Arriving in a new place is always interesting, we never know what to expect. The traffic is the first thing we noticed in Thailand. Multiple lanes of cars and motorbikes driving in every which way and traffic lights had little effect. Traffic is a constant flow and we had to become one with traffic in order to cross streets. Crosswalks were very unusual; normally we just followed other pedestrians across the street. Public transportation was easy and we especially enjoyed the public riverboat that was just down the street from our Airbnb.
Our second impression of Thailand revolved around its food; which is amazing and the prices are even better. Hands down our favorite thing about Thailand is the exchange rate. We were able to enjoy beautiful rooftop views for dinner almost every night. Our most expensive dining came to $20 and we had drinks and dinner. Not to mention it was one of our favorite views of the city’s skyline.
The street food vendors were another highlight of Thailand. Although they lacked the pretty views, the food was just as good if not sometimes better and we’re only a fraction of the already inexpensive prices.
The night markets are an incredible experience and do not compare to anything we have seen in the US. The best way to describe the night markets is like a flea market, but even that does not give it justice. The items for sale were things you would find at a mall. Fashionable clothing (with much better quality than expected), off-brand electronics, and services like nail salons, barbershops, and a tattoo booth.
Bangkok was one of the hottest places we have been, but it was easy to escape the heat and find air conditioning. It was as if there was a shopping mall on every corner, and we are not talking about your average run of the mill malls either. These malls were huge, five stories or more, and absolutely stunning on the inside. Our favorite one was the Icon Siam mall, which is home to the first Apple store in Bangkok, a Porsche and Maserati store, and of course many other name-brand stores. This mall had a waterfront view and entertain their guests with a water show twice a night.
All the locals were very friendly, Thailand is known as the land of smiles and its not just a marketing slogan. Tim stubbed his toe and ripped a deep layer of skin off. It was bleeding pretty badly but thankfully it was not anything serious. Multiple locals came up to us to help, they felt terrible that he had gotten hurt. They gave us bandaids and clean wet wipes.
The thing that surprised us the most was the grande place and the giant swing, the two most famous landmarks in Bangkok, were located in a very underdeveloped area of the city. It was very eye-opening to see some of the locals ‘houses’. Just another reminder of how blessed and privileged we are.
Bangkok was the destination I was looking the lest forward to. I was scared of the culture shock and just afraid of how different everything would me. Honestly, we almost took it off our list. Man am I so glad we didn’t do that. Thailand was great and we hope to have the opportunity to visit again.