What is Bangkok really like?

It is a modern city with a cultural heritage that dates back almost a thousand years, but like many other capital cities around the word, it suffers from air pollution. Many residence wear masks to protect themselves from fumes from the heavy traffic which invade Bangkok’s roads. Much traffic travels through Bangkok, causing many “rot tit” (traffic jams).

Overhead, thick black vines lace the many streets and roads. Much of Bangkok’s beauty is hidden behind miles and miles of thick telephone and electrical cables.

I thought it would be lovely to catch a boat and explore Bangkok the scenic way, using the canals. However, unlike the romantic Venice canals, Bangkok’s canals are polluted. People dump their rubbish and also raw sewage flows into the canals. In some places it is so bad that the water is black. The stench is awful! The boats race up and down the canals creating much wash. The sides of the boats have sheets to protect you from the spray of passing boats. It is not a very pleasant journey but is one which is made often by many of Bangkok’s commuters. The canals are the quickest way to get around the city. It is a shame that they are not clean.

The good news is that you can get away from the bad side of Bangkok. There are many appartment stores (big shopping centres) which contain a wide variety of shops, including Boots the Chemist. There is also much to see and explore around Bangkok and you can travel using the sky train, air-conditioned buses or taxis.

Wats, the Buddhist temples, are plentiful and add to the beauty of Bangkok, behind the smog. Their inlaid orange and green roofs and their golden chedi (the spires) reflect the sun, making them look very magnificent. A must for all tourists to see and visit.

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