Old City Bangkok

Old City Bangkok

Travel Bangkok Thailand

Bangkok Old City (Rattanakosin)

There are multiple activities going on while you dine outside in Bangkok. Food so far has been very good, but not as spicy as others have said, unless it’s just me? Travel Bangkok Thailand is about seeing the real Thailand.

tom-yum soup_

Tom-Yum Soup

Foot Massage is very popular in Thailand.

Foot Massage is very popular in Thailand.

My mantra (I might as well get with the buddhist way here) is first and foremost to be careful!  I decided this was the most important thing or I was not going on the trip. Pick pockets, bad drinking water, getting lost, and not getting run over by cars, buses, motorcycles or getting sick is all on my mind all the time.

There is a hustle and bustle in Bangkok as far as traffic is concerned. Anyone walking has to be super-aware of what is going on around you. Cars, Buses, Motorcycles, and Pedestrians are rampant to a point where it seems crazy. The rule of the road is the larger the vehicle the more right away they have. There’s also the problem of the side of the road they drive on, just the opposite way we drive in the U.S.  Not a big problem because you need to look both ways no matter what side they drive on.  It does help a little to be aware of which way they are coming from and what also helps is if you have had some experience from visiting other countries like England or Cayman Islands. I can tell you there is no way I am going to rent a moped here, too busy to ride safely in this city (my be careful mantra again).

Awareness is also important so not to get pick pocketed and not getting hit on by people trying to sell you something when you can’t figure out what they are trying to sell you; they are not even carrying anything.  At first you think they are begging when they approach you, but it’s a bait and switch. They are acting like they are helping you out as a tourist while in fact they are trying to get you to use a Tuk Tuk that comes out of no where to pick you up after they tell you that the place you are going to is closed. I had read about this in the guide books, and the first day of walking around, it happened to me.  They are busy telling you about the free or low cost places to see (they are good at getting out of you the place you are going to because you are trying to be polite) end up telling you that the place is closed.  The Buddhist Monastery I wanted to visit was not closed, and i told the man I was going to see it even it it was closed.  The Tuk Tuk showed up right after I said, “see ya”. The thing is that you want to be polite because most of the people here are honest and polite to you, its almost exaggerated, but it is real here. You want to be polite back to everyone if you can.  You still have to just walk away sometimes and not say anything and I did that a lot.

What is a Tuk Tuk you may ask…you can google it, but I will cover this later and what the experience is like by using video to record it. In the near future I also plan to go to a retreat and learn how to meditate properly and write about the experience, and the benefits that can be obtained, especially as far as stress. No time to do this you say, how about being more efficient and organized for your own sanity as well as improved personal performance which can save you time.

When I do travel features, I look at cleanliness as one of the most important things to consider. I thought the monastery I saw today was in disrepair and seemed like it could be a lot cleaner after I looked inside some of the bathrooms. Nothing like dirty bathrooms in a foreign country.   One thing I did feel while in the Monastery is that I felt safe, and people were nice, but most spoke no english at all.  I used my iPhone translator and it was a big benefit.

I thought I would check it out this meditative center, but I am planning on going to a center that have been recommended to me by two different reliable people.

On the way back from the monastery, after resting, rehydrating and cooling down in safety, I had a nice experience  walking back when I entered an  open air mall.  It was a feeling, almost an excitement because I felt like more in tune with traveling in a foreign country where everything is new and people are nice (this is why I picked Thailand). I stopped into a small shop that was enclosed and air conditioned (my God it felt great its hot and humid here even in the cool season) and had a yogurt mango cooler, it was very good, thick and tasty, but also light and airy and hit the spot.  I continued to walk around looking a lot of little shops and street food carts and found myself at the Chao Phraya River with restaurants on the wharf. I saw tourists, military people, school teenagers in uniform and business people.

 Travel Bangkok Thailand

Open Air Mall close to Wat Po Temple

 

I began to ask people if they speak English after trying to talk to people in English and finding out that they don’t.  There are people here that look like they are from England, Australia, and America, but something you get it wrong.  Here i am at a corner waiting for an opening in the traffic to cross the street and decided to ask a man for directions after asking him if he spoke English.  We both had to laugh because he was from Chicago.  He was working to be as cautious as I was because he was alone as well.  It’s always nice to talk with another American when in a foreign country, especially with Thailand Travel.

Reliant on the iPhone

I am reliant on the iPhone which is great and not so great.  In a strange place I find myself treating it like a friend who is in my corner. In the states I use Siri for spelling and for directions along with all the other things this device does.  While I am disappointed in the battery performance, I also found out today that there are no directions for Thailand.  The maps work, kind of.  What does that mean? They are not accurate, and the phone has a hard time differentiating between like places with like names.  The spell check does work here as long as there is data.  My data is only 3G, but it does work.

The battery is a concern because I find myself relying on it to NOT to get lost.  I have to make sure that is charged fully before I leave, or it may die in the middle of my short journey.  Bangkok is a big city and taxi drivers don’t always know where addresses are.  The iPhone has been no help in that regard. I like to walk as much as possible during the day as long as it’s a safe area. Today I walked over to the International Meditate Center from my hotel to get a taste of the area. I think it is best done by walking around and investigating in detail, not riding in a taxi.  Sometimes slower is better.

Next stop is going to a camera store by taxi…I want to try a bus, but not ready for that yet.

Author: TL

Editor & Chief, professional photographer who's passionate about fine arts, travel and food photography. Traveling in SE Asia currently. This is a boomer travel blog for Thomas Levine Photography. Thomas writes about photography, destinations, international foods and health related to Asia. To help finance this blog Thomas sells his stock travel images, wall prints and products all designed with his images. Thomas also likes to help educate travelers about how to improve their photography. Travel Food & Health is Tom's way of sharing the world. Geared for both travelers or arm chair travelers as a boomer travel blog.

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