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When it comes to backpacking Chiang Mai you don’t have to kid yourself that you are the first explorer in the jungle. In fact, close to one million visitors head to the former capital of the Kingdom of Lanna each … Continue reading
Bangkok lies about 14 degrees north of the equator. This sprawling city is one of the most cosmopolitan in all of Asia. After walking around for a few days it is impossible not to feel the warmth of the Thai people. Even in the most meager of establishments, change is often returned on a small tray, under the accompaniment of a bow with both hands folded.
Bangkok’s current population is listed at over 11 million. With this many people it is still easy to get around using the MRT or the BTS Sky Train. The hostel I stayed at was within a short walk of the Sky Train which allowed easy exploration of the entire city. Unlike some cities, Bangkok does not really have a downtown area. The skyline is vast and covers more than one viewing area.
Phra Nakon is the district where I spent the most time. Located here are governmental agencies and ministry offices. Most of the well-known tourist attractions are also in this area as well, such as the Grand Palace, Wat Pho, and Democracy Monument.
Bangkok is a perfect city for anyone beginning their Asia travel experience. It is easy to get around, almost everyone speaks some English, and foreigners are not hassled too much. Watch out for smaller scams but nothing out of the ordinary. If you get in a taxi, request a meter, if the driver refuses, get another one. Taxis are everywhere, probably more plentiful than in NYC.
Bangkok is also a great starting or ending point for any backpacker who wants to explore more remote areas in Thailand. I will probably make a return trip at some point to photograph southern cities such as Phuket and Songkhla. I would definitely recommend Bangkok to anyone traveling in the region.