Lessons from Bangkok

My first trip to Bangkok. It was a shopping trip, so we did nothing but shop!!! Despite buying all kinds of crap, on the last night, I still had SGD300 left! That’s really a lot of money. I bought everything from clothes to silk to cushion covers to table runners to shirts for all my family members and friends!

1. Art

…is everywhere in Bangkok. Found these along the streets, near MBK Shopping Center.

Lessons from Bangkok 1

2. Food

You can get almost anything and everything in Bangkok (nope, not going to talk about the insects now). This restaurant is so cool. When friends and I asked if they have certain drinks, the waiter nodded his head without taking a second to think. It’s weird because we could see a very, very small fridge, and it doesn’t look like there are a variety of drinks in there. Guess what. If the drinks we want are not available there, he would go to the convenience store across the street and get us what we want! They’re not even subtle about it; he dashed across the street, returned to the restaurant, took the cans of soda out of the plastic bag and handed us our drinks!

Lessons from Bangkok 2

Now this lavish restaurant is terrible. You see, I have seafood allergy but only if it’s not fresh. We had seafood and I started to scratch all over. My friend had to come into the toilet and help me out! I took off my top and saw – for the first time in my life – rashes formed its way down my spine!!! I was like…a genetically mutated dinosaur! We were tricked into coming here. The tuk-tuk drivers said they would get gas coupons, “Help us, please” and tadaa. Lesson learnt: never say yes, no matter how they beg and plead. Another alternative would be…go there, look at the menu, and get out.

Lessons from Bangkok 3

3. Tuk-tuk

Apart from restaurants, there are other places for the drivers to collect their gas coupons, like this Gem Production place. You can see workers choosing and assemble crystals, buy them, etc. A waste of time. Make a quick trip inside, and get out. Tuk-tuk drivers can be so pushy.

Lessons from Bangkok 4

Tuk-tuks are the best way to get around in Bangkok. They can be on the road, and off. They’d be on pavements, in between narrow paths, etc. Just…caution them if you feel uncomfortable. My friends’ tuk-tuk went too fast, and it doesn’t help that the roads are bad. My friends are on the heavier side, by the way. So…this was what happened. No injuries, thank goodness.

Lessons from Bangkok 5

Never pay tuk-tuk drivers upfront. This was one mistake my friends and I did. We told them to pick us up, they never came. Bloody hell.

Lessons from Bangkok 6

4. Elephants

I was surprised to see a lot of elephants on the road! I swear there were more elephants than dogs and cats! My friend went out of a convenience store to find an elephant’s bum on her face, it was so funny, we burst out laughing! Besides real elephants, there are other elephant-shaped things or bushes.

Lessons from Bangkok 7

5. Shopping Paradise

Because Bangkok is a shopping paradise, it is best to go in small groups. By small, I mean 2 to 3 people. Best, if you shop alone (that is if you’re good with bargaining, like me, hee) because there’s so much to see! The worst is having people with different preferences. I’m not a fan of waiting, but hey, at least I get to rest.

Lessons from Bangkok 10

So what did I do? I told the group, “Hey, I’ll be going down that aisle, will be back in a jiffy”. The thing about me is, I shop fast. I literally ran through aisles when I was in Bangkok! Sometimes, though… Even after running through aisles and going from shop to shop, friends were still in that same shop.

Lessons from Bangkok 11

6. The Less Fortunate

In some parts of Asia, it is wise to not donate, but here in Bangkok, it’s different. It’s okay to do so. This girl and her sister were on a bridge. It pains me to see them like this. I asked if we could have a picture taken, she agreed and smiled (wish her sister was awake), though her eyes were flash-shy. Damn I didn’t check the picture before leaving.

Lessons from Bangkok 12

7. Land of Smiles

The girl above, yes she’s smiling even when she’s in that state; and so did these men… Whether they’re bargaining, selling goods, making tea, etc.

Lessons from Bangkok 13

How was your first trip to Bangkok?

Click here for other Bangkok stories, Thailand stories here, Asia stories here, and all other travel stories here.

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