Bangkok is a city that we loved much more than we thought we would.
Surprisingly, we were not overwhelmed what can be perceived by others as a sensory overload. Bangkok has got some fantastic things going for it- namely, excellent and efficient transport systems, innovative design concepts, and an inspiring food scene. We would have loved to spend more time in this vibrant city, if it were only possible.
Bangkok has some effective, well-established transportation systems which allow people to get around quickly and independently.
Its fabulous train system is comprised of three main lines, and can get you to most ends of the city, as well as most things inbetween. We stuck primarily to the train lines, and got to see a good number of the spots in the city this way. One night, we stopped off at Si Lom Station to join 300+ others for some outdoor aerobics in Lumpini Park.
In 34 degree heat (at 6:30pm), it was a fun but moist time. We
struggled did our best to follow along, but enjoyed taking part in some physical activity with the locals.
Bangkok also sports a reliable system of boats which transport people up and down the Chao Phraya river, making it possible to reach destinations which run alongside the river, such as Asiqatique and a large number of temples.
Siam Centre evidences some of the innovation and design taking place within Bangkok’s shopping scene.
A melding of inspiring architecture, design, fashion, and food await at this inspiring complex.
From the physical encasings of the shops, to the way that merchandise was displayed, we were very much impressed and inspired by the innovative concepts in design.
At times, it almost felt like we were in some sort of wearable arts/design museum.
We were stoked to discover that Greyhound Bus Lines has apparently inspired a line of clothing as well as the menu at a cafe/restaurant.
In honor of my dad, Andy, a 30+ year Greyhound employee, we paid a visit to Greyhound Cafe.
The “happy toast” and lavender ice cream were both highly commendable, and the overall experience rated excellent.
Another unique eating establishment which caught our attention was Mr. Jones’ Orphanage. We actually didn’t end up eating there, but the concept of a restaurant that serves only deserts and sweet beverages, in little booths, with teddy bears floating about it just rather cute, don’t you think?
Bangkok is home to a wide variety of delicious food options. If you want it, Bangkok probably has it. Food stalls line most streets, so if you are feeling daring, you can pick up a tasty meal off the street for next to nothing, or enjoy a (hopefully) more hygienic meal prepared in a restaurant for a bit more.
We were beyond delighted to discover- right next to Siam Centre- the foodie mecca known as Siam Paragon. A stroll through the gourmet food market will leave one asking, “How can so many delicious things be available in one place?” From the everyday soups to the unique sweet treats, this gathering of Thai culinary artisans has got everything a foodie in Thailand could possibly desire.
A few standouts come to mind:
The Chiang Mai sausage, a pork sausage packed with the herbs that Thai cuisine is famous for, served witha spicy green chili paste (in the style of Northern Thai food). It was full-flavored awesome.
One of Breno’s favorites was the dried, shredded pork. This was a taste experience which brought together past experiences with beef jerky, pulled pork, and cotton candy! Sweet, and just a bit spicy, it was awesome. (Served with sticky rice).
The traditional Thai crepe won my heart at first bite. Once discovered, I begged Brendon each day we were in Bangkok to return to Siam Paragon to indulge in these sweet thai delicacies.
The flourless crepe, made from a mixture of egg and coconut, is grilled until firm then dressed with sweet and savoury versions of toppings, before the crepe is ever so gently rolled by the delicate fingers of Boon, the crepe connoisseur. These Thai crepes are culinary masterpieces.
We tried to scratch as much of Breno’s street food itch here in this controlled sanitary environment, but we did do a bit of dabbling in the real thing. Thai fried chicken was great, and the street pad thai by our hotel the last few days was delish. We also managed to find an IPA at El Osito, rescuing Breno from hop withdrawl.
In other words, Bangkok was easy to navigate, inspiring, and extremely tasty. Though known for its smog, chaos, and noise, Bangkok is really a tourist-friendly city with so much to offer.