Bangkok can be, at times, a rather intense city. In 2010, the city had a population of about 8.2 million people –– this doesn’t take into account the number of tourists/backpackers in the city –– all of whom need to, somehow, get around Bangkok. Thankfully, the city’s transportation infrastructure is pretty solid and easy to navigate.
It’s been a long day (or more) of travel as you slog through the customs line at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi International Airport (BKK), you’re tired, hungry and want to stop moving (and probably have a long shower as well), there is only one problem, you still need to get to your hotel or hostel. Thankfully getting from the Bangkok airport to the city centre is not a difficult task.
I didn’t watch an episode of Outlander or sit through a couple hours of Braveheart and think, “Ooo, Scotland is pretty, I need to move to Scotland!”, even though, you know, it is pretty.
Actually, pretty is not the right word, Scotland is stunning and complex and rugged.
My love of cafes has nothing to do with coffee–I’m not a coffee person–and everything to do with architecture, interior design, ambience, thirst-quenching beverages and good food. While each aspect plays a role in my overall cafe experience, the importance of those roles change depending on where I am travelling at the time.
Sitting on one of the windowsills in my apartment, I survey my surroundings. Black reusable shopping bags filled with food, books, and other household items are strewn around the floor in the kitchen and living area; two black and country style kitchen chairs waiting to be placed, a white laundry basket filled with cosy blankets; two large cardboard boxes from IKEA are ripped open on the ground.
I love Bangkok. It is a multifaceted city; then again most cities are. While many travellers decide to skip Bangkok, or only spend a day or two in the city, I like to stay awhile. Why? Because it is awesome, and there are still so many things I want to see/do/experience there (and share with you guys). The following is a list of experiences that I think ALL OF YOU should consider doing in Bangkok.
A walk through Bangkok’s Khao San road, the Grand Palace, Wat Pho, and other touristy sites generally results in more than a couple tuk-tuk drivers touting trips to a floating market. While many will accept their offer, there are some who shy away, not wishing to visit an overcrowded market that is filled with more tourists than locals.
You’ve made the first step, you’ve decided to say no to riding elephants, and yes to visiting or volunteering with elephants in a sanctuary that promote health, freedom, and natural behaviour, now what? What should you know about being a volunteer? If you’re visiting for a day, how should you dress or behave? What are the unspoken rules for interacting with elephants in a sanctuary like Elephant Nature Park?
As I sit in a wooden chair on the platform, surrounded by fighting dogs and cats that could care less about what is happening around them, I look towards the grounds of the park as the sky turns into soft oranges, yellows, and pinks; In the distance I hear the deep roar of an elephant, followed by a sharp trumpet from another.