Bangkok and Thailand in general
21st June, 2007
Upon arrival you will find exactly what you probably read in your guide. Sales people, and a lot of them. Too many offers for taxi, hotels, tours, etc. in the airport. You will eventually learn how to avoid these background annoyances. If you speak a little thai even better, but you can just walk ahead and ignore everyone. Instead of paying too much for taxi go on the bottom floor and catch a taxi; remember upstairs is limousine floor and bottom floor is taxi floor. These guys have to pay some airport fee so you will have to talk to the taxi guys. It might cost you around 400 Baht all together to get to Sukhumvit area.
It is incredibly hot and humid. When I first got out of the airport it felt like the steam room in fitness world I go to. I am unlucky since I can't handle humidity and heat very well so this did spoil my time in Thailand. But eventually I got used to feeling sticky, taking 2 showers a day, and using one shirt for one day only.
As per my guides I read, I end up around Nana station where some less expensive hotels are. If you are used to this type of busy atmosphere with lots of beer bars and ladies and you're single it's ok. However, I absolutely don't recommend this area (Soi 3-4 at Sukhumvit). Sukhumvit road alone is one busy street where traffic jams and polluted air is an everyday thing. Too much barbqs on the street with foods unfamiliar to me. Occassionally you will encounter quite stinky spots; that's probably food that has gone bad perhaps. It looks dirty and quite frankly it looks like hell during the day. During the night this area is filled with people, neon lights, go-go bars, katooyees, old men and very young bar girls.
Being the admin of an adult related web site, I have always believed that prostitution is a choice and it's okay. This, however, what I saw is not cool! Thais usually look younger and are slim. It doesn't matter she could be 21, she still looks like a child. And considering the corruption over here, it's quite likely that many are minors.
Thai's should definately do something about it. I'm sure they are, but whatever they're doing is not good enough. Maybe change the laws, something, anyone?
I did some research and found that HIV is a big deal in Pattaya, Pattong and Sukhumvit. These kids are probably not too educated about safety either and in my opinion are too vulnerable.
Read more at: http://www.thewitness.org/agw/pusurinkham.121901.html and http://www.end-cp.org
Changed hotel to Omni tower. Slightly more expensive but well worth it for a few days until I find something cheaper. It is clear that this is no Japan. Internet is around but no easy wireless or free wireless usually. You kind of have to pay a good price for hooking it up to your room, if it's available, or choose one of those internet stores for 1 Baht per minute.
I only used my laptop for pictures. Despite the dark side of Sukhumvit you will find nightlife quite Vibrant in Bangkok. So much neon, beer and drinks, and bars, it is quite a scene.
For younger people with less farangs, friendly service, and live music check discoteque Hollywood. I think the place is big with lots of people. Some dance shows here and there. You will notice that Thais are very good dancers. One more thing, they could be women or katooyees but all look like women. But, whatever, I have no plans to find out :)
A bottle of whiski cost me around 400 Baht and I added a few cokes and snacks to that. Quite cheap in my opinion.
One thing that is interesting in Thailand is that you never know if you can trust anyone. Everyone can sound like a scam and chances are they are a scam. You never know who is your friend and who is not. But eventually you'll be able to tell that you can trust some people more than others.
The difference between Thailand and Japan is that Thais are not shy and more used to foreigners than in Japan. There are also quite a bit more foreigners in Thailand than Japan. So meeting people in Thailand is much easier. One problem: are you meeting a hostess or a friend? You never know! So being a first timer in Thailand I had to ask frequently "Why are you doing this for me? Don't you have work, or other things to do?". Or how I would like to put it: "Is this your job? Do I have to pay you for being my city guide?". It's a bit funny, but it's something to think about, in Thailand of course.
Generally, people that I've met turned out to be very caring and friendly people. I don't know if you mean to them as much as they mean to you. For all you know, for them it could be just another day. :-)
Taking a boat ride is interesting in Bangkok. You'll probably see more of Bangkok this way. Grand Palace is great if you're interested in visiting temples. Many visitors come here. More pictures at http://www.orientalgetaway.com
Thais take Buddhism very seriously. You might often spot them praying, and this happens everywhere. Jasmine garlands are sold everywhere for good luck and people buy them often. I noticed that Thais are very giving; this will bring you good luck. Metaphysics, causality and other topics are fascinating in Buddhist philosophy, but I won't ramble about it here. If interested there's too much of a good stuff to read in Wikipedia.
You will find a lot of poverty in Thailand. But, overall people look happy and are full of energy. That certainly doesn't exactly look like me before I going to work. You know, I got to be a bit grumpy because I didn't get that extra hour of sleep I wanted to have :)
#1 Posted: 21/6/2007 - 12:42
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