Bangkok

Mar 08, 09

Our Bangkok stop-over proved every bit as interesting as Hong Kong was on the way down. Once again we found ourselves in a teeming metropolis filled to the brim with life & commerce. Like Hong Kong, Bangkok was an overwhelming cacophony of human life all packed into a very dense space but in many ways felt more “far eastern”.  Bangkok is home to 12 million people many of them coming from the north eastern provinces to work as low paid labourers. There’s no real heart or main historic centre to the city which proved to be a bit of a disappointment. It is a city that has grown rapidly in an organic manner with little or no coherent planning strategy it seems. We stayed at the Marriot hotel situated right on the Chao Phraya river & travelled by boat to visit what is regarded as one of the main commercial areas. What we found was an incredible confusion of ultra modern shops along side simple market stalls & kiosks. Over-arching all of this is the sky train. At one point I counted 3 different levels astride the main road all mounted on huge concrete pillars & flyovers allowing trains to pass over each other. We didn’t do the usual tourist thing of visiting temples & shrines as we didn’t really have time. Like Hong Kong Bangkok is definitely not for the claustrophobic...

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