The constant influx of tourists, migration unrest, the concentration of economic, cultural and educational facilities are unlikely to help identify the exact number of people living in the "city of angels" (this is what Thais call Bangkok). Overpopulation, heavy gas pollution from round-the-clock traffic jams, a cacophony of smells and sounds, multi-level roads and the futuristic Skytrain metro line, located a few dozen meters from the ground, all these attributes of a large metropolis do not leave a chance to retire, hide from street chaos, ruthless heat and humming tourists. Nevertheless, more Thais are moving here for a good opportunity to earn.
Without air, without space
Tight buildings of residential buildings are uncomfortable gray boxes with iron bars on the windows, between them are narrow, entwined with wires of the street, where city life is in full swing: someone prepares food, someone sells clothes and souvenirs, someone sits on a red-hot from the sun, concrete and a pleading look asks to throw a few coins into the basket.
Turning to the next street, you can see a completely different picture: modern translucent skyscrapers, luxury shopping centers, luxury cars, all this brightly packed Bangkok with the scent of incense and colorful glossy posters in the style of “Land of Smile”. This city pushes away and attracts, it terrifies with its poverty and surprises with subtle Asian glitter and friendliness.
Tourists, packagers, spending their holidays outside the walls of hotels, decided to show that the second glamorous Bangkok, where you can live on a luxurious foot and spend hundreds of dollars on purchases in numerous expensive restaurants and shops. Adventure warehouse people prefer to stay in areas such as Khao San Road, go on a trip along the Chao Phraya River and narrow klong channels ... Turn that old city inside out with age-old ways and traditions, like it was a hundred years ago, to try juicy rambutans, guavas, june, Loncon, mangosteen and experience all the delights of the king of fruit - durian, which has an amazing taste and smell so disgusting that it is forbidden to bring it to the hotels.
The street Khao San has long been known among free travelers and non-formals due to its surprisingly low prices for food and accommodation. It is here that you can listen to street musicians, chat with “children of flowers” and romantics from around the world, buy a bus ticket to the cultural capital of Chang-Mai or to Cambodia - Laos and hit the road.
The sharper the better!
The first questions that arise in the head of a traveler are food and movement around the city. Before you go to Asia, you should know that Thai food is special and will not always like a conservative European stomach.
The first feature of Thai cuisine - abundance of all kinds of spices. Hot exotic herbs and unusual sauces complement almost every dish. And to eat it, you need to go through a real baptism of fire. For example, while tasting traditional Tom Yang Gun soup, unprepared beginners suffer from unexpected tears, irritation and sneezing, causing a slight smile on the face of the locals. Tourists love to hate stories about how one day in London, in one of the oriental cafes, prepared food with Thai fish sauce, which has an unpleasant pungent smell. As a result, residents of the area called the police, as they had speculations about a sudden gas attack.
The second feature of the Bangkok catering - mobile cafes on wheels, representing a portable cart with burning coals and raw billets. The basic rule of a successful dinner is the mandatory supervision of the cooking process. Ready-made snack strung on a stick or put into the bag. In a stuffy climate, richly saturated with exhaust gases, meat, fish and fried insects look especially unattractive. There is a small selection of vegetarian fast food, juices and fruits, which are much better absorbed by the body in such extreme climatic conditions.
Finding mobile culinary specialists is not difficult, the streets and small soybeans are crowded with merchants. Hissing pans from all sides envelop the heat passing by tourists. Here you can crack insects like nuts, and quench your thirst with the blood of a freshly squeezed cobra. Thais believe that regular use of snake juices contributes to the development of male power and heals from fatal ailments.
Tuk-tuk or skytrain?
Early morning. The first merchants spill out onto the streets, and the scorching sun promises to heat up the city with a new force. Where to go adventurer? First of all, you need to buy a map of the city or take it for free at the Turist Information kiosk. Then select the type of transport on which it is more convenient to navigate. This can be a subway, taxi, tuk-tuk or motobike.
The most comfortable way to move - colored taxi with a meter. At the same time, it is worthwhile to carefully monitor the indicators, since cases of fraud and robbery happen very often. Bangkok is a dangerous city where one should not lose vigilance in order not to fall into a delicate situation. Long tails of cars slowly pull one after another, but fortunately there is a way out of traffic jams - a knock-knock or a motorbike. The road will be faster and cheaper, but in the midst of chaotic traffic jam, you can assess the ecological situation of a millionth concrete with your own lungs.
Bangkok, as an independent organism, lives by its own laws, roads-arteries continuously pulsate, new buildings creep up with each brick, like blood, meandering Chao Praya flows through the veins of klong, and thousands of human molecules perform their daily activities, forcing the giant machine to continuously work.
Hopeless romantics often travel around the city side, seeking the fabulous beaches of the South China Sea or the mountainous regions of the north. However, Bangkok is definitely worth a visit at least once to see a lot, be surprised and, perhaps, overestimate something in your life.