When I first step my foot out on the Bangkok streets, I instantly feel it again. The chaos, dirt, poverty, richness. The heat, the noise, aggressive hawks and greedy taxi drivers. This city is far from pleasant in many terms, but to me, it is the best city in Asia. Despite all the chaos and contradiction, this is the city where I feel at home. If this wasn’t Bankok, I’d absolutely hate it. But no, this is my Bangkok, a city that will forever have a special place in my heart.
The city is impossible. It is difficult to navigate, the traffic is jammed nearly 24/7 and the public transport is something that you really cannot understand, no matter how hard you try. As we sit at the sky bar on the 56th floor of Centara Grand hotel, we can see Siam Square and its expensive shopping centres, and, the fully congested traffic spreading out below us. We start thinking, how long it would take before we’d lose our minds with the traffic if we’d be living here. Our waiter states the reason to the congestion being that even the poor people are allowed to buy a car. A pretty interesting claim, I’d say.
I honestly can’t define what it is that attracts me in the city. Actually, I can find more reasons why I should be hating the city than loving it. The ctiy is big, chaotic, dirty. Yet, I can’t help smiling when walking along the streets and navigating in the crowds. In all awfulness, the city feels like home. It brings up many happy memories from the times when I was living in the outskirts of the city, doing my exchange in a local university. That time taught me a lot about the city. I learned to dig deeper and see beneath the surface. I learned how the city works, where the interesting stuff can be found and what not to do. I know where to find my favourite foods, and I know not to fall for the worst tourist scams.
Our one month tour around Asia started with a few days in Bangkok. The days went quickly by and I was reminded again how much I like the city. Honestly, after I was done with my exchange, there were several years I did not even want to think of Asia, let alone Bangkok. I wanted to see other parts of the world instead. Now, as the years have passed, I can again hear the city calling my name and really enjoy her too. After seeing the famous attractions several times already, there really was no need for intense sightseeing any longer. Instead, I was able to just walk around, feel the city and just enjoy my time there. After two days, I was ready to move on.