Bangkok in a nutshell……
Crazy traffic, tons of motorbikes and tuk tuks weaving in amongst the cars. People everywhere, street vendors selling everything imaginable from unidentifiable food to pajamas. There is music blaring, all kinds of smells and cats and dogs and the occasional rat scurrying about.
Tucked away alleys have all kinds of bizarre sights and there is no shortage of prostitutes. A lot of them are transvestites, or “ladyboys” as they call them here. Some of them are stunningly beautiful. You really have to look twice before you realize it isn’t a female, sometimes you just can’t tell. They have flawless skin and a body and legs most woman would kill for.
There’s something to stimulate every sense you have. This is just a daytime description, the night time is when things really come to life! You will either love it or hate it.
Fun On Khao San Road
Khao San Road provides a dizzying array for the senses. At night is when the action really starts. The freaks seem to come out of the woodwork. We don’t know who is worse, some of the strange locals or the tourists themselves. The street is lined with shops on each side and then a secondary line of vendor stalls sit in front of those. As you make your way down the street you pass by an array of pumping music that is load enough to deafen you. The buildings are riddled with neon signs.
It is a place of crazed activity. Vendors are selling anything and everything. Practically anything you want counterfeited can be done here. Didn’t finish that university diploma or need a new drivers licence, no problem you can get it here. Fake books, dvd’s, cd’s, purses and watches are just among the few items available.
Fast food vendors are making all kinds of tasty delights from pad thai to banana pancakes. The bars are ready to get you drinking, fill you up with food as well and then have you drink some more into the wee hours of the night.
You can find a travel agency every ten feet ready to book any kind of activity or travel you can think of. Touts will be approaching you at every angle whispering tuk tuk, peep show and ping pong. We don’t need to go into anymore detail about ping pong, use your imagination.
The atmosphere as the night goes on gets a bit rowdy as the drunk tourists start to fall out of the bars. The vendor stalls pack up for the night and then the piles of garbage left all over the streets become very visible. Thank goodness they have people each night to clean it up.
Fellow Canadians Find Us In Bangkok Through Our Travelblog
We got an unexpected email from a couple who we had communicated with a few times before we left home. They had gone onto the Travelpod site and had taken a look at our travel blog. They are from Chilliwack on the mainland, not too far from where we live. They were a husband and wife who also sold their house and were traveling for one year. They left about a month after we did.
Luck would have it that we were in Bangkok at the same time. We are staying in hotels a few minutes away from each other. We met up with them last night for dinner. It was nice to sit and talk with another couple one on one. It had been a while since we had done this. It was neat to have something in common with them since they were from the same area back home.
Jack and Justin were having a great time wandering around Khao San Road. Both of them are over six feet tall so they could see well over the majority of the crowds on the street. They would actually talk to each other over the heads of people as you walked around.
Friendly Thai People
So far the people are very friendly and helpful. Trying to communicate in English can be somewhat to very difficult with many of the Thai people though. They try very hard to help and feel very bad if they can’t. So far we feel very safe here, we were told Thailand is by no means a dangerous country to travel in. I think it is true, it is more likely someone will charm you out of your money rather than out right rob you. So far the most dangerous thing we have encountered is trying to cross the streets!
We have no idea what this yellow head is supposed to be and the pig sign is beyond us as well. We spotted it as we were walking down a main road of traffic.
I Love Farangs!
We quickly learned the term that is used by the locals for the western tourists here. We are known as Farangs. Some of the taxis even have stickers on their windows that say I Love Farangs!
Banana Pancakes And Other Cheap Eats
Several times we have had the banana pancakes that are made around town, especially on Khao San road. They are so delicious. We took a video of the lady making them with our camera. She whips these things out so fast, you wouldn’t believe it.
You can eat until your hearts content here. The food is so cheap. Jack and I can stuff ourselves to the point of explosion for under $10 Canadian. Most times that we eat a meal it is around $4-$8 for the two of us depending on what we have. We have become addicted to fresh watermelon shakes, they are so refreshing.
We were ecstatic to find out Bangkok has Starbucks. We immediately rushed into the first one we saw on Khao San road only to be disappointed. None of the Starbucks have Chai tea lattes here. We have resorted to cold Mocha Frappes.
A family has their evening meal right on the side of a busy road
Hardly Any Outright Begging Here, Most People Do Something To Try To Earn Their Money
You have to give people here credit. There are some people just sitting on the sides of the road begging for money, but most are trying to earn it somehow. We have seen the same guy twice now, once on Khao San road and then again at the weekend market. He is probably in his 40’s. He is totally blind and is led about by what looks like his mother. He has a speaker hanging around his neck and karaoke music that he sings to. He is actually not too bad.
People do all kinds of stuff to make money. There is another guy who rides around in a peddle cab that is totally decked out as if he was in a parade. He wears a weird outfit with high boots and a funny hat. He calls himself Mr. Thailand and has a big banner saying so across the front of the cab. You get to sit perched up high in the back like royalty as he peddles you about.