Why I Will be Visiting Bangkok, Thailand
Yes, I have read The Beach. No I am not running away in search of some island paradise to lose myself in. Starting my gap year in Bangkok just made sense. Flights landing in Thailand’s capitol are incredibly cheap and it acts as a great jumping off point to explore the rest of South East Asia. Because a visit to Bangkok has never been at the top of my Bucket List, I figured I would just spend the first night there before finding a bus heading towards Ko Tao.
After deciding to write a series of articles about the places I intend to visit, I started researching each destination. Of course I looked over the government warnings and perused TripAdvisor, but what I really wanted was to figure out why I should visit each place; why I should spend a few days, a week, a month of my life experiencing what each destination had to offer. When I started to dig deep into why I should visit Bangkok, I found that the city has much more to offer than I had originally expected.
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What I Expect to Experience in Bangkok
Let me preface this by saying that all of my expectations stem from my vast knowledge of the city of Bangkok that was cultivated by spending many hours watching the Travel Channel, and of course The Hangover 2. I expect it to be crowded and chaotic. The air will be thick with urine and garbage. The cars and motorbikes will whiz past at alarming speeds. I will be able to walk into a market and buy anything from Pad Thai to drugs and illegal substances. Food will be incredibly cheap and alcohol will flow like water.
People will be friendly, but pushy when they want me to buy something that I don’t need. I don’t really know if there are any cultural sights and I can’t imagine I would be able to access them without paying cab fares to get through the crowds. However, maybe I will befriend a cigarette smoking monkey, which would definitely make the trip worthwhile.
Why I Decided to Spend More That One Night in Bangkok
From what I have read, you have not experienced Thai food unless you have been to Thailand. I am a HUGE foodie. I know, I know, everyone started making that claim when Instagram came out, but I really do love food. When I was young, I was a very picky eater but then I realized that food was a way to express my creativity.
I started cooking with my best friend when we were about six, and we haven’t left the kitchen since. I have hopes of opening my own restaurant some day, and how can I really understand a cuisine if I haven’t sampled it from the source. Sure, I will be able to eat Thai food anywhere in Thailand, but big cities are host to the upper echelon of the food scene and I intend to taste my way though Bangkok.
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It is inevitable that I will end up in Thailand, missing some essentials. Bangkok is going to have the largest and most inexpensive markets to replace anything that I may have forgotten, misplaced or lodged into a child’s mouth on the jaunt across the pond. Apparently, there are dozens of malls to choose from in addition to the Chatuchak weekend market, Klong Toey market, Pratunum market, and the hipster Dalat Rot Fai market.
Even though Nomadic Matt recommends three nights in Bangkok, I think I am going to plan for two nights in the city before I head off to the beach to relax and unwind after 16 years of school and two years of sales. Maybe I will even tour some temples before I leave.