spaces that were crammed with people.
There are just some experiences that can only be fully understood by being there in person to witness it all. Bangkok is just that.