After just over 2 weeks at Thai islands in the Gulf of Thailand, we flew back to Bangkok. This time, in contrary to going there, a quick and quiet flight.
Arriving in Bangkok is impressive if you haven’t seen a metropole before. Leah and Ise were overwhelmed by all the giant advertisements, roof gardens, swimming pools and the multiple sky-scrapers, one crazier than the other: “look one with a Greek temple on top; one fully covered in gold and the highest one that is swirling over 350 meters into the air, like a lego-tower.” As with any highest building in a city, the fame never lasts long, a higher building is already in the making. Only 20 meters higher.
Many tourists skip Bangkok, but it definitely deserves a visit. Here you can experience more Thailand than on the beaches where you mostly see European tourists and where many restaurants and guest houses are now being called Ibiza 🙂
Globalization has its pros and cons. It is great for instance when looking for gluten free food for our youngest (and good wine for ourselves after two weeks of half-cold beer and sugary mojitos).
After a quick internet search (another big difference as compared to 15 years ago carrying illegal and outdated copies of the lonely planet with us), we ended up eating gluten free crusty pizza in a high-end Italian restaurant in down-town Bangkok.
We truly believe the best thing you can do if you want to see ‘the real Bangkok’, still is the Co van Kessel bicycle tour. We did the tour in 2004, with our parents visiting us in Laos, and loved it even more in 2018 with our kids. It brings you to the more quiet original Bangkok at the other side of the river, but also to the small alleyways and smokey markets of China-town, hidden neighborhood temples and local schools where students in their white school costumes gather. Thai little retail shop owners still say ‘sawadee’ to all ‘falang’ (foreigners) that cycle by.
We ended our two days Bangkok with our Myanmar visa in our pockets, which we celebrated in a Sushi place where the Japanese cooks sing you welcome and goodbye songs (the place is called Touka). A final goodbye drink we took in the Moon-bar looking down, from high-above (62nd floor), on the million lights of magic Bangkok.