busy streets of bangkok, bangkok streets, city of bangkok, driving in bangkok, traffic in bangkok,

 

We heard mixed reviews about Bangkok before getting here. Few said they loved it; many said to get out as soon as we could. Macrae, having already been to this city, hadn’t been left with any strong urges to go back. During our stay here, though short, we’ve grown a little fond of this massive city.

Perhaps it’s because we have only stayed such a short time or perhaps we’ve observed the city with an especially open mind after being in Beijing and getting a taste of what a “big, dirty city” can really be like.

Like Beijing, there are parts of Bangkok that are clean and upscale, and like Beijing, there are parts that are far from it. That’s probably what you’ll find in any large metropolis.

Here, there are a sea of cars with seemingly erratic drivers (we’re pretty sure we saw at least fifty near-misses on the road in a period of 60 seconds); Tuk Tuks (like a motorbike powered rickshaw) stopping to see if you need a ride almost constantly (“Tuk Tuk!?” “Tuk Tuk!?”); and puddles of unknown origin popping up along the sidewalks (even when it hasn’t rained).

But all these negatives about Bangkok: the traffic, the tourist scams, the crazy nightlife and wild stories, the unidentified liquids, are all tempered by Thai culture and Thai people.

Tuk Tuk resting in Bangkok, TUk TUk, Bangkok transportation, Thailand tuk tuk,

Even here in Bangkok, there is a genuine kindness and willingness to help. While there are still scams and tourist traps galore, we’ve found that a vast majority of people are quick to offer help, free of charge. Overall, the people are still friendly, like they were in the North, while perhaps a bit more jaded by the big city life.

We’ve found that the rule of thumb in Thailand still stands in Bangkok: smile at a Thai and they will smile back. The subway and sky-train system isn’t too difficult to navigate and provide a great alternative to taking a taxi or tuk tuk. There are amazing street food vendors, markets and small local restaurants and although you will pay slightly more than the North, you can find decently priced food that almost certainly tastes great.

Bangkok buildings, city of bangkok, bangkok tourism, bangkok,

We’ve only spent a couple days in Bangkok so we’ve barely seen any of what the city has to offer and while a majority of people told us a couple days would be more than enough, we’ve got to say we’re sad to go.

Walking down the less touristy streets you’ll find this perfectly blended combination of ancient Wats, blackened and run-down buildings and new constructions. A mix between old, older and new beginnings. We’d love to explore more of the complexities of the city but perhaps we’ll get a chance another time.

bangkok wat, golden wat bangkok, bangkok temples, temples in thailand, bangkok tourism, bangkok attractions

There’s more to Bangkok than the wild parties and scenes from “The Hangover 2”. We think if you look close and with an open mind you’ll find Bangkok is actually an amazing part of Thailand and you don’t need to be in a tourist hub to find that’s the case.

It may be through a visit to a temple, a stroll through a market or a cruise down the river. For us, it was simply walking along the streets, seeing the contrasts and the unexpected. We’ve had one of our best meals of all time here, been to one of the world’s largest markets, and even had a few less than stellar experiences. More of those contrasts.

Dirty looking Building in Bangkok, Buildings in Bangkok, Bangkok city, Bangkok building, Bangkok tourism

If you’re planning a trip to Thailand and are questioning whether Bangkok is worth the stop, our answer would be yes. It may not be our favourite place in Thailand but it is certainly worth the visit. So yes, we’re sad to leave but we’re happy to have come here and to mark it on our list of places to which we need to return.

 

Have you been to Bangkok? What was your first impression? Comment below and let us know!

29 replies
  1. Amanda Love
    Amanda Love says:

    I love reading these posts. It’s always good to know where to go and what to do when you get there. I’ve always wanted to visit Asia so this is a great help. Beautiful pics too btw.

    Reply
  2. Andi
    Andi says:

    I agree that Bangkok like most huge cities is great to see in small doses and you would be missing out if you did that the opportunity to visit it a day or two if you are passing through.

    Reply
  3. Nancy
    Nancy says:

    My friend went to Thailand, and I *think* she stopped in Bangkok. I can’t get over the amount of clothes she had tailored and made for her there. She brought back a lot of beautiful souvineers.

    Reply
    • onemoderncouple
      onemoderncouple says:

      There were tons of tailors and shops everywhere! Apparently incredibly cheap as well! We didn’t end up buying anything as we can’t carry much with us, but it’s definitely a good place to go if you’re looking to shop!

      Reply
    • onemoderncouple
      onemoderncouple says:

      Definitely. We’ve found that some of the places we’re told we HAVE to see, are just okay in our eyes and some of the places we’ve been told to skip, or see briefly, have been our favourites.

      Reply
  4. Michelle
    Michelle says:

    I have always wanted to visit Bangkok since that song from the 80s (One Night IN Bangkok), lol. I never realized how pretty it is–this looks like an amazing and unique place. :)

    Reply
  5. Fi
    Fi says:

    Looks so amazing! I love the contrast of culture you find in Asia versus the western world. I’d love to ride in a Tuk Tuk too :)

    Reply
    • onemoderncouple
      onemoderncouple says:

      So far we’ve avoided a tuk tuk ride this trip, but we have a feeling it’s inevitable. Plus, it’s one of those things you just want to try at least once and Carolann’s never ridden in one!

      Reply
  6. Franca
    Franca says:

    I remember not liking Bangkok the first time we went, it felt dirty, chaotic and not my kind of city altogether. Only after returning three times I learnt to like it, I discovered the hidden bits and not touristic spots, I enjoyed its not so nice sides as much as its pretty ones. I’m with you when you say that if you are in Thailand a visit to Bangkok is a must.

    Reply
  7. lauriel
    lauriel says:

    I love visiting Bangkok! (I have a bunch of friends there) It has changed *so* much over the years… it’s much more modern and clean and high-tech than it used to be… (I first went 10 years ago). But, I love the people and culture of Thailand, and have had some amazing life memories there (e.g. got married in Phuket).

    I’ll be back in Bangkok in 3 weeks, and very much looking forward to enjoying the food, night life, and weather! <3

    xo,
    lauriel
    EyeForElegance.com

    Reply

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