Being tourist in Bangkok

September 19, 2015

 

I supposed to go to sleep, deciding that I don’t have enough strength to describe the last days, but mom said that every day she looks here and she motivated me to write something.

 

We spent our first weekend in Bangkok. Saturday half-day we worked on the first Good Story from Asia for our GoodNewsLetter and the rest we spent visiting temples and looking at various street events. Sunday we visited the old city, which has brought a little bit of frustration, a lot of fatigue, but also plenty of beautiful views, though covered a little by the crowd of tourists and amazingly hot temperature. In addition, to enter the main temples one need to be completely covered, so the majority of people walked on the streets in jeans and blouses with long sleeves although it was at least million degrees.

 

As I started to write, I’ll share a few thoughts so I don’t forget them and maybe they will also seem interesting for you.

Firstly, after trying the metro, tram and train, the time came for buses, boats and taxis. The first one mainly stuck in traffic jams, the second certainly don’t have any safety rules, and the third often are cheaper than metro or train. From obvious things discovered those days, if the address of the place you want to reach is written in English, most likely the taxi driver wouldn’t understand, knowing only the Thai alphabet. So the name of the street is not really helpful. The best is to have a phone number to someone who can explain taxi driver in Thai where you want to go.

 

Secondly, till you stay outside of tourist area of ​​Bangkok, surprisingly nobody want to sell you anything or take you anywhere. Unfortunately, as soon as you enter tourist part of the city it gets as in many other places – prices are going up, everybody wants to take you to the same, the most touristic place and you start to be suspicious with anyone who wants to help. Which makes no sense because most of the people really want to just help you. Today, except for a few people who seemed to have some other aim, a lot of locals showed us the way, gave us advice and one even took us by his motorbike to the nearest train station – as we looked lost (we were).

 

Thirdly, it is not easy here with food. Finding vegetarian, cheap and not very spicy food is quite challenging. Mainly people eat using small stalls on the street, which are everywhere and sell everything, but without knowing Thai language it’s difficult to guess what will appear on your plate. But there is something charming in people eating on the street, together. Small apartments for 1-2 people, don’t even have a kitchen. For what if it’s faster and often cheaper to eat out on the street?

Fourthly, we had a chance only for a moment to see Bangkok at night, but it was enough to conclude that there is still much to do here in terms of women’s rights. And not only.

 

That’s all for today. From tomorrow we begin a new series of meetings with various kinds of changemakers. Keep your fingers crossed!

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We are Anna and Andrea, a Polish-Italian couple traveling around the world. We are looking for changemakers,

in order to describe and share their stories.

Our journey is based on exchange: story telling and other skills in exchange for a place to sleep and food. 
 

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