First week in Bangkok

Here we are! Celebrating my first week in Bangkok!

It is the first time out of Europe and the flight wasn’t as long as I thought. Watching movies, working and sleeping. So the time flew very fast.

As I wrote before, I haven’t come here just for tourism so I haven’t been around in the most common zones. I spent most of the time at my favourite Starbucks working 🙂

But I can share with you my first impressions about this city.

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Areas

khaosan RoadI had found on internet that Khao San Road was the best tourist place. Bullshit! Avoid it (if you are not interested in ping pong shows and seeing drunk people dancing half naked in the bars).

I suggest to take a hotel near a BTS station so you can move easily and cheaply. Every time I have to go to the the centre of the city I have to take a taxi (around 120 baht and sometimes 40 minutes stacked in the traffic) just to arrive to the station.

 

Nice people

People are very obsequious. To say thank you they join the hands together in front of their chest. It’s called wai. I find this gesture very nice and self explanatory. Also every person smiles. Of course in the tourist places people are ruder. But this happens in every tourist places of the World.

 

Traffic and pollution

Traffic BangkokThis is the worst side of this city. The traffic is crazy and the pollution is very high. Every car is very noisy and spits out black smoke. In some moment of the day it’s impossible to take the car. The alternative can be a motorbike taxi. But they drive fast between the queues of cars and you can find it scary.

Crossing the road can be a lottery. Just start to cross and try to avoid cars, buses and scooters. Taking a bus here it’s a challenge. They are very old and stop in the middle of the road (even if there are 3 lanes!).

Two more things I have noticed: few people don’t wear helmets, the motorbikes can’t take the motorway and there are only few big bikes (over 300 cc) and most of them don’t have a registration plate!

 

Language

Almost everyone knows a bit of English. It’s easy to be understood. Just explain them slowly using the standard Italian body language 🙂

Few people have an high English skills so it’s easy to go out and have a normal conversation with Thai people or farangs (how Thai people call foreigners).

 

Weather

It’s hot but the worst thing is the humidity. It’s very high especially during the evenings and nights. When I walk out I try to stop at 7/11 (you can find this supermarket chain every 200 meters) every 5 minutes or enter shopping centres.

Seems that only foreigners sweat here. They are used to this weather so you can go in public transport and nobody smells bad! Yuppy!!!

 

Food

Thai foodFood is amazing. And you can eat good food wherever in the street markets in the city. The price is very cheap (around 50 baht for a pad thai, for example). I love to go out in the mornings and buy fresh fruit to eat on my way (coconut, bananas, mango, dragon fruit, etc…).

 

Green

Bangkok is full of green. In every road you walk there are trees and plants because of the humidity. The parks have amazing colours and going out from the city is even better!

 

Cleanliness

The walk paths are clean from rubbish but often the house drainages empty directly in the road. So it smells and you can often see cockroaches (very huge!).

Also food is stored in the road near the stands. The good thing is that it’s always fresh.

 

Safety

Bangkok is a safe place. People are used to leave their belongings without being afraid. Of course if you are a tourist, people will try to scam you. Especially taxi drivers. From the airport the driver covered the meter with a towel to try to get 800 baht from me instead of 250. And another one made a very big diversion to make the price raises. So… keep your eyes opened and ask for meter!

 

Nightlife

Maggie Choos'sI went out in Khao San Road two times. Better going to one of the small roads near it to have a quiet beer and chat with someone.

Also I went to to Maggie Choo’s Bar. The live music was amazing but the cocktails very expensive (300 baht) and very small.

 

Curiosities

Everything in the supermarket is sold in small boxes: small yoghurt, small water bottle, one toilet paper roll, etc…

 

Finally…

Bangkok is too big and crowded for me. But if you know where to live and you have good money it is a great city. Also in an hour you can reach fantastic beaches that are quiet important for me.

 

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