Thursday, May 10, 2012
This summer, my family and I decided to fly to Bangkok, the Land of Smiles. It seemed like a natural choice for us because we like to shop for good finds at bargain prices. Aside from the commercial aspect of visiting Thailand, I was excited to experience the rich cultural heritage of the country. I immensely enjoyed my trip to Shanghai last summer but it lacked the personality I'm sure Thailand is overflowing with.
Bangkok is exactly like what people say - and more. It's beautiful, warm (literally and figuratively), busy, and a seamless mix of old and new, east and west. It's exactly like the Philippines, if the Philippines had a better tourism program.
Before flying, I read a Thailand guidebook and was surprised at the caveat for the first-time tourist, warning him of "primitive" ways. But the author did not have the Filipino tourist in mind, who is used to practically anything. I was initially nervous but immediately enjoyed it. It was like experiencing a different kind of Manila, the familiar sights, sounds, and smells mixed with the unsettling feeling of being in another land.
Bangkok has something for everyone: the foodie, the adventurer, the fasyown, and the pleasure-seeker, and the city is ready to give it to you in maximum overdrive. And if you're like me, a lover of life, you will love Bangkok in all its aspects, and as you leave, your only thought is when you're coming back.