Bangkok reflects its position as Thailand’s center of wealth and modernization. I admire the culture preservation of the City. It is but one great destination for knowledge and culture enrichment.
Unfortunately, my excitement before I fly to Bangkok undermined when I stepped into Don Meuang International Airport, Bangkok’s old port catering most international flights then. It is hard to locate the paths, the comfort rooms and even exits of the airport. The airport was very unorganized. However, thanks to their new airport, Suvarnabhumi International Airport. My flight back to Manila was catered through this newly operated airport. It was way too better than Don Meuang, even better than NAIA (Manila’s international airport).
To my beloved countrymen, don’t hate me for this. I love our country – I love Manila. It’s just that there really is a need for a big improvement of a few of our operations and facilities. I bet we all have to agree with this.
In connection, Bangkok is relatively similar to Manila in most aspects – the people, the streets, modes of transportation and weather. Travelling from the airport (the old one I mean) to the hotel is a bit of a hassle. I had to take a long bus-ride and an express van in order to reach my hotel, located in Sukhumvit, which is also nearest to most of the city’s attractions.
Welcoming you at the airport with these structures above, sure you’ll get a glimpse of what to expect out of this country – cultural. Mistakenly, I have thought that these structures depict Buddhism which is the major religion in the country – but it is Hinduism instead, the religion of the minority in Thailand.
I only had two days to roam around Bangkok, and my travel adviser, Google, suggested the best way to see all of the city’s major attractions for a day – the Chao Phraya River express water buses. It’s like the Hop-On Hop-Off transit of Kuala Lumpur, but only on the water. So same method of the bus usage applies here. And as always, I availed of the 1-day unlimited pass here.
It was a tourist ferry that will sail you to the stops nearest each Bangkok tourist attraction. Majority of the ferries are untidy and the seats are uncomfortable to sit on. Also, most tourist guides on these ferries that day were irritable. I didn’t know if it was only because of a not-so-good weather or it’s intrinsic to them. I hope that it was the first one.
In addition, it had been hard to communicate with most Thais, including the tour guides, when you’re using the English language. I even noticed that whenever I approach most Thais, and I start an English conversation, they tend to avoid you. But in all fairness, there are still approachable ones – those willing to lend a hand.
Despite a few uncongenial Thais, Bangkok and its city collective embraces you with its warm and prosperous culture. (Get to see it on my other essay.)
Moreover, shopping is another must-do in Bangkok as they say. While I personally do not like shopping, I still grabbed the chance to situate myself to the shopping central of Thailand located in Bangkok – Mahboonkrong or also known as the MBK Center. With these eight-storey shopping center, you get to find cheap yet good buys – be it souvenirs, authentic items and all other goods you can imagine. To contextualize it Pinoy style, it’s more like our Divisoria – exactly its Thai copy.
On the other hand, there’s this one mall in Bangkok that seized my interest much – Terminal 21. Terminal 21 is a one floor, one theme shopping mall whose concept is market streets of the world. It is decorated based on well-known streets in cities such as Rome, Paris, Tokyo, London, Istanbul.
Bangkok is truly one of the world’s top tourist destination cities, and I can personally attest to this. It is one city worth returning to in terms of cultural diversity and preservation. I must say that Bangkok is one city worth tagging “Truly and Proudly Asia.”
I’D forget: OLD AIRPORT
I’D NOT forget: CULTURE