I recently arrived in Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s capital city. On the way from my previous home of Siem Reap, I took a three day excursion to Bangkok. Here are some things I found noteworthy and/or interesting about my brief stay in Bangkok.
- They drive on the “other” side of the road
As in England and a minority of other countries, traffic flows in the “opposite” direction.
- Very multicultural
Walking around the city you see people from all over the world and hear a wide variety of languages.
- Lots of transgender people
I had heard the term “lady boy” used in reference to Thailand, but in reality there are a lot of men in the city that dress up and live as women. There also appeared to be some women that dressed as men. I don’t understand the cultural context behind this phenomenon, but it is quite unique.
- Loud and polluted
Like many other major Asian cities, the air is dirty and the streets are noisy.
- Heavy traffic
The traffic seemed to crawl no matter the time of day.
- Great massages
I now understand why Thailand is known for massage. Of the three massages I’ve had in Asia – one in Vietnam, one in Cambodia, and one in Bangkok – the Thai massage was easily the best.
- Tasty, spicy food
I really enjoyed the food. Pretty much everything I ate was delicious and also very spicy.
- You eat with a spoon and fork
No knife, no chopsticks. Just a spoon and a fork. And your hands if needed.
- Sweet tastes
Thais, like Cambodians, are very liberal with their sugar intake as it is included in lots of dishes and relied on heavily as a condiment.
- Great fruit
There is interesting tropical fruit all over the place. Everything from coconuts to papaya, mango, pineapple, dragon fruit, and jack fruit. As a site note, the coconut I had was noticeably sweeter than the ones in Siem Reap.
- Cat city
Much like Amsterdam, Bangkok is a very cat-friendly city. Cats are all over the place, including the lobby of the hostel I stayed at.
- Feels safe
Crime does not seem to be a big problem in Bangkok.
- Thais are friendly
Compared to Vietnamese and Cambodians, Thais are probably the most openly friendly. They are easy going and quick to smile.
- Shopping galore
There are lots of big malls and shopping seems to be très en vogue.