The Long Wander in Thailand © Sahand Sedghi

City Life

Bangkok, Thailand


Tuk-tuk for hire © Sahand Images

Bangkok is a slap in the face. A little wake-up-love-tap is more like it. But you'll want to be completely awake for the sadistic experience that is Bangkok. Between beatings with traffic and pollution, the city teases with its shimmering temples; while the Thai sun batters, the Thai food caresses and soothes; after the streets have worn out your body, beautiful smiling women wait to restore it with traditional massage. The fine line that is love and hate makes you dance and if you're anywhere near Khao San road, you'll have pounding music to set the beat.

Hopefully, you'll get far, far away from Khao San, though, since Bangkok has so much more to offer than beer t-shirts and dreadlocks. In Asia, everything is still wobbling. Nothing is fixed or stable. Everything is in a state of flux. It is one of the reasons to travel in Asia. At times, it feels frantic, because once things become fixed, it will cease to be much of a challenge. The objective is to see each of the countries before they make a major shift and get closer to being first world. Bangkok is almost there. Three years ago the city was still gritty, and in the countryside of Thailand, it still is. But tourist hotspots, like Bangkok, have cleaned up. No more mangy dogs in the streets, the food vendors wear plastic gloves to cut fruit, transportation is considerably better organized and tourists don't get hustled in the same way as Cambodia, Laos or Vietnam. The tourist industry is established. The desperation is beginning to subside. Bangkok is a great starting place for anyone who's never traveled, which works out nicely since its is the Big Dipper among other minor Asian constellations. It's the first thing you see when you look at the Asian sky and inevitably the first place most travelers end up.


I have been to Bangkok more times than I can count on both hands, yet every time the flight crew welcomes me to Bangkok upon touchdown I become anxious and excited all over again. If its your first time or not, don't forget to go to the weekend market.

From the Photo gallery

I am still working on the Thailand photo-set.