Thursday, May 3, 2012

89 unimportant things you don’t really need to know about Bangkok

Here are 89 of those unimportant things you just pick up over time, but don't really need to know. Not on the list: Learn "Kha" and "Khrap". Don't assume you may touch a Thai person on the head. Speak only good of the King. Always return the wai. 

  1. You'll buy MRT (subway) tokens from this machine all the time.

  2. Sepak takraw is a sport with balls.

  3. You'll quickly get into the habit of sitting down to fast, cheap, made-to-order meals at open-air food centers.

  4. Stray dogs roam freely.

  5. So do stray cats.

  6. You'll get pretty used to seeing majestic monuments everywhere.

  7. You'll often see these: Large pots with a single water lily bloom.

  8. Look up. Intricate woodwork can be found in all sorts of places.

  9. Traffic jams are the norm.

  10. The canals aren't all that clean.

  11. Buddha statues are a frequent encounter.

  12. You'll be trusted to handle very steep staircases.

  13. This is what a public trashcan may look like:

  14. One of these could be cooked and in your belly for 30 baht (US $1) in ten minutes.

  15. You'll see lots of motorbikes, but most won't look like this:

  16. Most will look like these:

  17. Motorbike taxi drivers are easy to find. Just look for the vests.

  18. Some people swear by surgical masks.

  19. Yes, palm trees are pretty easy to find.

  20. These are the wares of a Roti cart.

  21. These are the wares of a coffee shop:

  22. There's a dentist in Ratchada whose office is decorated in Marilyn Monroe pictures.

  23. 7 Elevens are everywhere and you WILL shop there every day.

  24. Same goes for 7 Eleven knockoffs.

  25. The going rate for Internet cafes: 15 Baht, or approximately US 50 cents, per hour.

  26. You'll sometimes wander into magical flower forests, even in the middle of the city.

  27. Lumphini Park is also a sculpture museum.

  28. This dog in Lumphini Park howls along with the intercom announcements:

  29. This cat lives at the Post Office near Inthamara Soi 51:

  30. This is what a mailbox looks like up close:

  31. MRT (subway) entrances look like this:

  32. The subway turnstiles look like this:

  33. Train etiquette: Follow the arrows to enter and exit the train cars.

  34. This is what the inside of the subway looks like.

  35. Cabbages & Condoms serves exactly that.

  36. You're not supposed to take pictures inside Jim Thompson's House.

  37. Thai silk by the yard is pretty.

  38. What you'll see when you enter the Hua Lamphong train station platform area:
  39. Soldiers returning home from boot camp will erupt into a cheer when they arrive at the train station in Bangkok.

  40. The third-class train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai is basic but clean and pretty comfortable.

  41. The second-class train is fairly nice. It includes food & beverage service.

  42. You can stick your head out of the Chiang Mai train and take pictures.

  43. You can ride between train cars (and smoke).

  44. In nearby Chiang Mai, there's a small oddity museum, filled with curios.

  45. Filaria and Malaria are things people once worried about. Filaria translates to "elephant foot".

  46. Buddhist temples are welcoming to tourists.

  47. If you're looking for fancy, this may be your lobby:

  48. If you're looking for backpackers' tales, this may be your lobby:

  49. Monks aren't supposed to buy things, but they still hang out in places where other people do.

  50. Condensed milk slushy topped with cereal and candy is a legitimate snack food.

  51. The place everyone goes to get their American iPhones unlocked looks like this:

  52. The microscope that unlocks your phone looks like this:

  53. There's an Ikea. It's just like your Ikea.

  54. The city's fairly bike-able.

  55. If you order coffee to go, the vendor will probably put in a plastic bag without the bag part.

  56. You're bound to spot flower garlands all over the place.

  57. As in many densely-populated cities, many places opt for fans over air conditioning.

  58. Sidewalk restaurants are everywhere, and they usually look like this:

  59. You'll see shrines everywhere, including Suvarnabhumi Airport:

  60. These aren't common at all... but they exist.

  61. Facebook is VERY popular.

  62. Here's the place near the Victory Monument where everyone buys bus/van tickets out of town:

  63. Nearby Cha-am is a less tourist-y beach getaway located on the mainland.

  64. One way to travel between islands is to take a speedboat departing a motorbike ride away from the endpoint of your van ride.

  65. You can also take public ferries.

  66. Here's a sunrise over nearby Ko Samet:

  67. Here's the road in Ko Samet:

  68. Wild grasses thrive:
  69. This is the restaurant of a 700 Baht (US $22) per night beachfront hotel. Only downside: Mosquitos at night.
  70. At dusk over the sea, the sky turns purple.

  71. Colorful woven lanterns light up the nighttime beach.
  72. Fire shows on the nearby islands' beaches are easy to find, and impressive to watch.

  73. Cleaning tools are commonly made from local resources.
  74. Cabs are plentiful.

  75. Temples do live up to their reputation of high craftsmanship.

  76. This ferry is run by the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, and is free to all who can find it.
  77. Bangkok is rich in all of the following: Highways, pedestrian overpasses, flowers.
  78. You can't find nail salons in some neighborhoods, but you can in Sukhumvit.

  79. One thing more common than 7 Elevens: Open-air markets.

  80. Many temples have bells that anyone is welcome to ring.
  81. Don't worry, the monks have their own bells.
  82. Many malls look like this:

  83. Or this:

  84. Here are some of the sights of shopping:

  85. Please do not touch wax Leonardo DiCaprio.

  86. The open-air dining atmosphere:

  87. Most shops and restaurants won't make you take your shoes off, but some will:
  88. At night, you can buy homemade whisky, "yaa dong", across the street from this pho stall.
  89. If you decipher these recipes, you'll regret nothing.


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  2. Very interesting! Thank you for posting.

  3. pretty awesome Lomo camera!!! Now I'm inspired to put my pics into a story. Been dragging my feet on that but not any more...maybe.

    1. I hope you do it! I want to see your pics - especially the temple experience!

  4. yes, it's all true. i have only 1 questian, where is it at a other place divirent?

  5. Thank you for posting. I smiled and day dreamed throughout.

  6. Thanks for sharing (wo)man! I thoroughly enjoyed that :D


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