Bangkok, Thailand (map)
After spending time in big cities in India and also experiencing the craziness of Kathmandu, Dustin and I had mentally prepared ourselves for our arrival into Bangkok. We knew we wanted to visit the city before heading to the beautiful beaches, but we had heard from other travelers about how Bangkok is just another large, dirty, city and you really should not stay too long there. Well, I am not sure where these folks have traveled, but we LOVED Bangkok! After the smog and trash we had recently experienced we were completely shocked at how clean Bangkok was. We could even see the moon and stars at night in the sky. Also, their mass transit alone was the cleanest I have ever been on in the world. You could practically eat off the floor it was so clean. Okay, so I am going a bit overboard because 1. Those of you who know me know I am a germaphobe and would never eat off the floor and 2. It is actually illegal to eat or drink on the Thai mass transit system 🙂
Once the initial shock wore off we thoroughly enjoyed the few days we had planned for the city. Besides having cheap mass transit (both sky train/water subway), the food was shockingly good and super inexpensive. Thankfully we were not shy to try out the local food centers where you can get a complete Thai meal for around $1. We also ventured out to what most people would call “the naughty area” of the city, we posed with the well known Reclining Buddha, and we enjoyed watching some live Muay Thai fighting at one of the largest shopping malls I personally have ever seen. For a city that has a population somewhere around 8 million, we didn’t feel crowded and in general we were impressed with the amount of green space they have.
One of the things I have learned throughout our travels is to always appreciate other people’s advice/input, but be sure to take what other travelers say about a place with a grain of salt. Everyone has their own impressions and opinions of where they have been. If you write off a place just on hearsay you may be missing out!