about the city
Bangkok is a city with two faces. a brash modern and westernized one, and a smaller, more intimate, traditional one. I must admit I did not like bangkok a lot, though I appreciated what the ctiy had to offer, culturally. But, in my opinion, it lack charm - and is not even nearly as exotic as i had expected it to be. Some sights were too familiar for me to truly appreciate it. the bankgkok of the poor houses - and the bangkok of the temples - basically those parts of the city that did not show too many signs of westernization
Information in every Street
You will find information about the historical monuments in every street in Bangkok in English and Thai language (like the photo). Information about the temples, monuments, streets, canals etc.
First Photo: Information about Ratchadamnoen Klang Road
Second Photo: Wat Ratchabophit information
Third photo: Information about Wat Suthat Temple
A person can notice coming to Bangkok that many people (men and women) are wearing light pink shirts. Dress shirts, polo shirts or tee shirts in light pink. Winston, my VT friend, explained how the Thai people love their King and Queen. The King was recently ill and hospitalized. After becoming well and departing from the hospital he happen to be wearing pink. This was all over the media. Because the Thai people saw he was wearing pink and were happy that he was well once more, they honor him by wearing this color.
They also wear the color yellow on Mondays. The King's color is yellow and the King was born on a Monday. Hence, wearing yellow on Mondays.
ABOUT THE THAI NEW YEAR
ABOUT THE THAI NEW YEAR
It is celebrated in April. It starts on April 12th and finish on April 19th, following the cities and their region. It can last 8 full days in some places!
The Thai New Year marks the beginning of the hot season. Thus, there is a tradition for water blessings. Young people will go to elders' houses to lightly pour some water on their body.
If the original way of celebrating is a very beautiful and respectful one, with the modern days, things have changed a lot and the Thai New Year is more than that.
From the first day to the last one, from morning to night, wherever you go, you will be thrown water out of recipients (glasses, bottles, buckets, jars, hoses. water pistols, and so on). Everything will do as soon as it is filled up with water.
Speaking about water: it can be crystal clear, mixed with colorants (then the liquid comes out green, red, yellow), cool or cold (ice being added up) or mixed with flour.
The Thai people are very imaginative, you will see by yourselves...
When you are going to celebrate the Thai New Year, you have to make yourself ready for a wet long day. It can be quite fun when you are actively participating to the festivities. When you are not, because for example you are working or you are too old, it can look like hell, and I mean that word (sorry for the ones who will disagree now).
The Thai New Year will add 500 more people on the dead list. People will drink more than usual and will cause mostly road accidents. People will visit a nearby hospital or clinic because of skin or eye allergies being the consequence of dirty water thrown on them.
I don't want to spoil your Thai New Year but as a resident and a witness to many bad accidents (where sometimes friends of mine were involved as victims), it is my duty to just let you know about a few facts that you may ignore.
Anyway, I wish a happy Songkran for the ones who will be there!
Ginseng is keeping me going! ;)
Coltrane and Sade are keeping me calm...
Clothes: things that are quick to dry, men can buy lots of sporty stuff easily and cheeply. Women... hmm. Unless you like the tye-dyed grunge look, I would suggest bringing maybe 3 tops and a some long cotton pants or skirt until you get near some decent stores in the center.
Insect repellent? I havent used any and I haven't seen a mozzie in 3 days - this is March the dry season, so maybe that is why.
I love my Listerine, which is great to freshen up after all that chilli and garlicy yummy cusine and maybe help to kill a few bugs as well?! ;) You can buy Listerine at the 7-11 here.