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April 14, 2006 – A journey to Bangkok, Thailand in Asia

Bustling Bangkok

If you've seen the opening scene from the movie, The Beach, then you've probably gotten a pretty accurate picture of Bangkok. Bangkok is busy, quite crowded, and filled with many backpackers and tourists alike.

city view of Old Bangkok area

Thieves Market - can get anything and everything here - similar to the markets in La Paz, Bolivia

The weather has been hot, humid, and sticky, as it is Thailand's hot season. But, the good thing is, the Songkran Festival has been going on (starts April 13, ends April 15 or thereafter). The Songkran Festival is a celebration of the Thai Buddhist New Year. The way the Thais celebrate, especially the young folks, is by throwing water and/or water mixed with talc at passerbys and other celebrators. You can also get moist talc mashed onto your face. Most of the festivities take place along the famed backpackers road, Thanon Khao San, although you will see people with waterguns, hoses, and buckets full of water all over the city. The origination of this custom is from Buddhist monks that blessed worshippers by sprinkling water on them during the Thai New Year. As for the talc, I heard from one Thai lady that it is used to turn good-looking people "ugly" (jokingly of course). From another source, talc is used for cooling and drying effects. Who knows? It's all in good fun.

waterguns for sale starting at the corner of Khao San Road

Thai dragon parade

kids playing in talc-water truck - notice the people throwing water from the truck in the back

water throwing from the streets in Bangkok (yes, they were aiming at us in a tuk-tuk when we were waiting for the light to change)

So far, Bangkok has been a blast. Love riding the tuk-tuks - they're fast and fun! Love the cuisine - it's very healthy, light, and flavorful (spicy, sweet, sour, salty - just the way I like it). Fruits here are abundant, juicy, and delicious. Have been eating from street stalls and stands, and haven't gotten sick yet. You can even get your whole meal cooked right in front of your eyes.

tuk tuk-ing

pick your dish and have it cooked right in front of you from a street vendor

or you can pick precooked dishes

street food upclose: green curry chicken, bamboo chicken, tom yum koong

spicy grilled squid on a stick - tasty!

Some more pictures of site-seeing attractions:

riding by khlongs on a longtailed boat

Wat Po reclining buddha (make sure you have your shoulders and shorts/pants at least to the knees covered when you enter a wat)

entrance to Wat Phra Kaew & National Palace - as crowded as the Forbidden City in Beijing

Great page! I can't wait for September to come and I can eat all the wonderful food. Great pictures of the food by the way! My stomach is growling for some right now!
F.Y.I -little fact I just picked up! The opening scene in "The Beach" actually takes place in Krabi. I guess the film crew had trouble getting permits to film in Bangkok. Have a great day!
Commented by SPARKLE_TRAIN on 03-04-07 03:40:50
I heard the "Beach" was actually filmed in Manila, Phillipines.
Commented by STEVE on 03-04-07 14:42:37
Thanks for the comments! You're going to have an awesome time in Thailand - one of the most memorable places for me. Food, land, people, everything's so incredible there.
Commented by SUEP on 03-04-07 15:16:29

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