Bangkok is close to home - literally and figuratively. Bangkok has a bit of semblance to my beloved Manila in more ways than one.
1. There's too much traffic during rush hour. Lots of cars and PUVs on the road. Tuktuk is to Bangkok as Tricycle is to Manila.
And if you get unlucky, there are also Bangkok taxi drivers who won't go by the meter but will charge you based on a 'fixed' fare much like the cabdrivers in Manila. And this got me wondering, is this more of a behavioral thing or a cultural thing? Hmmmm.... me not likey!
And yeah, before I forget, the vehicles in Bangkok are right-hand driven which made it difficult for me (at first) to cross the street! Haha! Because you have to look in both directions! Tsk! It's sooo counter-intuitive! Why oh why my dear asian brothas' do you have to manufacture your cars that way?!?! Explain! LOL!
2. There are lots, and I mean lots of cheap clothes that can be had everywhere in Bangkok! You just have to know where to look. On my first trip, my friends and I rummaged through all the racks of dresses and bags in Chatuchak and Platinum Mall. It was total heaven for us cheapo-shoppers. Haha! I barely had enough shopping money during that time but I still went home with excess baggage. So can you just imagine how cheap is cheap, right?! :)
I cannot remember which mall this 'paparazzi' shot (hahahaha, as if!) was taken. As you can see, I'm just strolling in cotton shirt and super-short shorts. This is because the temperature in Bangkok is hotter (me thinks) than Manila. Or it might be that I'm just used to the Manila sun. But please for the love of life, if you want to go shopping or strolling in the afternoon, whether you are here or in Bangkok, please please please and I can't stress it enough - DRESS LIGHTLY! or else you'll die of heat stroke! Tsk tsk tsk!
Of course, here in Manila, you'd also find an array of cheap items mostly in Divisoria and Greenhills. Though Greenhills is a tad bit upscale, more people tend to buy items from here because it's too much effort to go to Divisoria, what with the traffic and all.
3. Aside from cheap clothes, the food in Bangkok is also relatively cheap! There are lots of little quaint restaurants in every corner. Or if you want to be adventurous, there's also an array of streetfoods that you can try out. Of course they don't have those 'tusok-tusok fishballs' on the street, but instead, you'd see Pad-thai and fruits everywhere!
Pad Thai is a dish of stir-fried rice noodles with eggs, fish sauce and chili (optional). We tried this out once and ate it in the hotel and the girl gave us this condiment which looked to me like salt. So when we were about to eat it, I sprinkled a tad bit too many, and to my dismay it's not SALT but SUGAR! Ewwwwww! Stupid me! I should've tasted it first before I sprinkled it. TSK. Oh yes, most of their food are sweet. They even have their version of "adobo", I don't know what it's called, which is super sweeeet!
Aside from their noodles, we also went on to try their version of Starbucks, street-style! Haha! There was a long line of Thais who were buying from this barista (LOL) so it got us interested to try what the ruckus was all about.
The coffee tasted so much like the Cafe Mocha of Starbucks, only this one is creamier. And you have the option to have it either iced or hot. And the largest cup is only 20 baht! Beat that! And not to mention, the Thai barista looked cute too! We should've taken his picture but of course, nakakahiya! Hahaha!
Me and my friends were looking for fried insects much like the ones that were eaten by the "Amazing Race" contestants when they had their leg in Bangkok but we couldn't find any. Or maybe we were just looking in the wrong side of town. Anyway, I'm just happy to report that we didn't get any food-borne disease from trying out all these food. Thank God! Our stomachs are trained to eat dirty stuff anyway! LOL!
Okay, I know that you've probably had enough of our gastronomic adventures, but I was just saving the best for last. Haha! Of course we didn't go cheapo all the way. We also tried some nice restaurants in the city. There was this one place in the mall (I forgot which one, haha!) where we tried the most delectable Chicken Rice in the planet!
It was sooooo good I can almost feel the wetness forming in my..... (
pants) mouth! DUH! What were you thinking?! LOL! Everything that we ordered was superb. The fish and the shrimp were also magnifico! :) I just can't recall if this was in Siam Paragon or Siam Square. LOL! So much for trying to be a "Lonely-Planet"-worthy-read. Ha!
4. Alright, enough about food! Next similarity of both cities is the abundance of nightclubs and girly bars in town! The names of the clubs in Patpong would give the Pope a heartattack! Imagine stepping inside the "Super Pussy Club" or the "Pussy Collection"!
Like how in the world does a super pussy looks like? And what can a super pussy do? Hahahaha! Yeah those were my exact thoughts at that time. I wanted to go inside but my companions didn't want to. Of course I didn't dare go inside on my own because they might turn my kitty to a super pussy too! Hahahahahaha! We have plenty of girly bars here in Manila, especially in the Malate or Pasay area, but we don't have pingpong shows. LOL. I don't know if the lack of such is a good thing or a bad thing. Ha!
5. Lastly, since that was our first trip to Bangkok, we wanted to see some of the 'touristy' sites like the Wat Arun, Wat Po and the Grand Palace. Wat stands for temple in Thai.
So yeah, we pretty much had a bit of Temple overload. Haha!
As if the sights in Bangkok werent enough, we also went to Ayutthaya for more 'touristy' spots.
I was amazed by the grandiosity of the Grand Palace and was overwhelmed by the beauty of Wat Po and Wat Arun. Definitely a must-see if you are in Bangkok.
No matter how similar Bangkok is to our beloved Manila, it would still be nice to experience how our asian brothas' do their thing in their own place. Try to go to there at least once in your life and please watch the pingpong show (google it if you don't know what it is) for me. Videotape it if you can! Haha!
**please watch out for the Part 2 of my report...coming soon!**
The Unpure Traveller,