Five Things I Like About Bangkok

A disabled lottery ticket seller in Bangkok

First impressions are sometimes misleading. For example, landing at Don Muang International Airport, it feels almost like you have arrived at a third-world country.

What more, when the 30km drive into the city reveals further bizarre traffic jams, dusty roads and almost a gluttony of drab and monotonous buildings. It almost feels like Kuala Lumpur’s Jalan Pudu or Chow Kit.

But, if you smell the air a little deeply, (provided the carbon monoxide and lead do not get to you first), Bangkok can be a very fun city. As a traveler, I have been to many places worldwide, but Bangkok is still my favorite destination. To me, nothing beats Bangkok!

The capital city of Thailand, Bangkok or better known in Thai as Krungthep Maha Nakorn (กรุงเทพมหานครฯ ), is the centre of the Thai cosmos. It is Thailand’s administrative, cultural, religious, and economic hub. No other city comes close to Bangkok. Even regional cities such as Chiengmai or Hatyai are at least 1/30 the size of Bangkok.

To cut things short, here are five things why I LIKE Bangkok!

1)Kwam Sanuk (ความสนุก ) – Enjoyment or Fun
Krungthep Maha Nakorn is a city of all possibilities. If you are religiously inclined, there is the highly-revered Emerald Buddha or the Santa Cruz Church, and if you like shopping, Jatujak is a shopper’s paradise. Basically, Krungthep is all about having fun. The city never sleeps, and having fun knows no time limit.

Even, if you decide to get a little naughty, there are ample choices for you — Soi Thonglor for your beer binge, Soi Patpong for the girly shows, and also, Suriwongse for those brown tight muscular guys! Hey, it’s also bang-cock. At least Theravada Buddhism does not equate pleasure with sinfulness.

2) Mai Pen Rai (ไม่เป็นไร ) – Nevermind
Thais have few natural grudges. Easily contented, they lead a simple life and have few worries. When in Thailand, it is best for tourists catch the never mind bug. At least, you will be able to take things easily. If you are a jai ron (ใจร้อน hot hearted, direct translation), in Krungthep, it is only best to get jai yen (ใจเย็น cool hearted). At least then, everything can be a mai pen rai!

3) Jai Dee (ใจดี ) – Good Hearted
Apart from gem schemers, most Thais are good hearted by nature. If you are lost, Thais would go all out to help you find your way. This kind hearted nature is also extended to animals. Have you seen how the Thais take care of their soi dogs and cats (strays) — they may not be very clean, but they are well fed. Even Nai Luang (King Bhumipol Adulyadej) is jai dee to adopt the stray dog, Tong Deang (Copper).

4) Raka Tuk (ราคาถุก ) – Cheap Prices
Where can you get a decent lunch for only RM2.00 (B20)? Only in Krungthep, that is a possibility. Whether you are in Samut Prakan or Sukhumvit’s upmarket Emporium, food and generally many other things come cheaply. My all-time favourite dish is Kao Gab Moo (Rice with Pork and Salted Vegetables), and all less than B25. Even for a Malaysian, earning a normal Malaysian salary, my ringgit stretches a little longer when I am in Krungthep.

5) Phoot Thai Dai (พุดไทยได้ ) Able to Speak Thai
I reckon what makes Krungthep even more fun is when you have the ability to speak Thai. With the correct Thai accent (Passa Klang), you will get VERY far with Raka Thai (Thai prices). Forget about paying the Raka Tang Chat (foreigners’ price). Hey, I managed to enter Muang Boran as a Khon Thai. Nobody suspected, I was not a Thai. Unfortunately, I did not abuse my ability to speak Thai. Well, at least not at Muang Boran.

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