Current status: sitting in the Bangkok airport ready to fly back to Taipei. I felt compelled to write down my reflections on this particular leg of the trip in a way I usually don’t. I want to be totally honest and say I had a really mixed time in Bangkok, what I loved in the markets and temples I disliked in the rapid way the city has changed to cater to tourism.
Prices wildly higher or being ignored for service until everyone around us was served were just a few of our experiences. There’s even a slang for foreigner. Honestly how can you blame anyone? Foreigners can be rude, loud and probably absurdly sweaty from the heat and need to lock down their Instagram. Not to mention so many go there to exploit what has become a sex tourism destination du jour. From what I understand the conflicting feeling we had of being in what ultimately is a New York like evolution of a city growing to be less of a cultural hub and more of an international city is probably standard. For Americans traveling, feeling like an outsider might even be a good lesson to learn – it is instructive on how people feel all over the world and often how foreigners feels visiting the US. In the end we felt that between our Thai friends who we love and the majority of people who we encountered that wanted to teach us something or share with us made us feel much more included. I would say definitely go, so many amazing things, people and foods to discover but also make sure to include a destination like Chang Mai or somewhere outside of the city proper for your visit so you don’t see everything in just that city lens.
Anyways don’t let my candid moment scare you from an awesome place to visit. If anything this emboldens our feeling to stray from the main path and find those side street markets where we were welcomed so warmly or bookstores and hidden gems the city is teeming with.
This first post will be short and sweet as we arrived in the afternoon so only had a few hours. We grabbed a quick coffee at Spoonful Zakka Cafe (Japanese style and oh so adorable…I didn’t see the note about staying off your phones and DSLRs until after but fortunately we were the only ones there) after setting down our bags and I couldn’t help myself from getting a street snack
First thing to tick off our list was to hit up some of the malls near us. MBK, a highly recommended bargaining mall was nearby and of course home to one of Ben’s shortlist of possible tailors. We went there knowing we’d be back in a few days to pick things up (crazy crazy turn around).
Back at the Muse Hotel, we checked in and were warmly greeted by a selection of “shots” two alcoholic, two not. A watermelon and lychee juice, grape juice, and home made limoncello. Amazing. From start to finish this experience felt special. We always use hotels.com to book our hotels because every tenth night is free but prices were so reasonable it was truly a no-brainer and the points were just frosting on top of the cake.
That night we stayed behind and checked out the rooftop pool and lovely rooftop restaurant. While I prefer to eat local food when I’m traveling, part of the charm of Bangkok is finding a place to have a cocktail with a sky high view, fortunately for us, we had one right in our hotel.