Congested, polluted and smelly, Bangkok put up quite a fight as one of the best cities in the world today. Though the town has the potential to be rude and crime-ridden, as a tourist you feel anything but mistreated or unsafe.
Walking down the tiny streets of old Bangkok you are greeted with pungent smells of Thai food mixed with sewage. But this surprisingly only whets the appetite. The streets overflow with merchants and monks giving you the feeling that you can get about anything you are looking for: religion or sin. But that is what makes Bangkok so endearing–its stark contrasts. That so many different types of people and interests mix, which creates quite an atmosphere.
So to be brief, touring Bangkok today was quite a treat. We took in the Grand Palace followed by shopping in the Khao San Road area. We got yelled at for not taking our shoes off at a Buddhist shrine and talked merchants down on clothes. We ate Thai food that made me sweat as if I were in a sauna and bought watermelon for dessert from a roadside dealer. All the while relishing the fact we were so far East of the US.
Its taken some time to swallow the fact that we are going to be away from air conditioning and toliets that flush with some gusto, but we are getting use to the things that Asia doesn’t have. And even enjoying the fact that we really don’t need all that we think we do.
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