February 10, 2014

Bangkok at Night

With the Bangkok Shutdown in full-swing, Bangkok has been in the news a lot lately. We arrived in Bangkok only days before the Shutdown was to begin on January 13th. Luckily we had plans to escape the city and go to Cambodia for a week.

My friend Anna graciously let us crash at her place for a few days while she showed us around the new part of Bangkok around Thong Lo and Ploen Chit. I was amazed how developed Bangkok was. When 'Bangkok' came to my mind I had visions of old ghettos or Chinatowns, dirty guesthouses and animals running around on the streets.

Somewhere along Thong Lo, the weirdest thing happened. I knew an old college friend of mine, Kevin, lived in Bangkok and, months earlier, we had tentatively made plans to grab a beer while we were in town. Anna showed us to this nice wine bar and someone yells my name. It was Kevin! Small world! Of all the bars in Bangkok, on any given night and there was Kevin hanging out with his friends. A few days later we attended Kevin's craft beer event at Bangkok's new Asiatique downtown area (highly recommended if you want a cool, sophisticated place to hang out!). 

Once we got back from Cambodia though, we were back in Bangkok but this time staying in the infamous Khao San Road area. This area was a bit more inline with what my imagination conjured up about Bangkok, but still...Bangkok is very developed. Pad thai and street-side massages were just as cheap as guidebooks and other backpackers told us.

Later in the week, we patiently awaited the arrival of our fellow travel buddy Denis and our travel duo now has become a travel trio for the next few weeks!

What I did discover about Bangkok is I like it way better at night. The street stalls come out and the entire city comes to life. We have since headed to Northern Thailand, but we will be back, Bangkok...see you for Songkran (Thai New Year) in April.

*We saw Bangkok pre and post Bangkok Shutdown and felt completely safe. We walked through some protests (probably shouldn't do that) and only witnessed people dancing and singing and people camped out sleeping on the roads. One protestor even came up to us and gave us directions when we were lost! Unfortunately there has been some shootings and explosions in recent days. But in our experience, we did not feel threatened in Bangkok whatsoever.*
{Bangkok wasn't so bad during the day either I guess ;)...}