One of the most visited destination in Asia, Bangkok knows how to woo the people coming to the city. It won’t be wrong if one label it as cultural superpower of South East Asia. South East Asia trip is on every backpackers list in the world and it’s not surprise that being from neighbour country India it was also one of my dream trips (Read Here about my dream trips). Doing the whole SEA trip in one go is difficult for me because it takes months to do that circuit and being in a full time job that was not possible so I decided to break down that big circuit into small parts. I spent 9 days in Thailand and decided to do other countries in the region later as the time allows. Out of my 9 days I spent first 4 in Bangkok and other 4 in the northern Thailand exploring another city Chiang Mai. Bangkok needs no introduction, it’s one of those cities which has been talked and written about thousands of travellers, and bloggers so there is hardly anything new I can tell you about that city. The most talked things the city has to offer is its delicious cuisines, incredible sights, and great shopping areas. Every country has its own stereotype and Thailand is no different. Thailand has always been judged for its debauchery or in simple words sex capital of Asia which is not completely wrong but that’s only less than 1% of the country the major part of the country is full of natural beauty and amazing experience which is often dominated by that 1% in the world.
No matter how old are you Bangkok has so much to offer you that you just can’t stop loving it. This is the first time in my history of travel I went on this trip with an old friend of mine from India. It was his first time outside the country so I wanted him to get the feel of a backpacking lifestyle away from hotel and planned tours in the city. He had his obvious doubts but he trusted me and after 9 days when he went back to India he called me to ask me where we are going next. I warned him that it’s not about the place you are going it’s an abdication of that lifestyle of being a wanderer, meeting new people and learn from them inspire from them. It’s something you can’t understand until you have been on a solo trip before and there are no words which can make you feel those moments the only possible way is to live them yourself. Bangkok had plenty of temples and things to do that you never get bore of the city, even if you choose to just stay at one place the city never gets boring. We spent whole day and night just sitting in one bar drinking and talking and occasionally dancing and all these things when you reading this might not fit into the perfect picture of ‘travelling’. That is the reason I keep saying the difference between travel and holiday is this. Travelling is not about learning about locals and the city, it’s about learning from the locals and the city.
Travelling in South East Asia is never easy despite of it being a major backpacker’s hub. It’s totally different part of the world where you would need all your senses and skills tested within few day in the region. Google map doesn’t help you tracking the bus timings, hardly any taxi driver speaks English, food might give you heart attack if you are not mentally and physically prepared, you might get scammed three times a day and hundreds of other things which will be new to you and might give you cultural shock but that’s how life teaches you knew things. By the time you ill finish your SEA trip you will be a different person and you won’t even know it. One start appreciating the smallest things in life and learn how to adjust in whatever we have been given because that’s something one have to do one every step in the countries like Cambodia, Vietnam and other regional countries. I will be writing a whole new post about what one should definitely do in Bangkok but in this post I wanted to introduce you with the region and over the next few months I will be travelling in the same region so we will be seeing a lot from there.
SEA is comparatively cheap from western point of view so this is one the reasons why one will meet a lot of traveller who have been wandering in the region for months or years. Bangkok can be cheap and expensive depends on your choices, there are plenty of things in the city which separates a backpacker from someone a vacationer. Within 4 days in the city me and Nikk (my friend) we explored a lot, we hardly sat down till our last day in the city because over the years we heard so many stories about the city and it was important for us to see most of it. From the dark streets of Bangkok to endless temples, from dancing on the road in the midnight to sleepless nights in the hostels we literally turned the city upside down in four days. On the last day there was nothing left on our checklist in the city so we sat down in a bar and just talked and drank. He was exposed to this life first time and I was there to hear all about it from him, he found it very interesting that no one books any hotel in advance and they just walk around hostel to hostel until they find a good suitable hostel to book. Another wanderer was in making and I was so glad to witness it happening and most importantly being part of it.
SEA is very tricky place to be if you are not well informed and not keeping all your senses open. Thankfully there are huge communities on Facebook and other websites where you can always ask your doubts about almost everything and tons of people are always ready to answer them. I used couple of Facebook groups to find out if there are more people travelling alone in the city and if they are interested in meeting. So if you ever plan to do South East Asia, Bangkok is perfect place to start your adventure and the city will welcome you in a way that you never experienced before.