City where come and go thousands of travellers worldwide, Bangkok, capital of Thailand, is however only very little visited. This can be explained by the somewhat bad reputation of the city and hast held by most visitors to flee the city to the islands.
However, many temples, each more beautiful than the other, are to be discovered in the city, where it is pleasant to idle by boat at the discretion of the channels, or stroll through the busy streets.
In fact, we learn to love this city as time goes by. It has an atmosphere all its own, which seduces and immerses you. It is full of unexpected riches; it is incredibly alive and active: to stroll there becomes an adventure every moment.
It exudes captivating smells in the markets or flowers and spices fill the air. Hawkers set up their stalls from one street to the other, thereby changing the urban landscape as they move.
But Bangkok is also a hi-tech city ... ultra modern, where we find all the latest technology through the dazzling luxury malls and cinemas that project in 4 D.
Unfortunately, all this luxury, modernity, neighbours a society where poverty is present, visible, and this clash between these two worlds gives Bangkok its chaotic side, surprising city and, in the end, really engaging.
So do not hesitate to give it a chance if you visit Thailand. It could be a wonderful experience. Judge for yourself:
The city has a dream climate of sun and heat, although it can sometimes be heavy and wet for the most sensitive. It is illuminated with thousands of lights and is conveniently located not far from the kilometres of white sandy Thai beaches, a paradise in which to relax a stone's throw from the adventurous and festive spirit of the capital.
So why still hesitate?
A trip such as Bangkok to Koh Phangan and Koh Samui islands will let you experience a unique atmosphere, especially at night.
The city offers many nightclubs where you can enjoy savoury cocktails of all kinds and other spirits while dancing to wild music in casual and colourful environments.
All your preferences will be encountered in this city: from the traditional bar in the unlikely location to the glamorous nightclub in a little secret corner, there will be something for everyone.
There are the same for all budgets. For smaller budgets, they are the bars like Thonglo - Patpong, and for higher budgets, Octave Rooftop, or the Moon Bar or the inevitable Sirroco.
Then there are dance halls, from the most classic to the trendiest.
To name a few, the magic Maggie Choo, with a unique decor, the more traditional RCA where you can enjoy contact with the locals, the Roof top of Above Eleven to dance to Latin rhythms, with salsa evening every Wednesday evening.
On the gastronomic subject you will be delighted. The food proposed in Bangkok is of quality and offers an incredible variety of dishes. The Thais love to cook and create dishes with many flavours, and deliciously spicy: only fragile stomachs may have to abstain.
It is impossible to mention all the good places to make a good meal, but let us include, for excellent curries and pat thai The Blue Elephant Restaurant - Issaya, and for the "street food" kitchen part, a stroll in Sukumvit Soi to find fried noodles, seafood, pat thai, kebabs and other delicacies.
Do not miss during a visit to Bangkok, the "tuck-tuck" ride, tasting the mojitos with passion fruit of the Above Eleven, the "pool-parties" at the Sofitel, and a brunch at Moko, and, as said above, the "street food" and the pleasure of haggling at MBK shopping center.
Everything is gathered in Bangkok for a festive holiday, relaxation and culture, with the possibility of living large, but inexpensively.
Let's talk culture: besides its nightlife, markets, temples and canals, Bangkok offer an incredible wealth of art, including the following examples among the best.
There, in the heart of the city, the "Street Art", is currently the new means of expression for young people of the city. To discover this cultural mode of expression without going too much off the beaten track, the most convenient place worth visiting for its beautiful richly coloured frescoes, is within 5 minutes walk from the Siam Center, just after Phanfa Bridge on Phayathai Road.
Bangkok is also the residence of the Emerald Buddha, the city that never sleeps, the stunning city of God Indra, to whom it is dedicated, and which was built by Vishnukarn. This is where the lavish Royal Palace, true heavenly home lies. This is the great capital carved into nine gems. It is a city of diversity, a generous city that one cannot forget.
It is indeed also the economic capital of the entire Southeast Asia. Since twenty years, the emergence of a middle class has propelled the expansion of the large "malls" (shopping centres) and especially the attraction of the big brands of the West. One example: Terminal 21 on Asoke, which consists of 8 floors, with gym on the top floor.
A restatement is needed: Bangkok should not be seen through the window of drugs, debauchery, prostitution and other excesses of all kinds. It is much more and much else.
For a foreigner, living in Bangkok for a period of a few months may be compared to the life of a senior manager in Central Europe, in France for example, but with the opportunity to enjoy the proximity of the islands and other exotic landscapes that includes this beautiful country.
Given the cost of living in Thailand, it can only be recommended for young budget travelers to come and enjoy in this country pleasures that offer luxury hotels, Michelin-starred restaurants, "pool parties" and other surprising and disorientating concepts. It is even possible to have beachfront bungalows for a handful of Euros...
What was not affordable in your country becomes in Thailand, part of your everyday life. Here are presented a few places where the tourist will find everything to relax and make the most of real purchasing power, putting on the side some things censored well set in Western minds.
Let us first quote Maggie Choo to start an evening. We will take an aperitif in a place in style of the Hong Kong of the 20s, managed by a French, where is held on Wednesday an hip hop evening and where an American crooner sings on Saturday night. It is simply impossible to find such a place in an European country, given the cost of representations and the risk inherent in such an undertaking. Indeed, in a huge space, smokehouses have been built as safes that can hold 5 to 6 people, a bar occupies a large place and comfortable sofas allow visitors to comfortably enjoy the many cocktails on the map. Maggie Choo also has a typical Thai restaurant, but the owner is also in command of one of the best burgers restaurants in town, always in an original setting, located in the district of Tonghlor, shortly after 10th Street. The side of the place is so atypical, the meal being served in the dark, in the presence of artists presenting an entertaining show.
The Thongor area is known and appreciated by expatriates mainly for its high range restaurants, pubs and bars. This is an area mostly managed by Japanese who settled there and have as much the sense of celebration as that of good food between soups and sushi.
At street No. 10 level, there is also a football stadium where expatriates gather to organize matches between two teams of seven players. To participate, simply present yourself and ask to join a group for a two hours game at the ridiculous price of 200 Baths (= +/- 5 €) that includes, besides perfect service , bottles of water at wish and access to changing rooms with shower gel, shampoo and towels.
That's not all: at Sukhumvit Soi 38 (Soi means Street in Thai) level, down Thonglor, is offered the best street food in the city. One can take some food with excellent products of good quality and very cheap. It is a place that is pleasant to discover with friends who do not know the country and wish to discover its cuisine, with good menus from 3 Euros.
Note that on lunch time, some company restaurants at the bottom of buildings, offer lunches for more or less 1 € cover charge.
It is also possible to find nearby street food stalls specializing in pad Thai noodles and soups.
Not far from Soi 38, Sukhumvit, is the Marriott hotel where the cost per night is around 150 €. This is a reasonable price, as the hotel offers a roof top where you can enjoy panoramic views of the city on 360 degrees and have the opportunity to take beautiful souvenir photos. A drink will cost you around 5 Euros.
These structures on roofs are many and are an integral part of the city. They are ranked among the finest in the world. Dinner at night will give you a unique and unforgettable experience, because it is highly unlikely that you can find similar roof-tops else than in Bangkok, only city where prices to access there remain affordable.
And now that you've been around this great city, it's time to explore the surrounding areas. And to travel in Thailand, the means are not lacking from Bangkok, which offers opportunities of flightsboth domestic and international at very affordable prices which make it possible to explore the islands (Koh), including those of Koh Tao, Koh Samui, Koh Chang, Koh Samet, Koh Phanghan, etc.
Only the weather could spoil the pleasure of this discovery. In fact, from the month of June is the rainy season and to reach the west coast islands where the famous Koh Lanta and Koh Phiphi in particular, are found, becomes significantly more complicated. Faced with this problem, it is better to visit the southern islands like Koh Tao to benefit from a mild and sunny weather with the possibility of practicing water sports and have fun in the evening.
The southern islands (Koh Tao, Samui, Phanghan) can be connected via a ferry, always cheap. To attend Koh Phanghan”s celebration of the full moon is highly recommended: it would be a pity to miss such a memorable evening. There are ways to get there by speed boat from Koh Tao or Samui.
The second largest of the three islands is Koh Phanghan. It is however less attractive as Koh Tao, despite its long white beaches and festivals by the sea. Lovers of diving pass by Koh Tao. They will find diving centres run by Europeans.
Closer to the capital lie the islands of Koh Samet and Koh Chang, where you can simply go by mini-van and ferry. In no more than 4 hours, you will find yourself in another world, on islands who still kept their authenticity and have not yet been invaded by too much tourism.
In Koh Samet, for example, it is better to move around with a quad, because all other means of transport could result in accidents considering the wild side of the place. And do not forget that riding scooters is actually dangerous, especially by exposure to heat and sun: in case of problems, one must bear in mind that there are very few hospitals on the islands, and to be repatriated takes time ...
Moreover, in case of injury, infection is a concern, so to be equipped with a good first aid kit is no luxury, quite the opposite, as well to be covered by a good insurance assistance, both for oneself and for the vehicle used.
But there are not only the Thai islands to delight your view. For example, in the Kanchanaburi area, you can get lost in a jungle, admire waterfalls and numerous wild animals, visit temples and monasteries, and enjoy the quite extravagant inns and hotels.
It is possible to organize a two-day hike with food and accommodation on the river Kuai, including travel from Bangkok for about fifty Euros. This is the ideal plan if one has not the opportunity to spend more time in this region, the largest in the country.
The presence of a guide and good organization is necessary, even indispensable.
Many alternatives are available to explore the place. It is possible to make, for example, a kayak ride along the Kuai River, or visit a cave, or a remote village in the jungle and totally out of modern civilization, or to visit a temple where monks care for tigers. one can also have a swim on elephant back in the river, and visit, along two kilometres, no less than 7 cascades following one another.
The fauna and flora of the area is particularly rich and colourful, and make this place one of the finest in the country. All shades of green are found throughout the river Kai.
But if you want to find the town, join Singapore or Hong Kong via Bangkok is possible and you can get there for a weekend for a reasonable budget that yet varies according the activities you plan on site.
All these destinations have in one thing in common: the means of transport. No problem to go from coast to coast by van, by ferry or by air. And Thailand, compared to other countries, for example, the Philippines remains safe. Thais certainly drive differently from us, but frankly we can trust them: there is nothing to fear. It is quite usual to get around Bangkok motorcycle taxi, without the driver offering a headset as is customary in Europe. At first glance, it may seem unwise, but there it is usual: Thai culture differs from ours and it is not always easy to understand how they live every day.
This country is not dangerous and it feels safe. People are trustful and peaceful. This is simply a question to avoid offending a Thai in his honour: it could downright make you risk your life: indeed, an American just lost it because he did not pay 20 Baht more (0, € 50) to a taxi driver, to which, moreover, he lacked respect in public.
Known as the land of smiles, Thailand, located in Southeast Asia shares its borders with Myanmar, Cambodia, Malaysia and Laos and is bordered by the Gulf of Thailand, the South China Sea and the Andaman Sea .
It holds an important place in Asian culture in general.
This is the only country in South Asia that has never been colonized by the West, which makes the pride of its people.
This country is known for its long sandy beaches, with a paradisiacal look. It generated real fantasies and inspired many stories like the movie The Beach from Danny Boyle, with Leonardo Di Caprio, which was shot on the island of Koh Phi Phi, on Maya Beach.
Beyond its landscapes, the kindness of its population also makes its wealth: Thais are all calm and modesty, with an unparalleled sense of sharing.