Bangkok Diaries, Thailand - Oct.2018
Bangkok is the capital and most populous city of Thailand. The city occupies 1,568.7 square kilometres in the Chao Phraya River delta in central Thailand and has an estimated population of 10.539 million as of 2020. Bangkok traces its roots to a small trading post during the Ayutthaya Kingdom in the 15th century, which eventually grew and became the site of two capital cities: Thonburi in 1768 and Rattanakosin in 1782. Bangkok was at the heart of the modernization of Siam, later renamed Thailand, during the late-19th century, as the country faced pressures from the West. The city was at the centre of Thailand's political struggles throughout the 20th century, as the country abolished absolute monarchy, adopted constitutional rule, and underwent numerous coups and several uprisings. The city, incorporated as a special administrative area under the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration in 1972, grew rapidly during the 1960s through the 1980s and now exerts a significant impact on Thailand's politics, economy, education, media and modern society. The Asian investment boom in the 1980s and 1990s led many multinational corporations to locate their regional headquarters in Bangkok. The city is now a regional force in finance and business. It is an international hub for transport and health care and has emerged as a centre for the arts, fashion, and entertainment. The city is known for its street life and cultural landmarks, as well as its red-light districts. The Grand Palace and Buddhist temples including Wat Arun and Wat Pho stand in contrast with other tourist attractions such as the nightlife scenes of Khaosan Road and Patpong. Bangkok is among the world's top tourist destinations and has been named the world's most visited city consistently in several international rankings. Bangkok's rapid growth coupled with little urban planning has resulted in a haphazard cityscape and inadequate infrastructure. Despite an extensive expressway network, an inadequate road network and substantial private car usage have led to chronic and crippling traffic congestion, which caused severe air pollution in the 1990s. The city has since turned to public transport in an attempt to solve the problem, operating five rapid transit lines and building other public transit, but congestion still remains a prevalent issue. The city faces long-term environmental threats such as land subsidence, which contributes to frequent flooding, an issue expected to be exacerbated by sea-level rise and other effects of climate change. (Source:wikipedia.org)
When we came to Bangkok, there was a vegetarian festival. We went to Chinatown with my daughter and my wife, both to visit and to have something to eat. The easiest transportation in the city is with small trucks converted into minibuses. It's called "songtaew". It has a capacity of 12 people, but this figure is exceeded with standing passengers. The passenger who wants to get off is pressing the button on the ceiling. From there, we came to Chinatown on the Chao Phraya river by boat carrying passengers. Chinatown was full of people trying to sell things on the streets and preparing food for the festival. We drank sugarcane and coconut water for the first time. I saw a junk shop in one of the streets. Inside the shop was a mountain of used vehicle sprockets and bearings. I think he only knew which model piece was in where. I took a picture of it with his permission. There is a very rich street food culture. We did not tasted such flavorsas fried caterpillar and crocodile fried but tried traditional Thai dishes Pat Tai and Tom Yum and liked; and ate paella with mussels and shrimp prepared by the Spanish Alfredo in Chatuchak weekend market several times. We used to eat at the restaurants floating in the water, and we fed our stomachs at the stalls making calamari in the streets. We got in Tut-Tuk, which are 3 wheeled taxis. But the most entertaining image was the barbers shaving passers-by at a fire station with loud music. It was offered to me too, but I did not dare.