Wherever you go in Bangkok there is always something interesting to see. Whether its people going about their daily lives or tall skyscrapers or some other fascinating building that catches your eye. There are endless photo opportunities and whenever I take to the streets I find something new each time. Every neighbourhood is different; some old, some modern but they all have their individual characteristics. I don’t think I could ever get tired of living in this wonderful city. It has so much to offer.
Phra Athit Road is not far away from the infamous Khao San Road but it is one of the coolest, hippest streets I know. Much cooler than its more well-known neighbour. It’s not as crowded with people, particularly in the evenings, but that’s not a bad thing in my book. There are still enough goings on to get in the spirit of things. There are cafes and restaurants that sell delicious food, try Roti Mataba for a fabulous curry, or get your fill of live music and drink premium beer from any of the interesting bars along the road; try Good Story.
If you don’t fancy that there is always Santichaiprakan Park where you can relax and enjoy the river views, or take a few photographs of Phra Sumen Fort.
Whatever you want to do I recommend that you check out Phra Athit Road; it’s one of my favourite places to hang out and it might become one of yours too. 🙂
Getting there: It depends where you are coming from but one of the easiest ways is to take a boat to Phra Athit Pier. Otherwise, it’s a short walk from Khao San Road; which every taxi knows.
Since living in Thailand I have noticed that there are a few things that are unique to the place. Not just in one town or city but generally all over Thailand. Here are just a few.
Where I come from, pavements, or sidewalks in America, are used for walking on. The reason they are there is to prevent against being ploughed down by the passing traffic. Not so in Thailand. In Thailand, there is little room for walking. There are food vendors, plants, restaurant seating, restaurant signs, rubbish, dogs, cats, and motorbikes. Yes, motorbikes, I kid you not!
Not to mention that they are badly in need of re-surfacing, so even if they were clear of stuff you still have to watch where you are walking. Also, the drain covers sit about two inches above the rest of the pavement. Just two weeks ago, I wasn’t watching where I was walking and tripped and managed to peel the skin off the back of my big toe. There was blood everywhere and it stung like anything. And let’s not forget the ceramic tiles that are cemented in around the brickwork. They are lethal, especially when it is raining. Flip flops and ceramic tiles do not work well together.
As someone who likes a little loud music- living in Thailand is somewhat disturbing to the ears. The Thais seem to have no knowledge of volume control. As you walk along, (not on the pavement) minding your own business, you nearly jump out of your skin when a passing truck blares music out of the sound system, advertising something or other. And I mean it’s so loud that you cannot hear what anyone else is saying until the damn thing passes by and is out of earshot. It’s not just trucks- young people in cars, bus drivers, motorbike riders with mini sound systems attached. I really don’t understand why they have to have the music so loud. Is it because they think no one can hear? (I get that if they are advertising something) or is it because they are impervious to it? Whatever the reason I think they should turn it down a notch!
From a nation that wants to be brown and spends countless hours sunning themselves on the blazing hot holiday shores, to a nation who wants to have a white-skinned complexion is an interesting concept.
For me, I feel so much better with a tan- I feel healthier. I am not forgetting the risks of skin cancer, but to find myself amongst people who want to be white-skinned is rather strange. The Thais are a beautiful race but, I guess, like us they want to be different. So this is why you see a huge range of beauty products for sale which contain a whitening element. Some people even go so far, and I know a guy who did this, as to take pills or inject the same whitening element. Injections seem kind of extreme but this is all in their quest to be whiter.
I inadvertently bought a bottle of shower cream and, only after six weeks of using it, I realised it was part of the product’s “light white” range. Everything from lotions, shower gels, soap and face creams-it’s a booming business in Thailand.
Whenever you go shopping to the local supermarkets, the staff will pack the bags for you. They put only a limited amount of items in each bag, so you end up with far more bags than you actually need. They even double bag the heavier items. Seriously, all that plastic is not good for the environment. It’s not only in supermarkets. All the 7-11 shops give you a straw and a bag every time you buy a drink, two straws if you buy two drinks. If you pick up some takeaway food- guess what? That goes in a plastic bag as well.
So now I either pack the bags myself, but I don’t get away with this very often because there is always someone standing by to pack them for you. Or I say no to two straws and a plastic bag. ‘Mai Ow Toung.’ Literally- ‘no want bag!’
However much I find all this rather strange, I really love living in Thailand. It has really opened my eyes to a very different and unique way of life.
Is there anything unique about where you live? 🙂