Bangkok was the three day stop-over before the beach part of our honeymoon. The place to get over jet lag. I wasn’t that excited about Bangkok, because I’ve never heard any great reviews. You hear of sex trade, ‘ping pong shows,’ and drunk bachelor parties. Even when I posted on Facebook asking for tips, most people said, “eh” to Bangkok. I went there with little, to no expectation. I had already pre-judged Bangkok before we were ever introduced.
Cut to ‘Day Two’ in Bangkok, and I’m sitting in a temple meditating underneath a giant stunning Buddha. This wave of peace and contentment came over me. I thought, how could anyone not fall in-love with this place? You can hop-on a commuter boat that takes you down the glistening river. Stumble across beautiful temples nestled in bustling streets…
Ride a ‘tuk-tuk’ as the city flies by. Eat Pad Thai as you wander down alleys lined with colorful trinkets..
And the Thai people……
Smiling for me is like a reflex. If I make eye contact with you, I’m GOING to smile. Now this trait is hilarious when you live in a place like New York, because people don’t do that. AT ALL. People often give me a look like, “Girl, put that damn smile away, you’re in New York.” Like it’s going to be robbed or something.
But in Bangkok when I smiled at someone, they ear-to-ear grinned back at me. Do you know what that did to me all day?? I’ll tell you… it made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I liked that feeling, and after three days in Bangkok, I felt sad to leave. More importantly, I felt guilty for my judgments. Bangkok felt misunderstood to me. Like a person with a bad reputation. Sure, Bangkok can be a bit trashy in places, a bit wild, it has it’s dark-side, and if that’s what you want, you’ll get it. But it is also full of wonder, history, great music, amazing food, spirituality, and kindness. It’s complicated. Like you and me. It’s not just one thing, it’s all the things. It can’t be labeled. It can’t be put into one category. To know a city, hell to know a person, you should meet them, right? Get to know them? Unfortunately, that’s not how most of us operate. We label people. We spread gossip like no tomorrow, and encourage pre-judgement. We share stories of others that aren’t even ours to share. Sometimes without even meeting them…
“I heard that guy is an asshole..” Sound familiar?
All I can say is, Bangkok, I hope you’ll accept my apology. I again for the millionth time in my life made a pre-judgement based on other people’s opinions. I should have waited till I got to know you a bit better, you’re so much more than what they said.
Hotel- Riva Surya– I could not recommend this hotel more. It’s right on the river and across from everything I love about Bangkok. Everything you read is that Khao San road is for back packers and hippies. (It was..don’t get me wrong..great people watching.) But we found the best bars and restaurants here. I could have spent my whole trip in the area. It’s where I fell in love with Bangkok.
Thai Boxing– WORTH IT!
Wat Pho- My husband had been to Thailand before and seen a lot of the temples. This is the least popular. I loved that. It wasn’t as crowded. We meditated in a bunch of the temples. It was really peaceful.
Shopping- MBK Center. If you want to buy fakes, cheap presents, cool stuff. It’s worth an afternoon if you have time.
Obviously ride in a Tuk-Tuk as often as you can!
Sunset- The guide books will tell you all the fancy places to watch sunset. But they can be overcrowded and Pricey. We LOVED this place. Amorosa Roof top at the Arun Residence. Best view. Great vibe.
Khao San Road–
Favorite Bar- Madame Musur– MUST GO!!
Find this band..