By now you will have gathered I love Bangkok, well here are some of the reasons why…
|View from balcony.|
THE LEBUA HOTEL
I seriously can not rave enough about this hotel. Every detail. The restaurants, the food, the bars, my room, the service, its location, the gym (yes, I went 4, I repeat 4, times) – just everything about it. They just made everything so easy and anything I asked for they took care of, all with a smile. The staff were just beautiful. By about Day 4 where ever I went in the hotel they seemed to know my name. They have this beautiful Tower Club that has complimentary drinks and food between noon and 6 – they knew my name first. On my birthday I came back from a day out and there was a chocolate birthday cake in my fridge. I could’ve cried with JOY. Thank you Lebua.
SHOPPED TILL I BLED
Did 6 massive shopping centres, and then my two favourites twice. There is nothing you can’t buy in Bangers and I bought at least one of each. My absolute fav centre had two floors of local designers. Besides the issues I had with local sizes – a Thai large is a snug fit on me - I stocked up big time! All up I got something like 3 shirts, 2 jumpers, 5 t’shirts, 2 shorts, 2 scarves (one with a nautical motif), 2 wallets and 4 pairs of shoes. Not bad at all. But the biggest and the best purchase was my little birthday present to myself… may I introduce my new boyfriend, Louis! From the Louis Vuitton store at Emporium, my No. 1 of shopping centres.
FOOD, GLORIOUS FOOD
The food was so good I kept taking pictures of my meals – I am practically a Japanese tourist. Did not have one bad meal the entire time. OMG I love a curry and the Thai’s do a very lovely curry. The best was a chilli crab curry, so good I believe it changed my life. Wasn’t very brave when it came to buying food on the side of the road, which is how so many of the locals seem to eat. Well that’s what I thought until I stumbled on the worlds biggest food court in the shopping district that had enough people in it to fill the MCG.
Everything about Bangkok is about the senses. Its one big giant overload of all the senses. The smell of the streets can make you gag one minute, swoon the next. They love their food and will set up a cooking station just about anywhere. Every second store offers massage. I thought this was just a tourist thing but then I went out to the suburbs and it was no different. It’s a city so crammed with action there is always something catching your eye. Everything is about the senses in Bangers. I absolutely felt obliged to have a massage every day – 3 full-body, 1 back and shoulders, 1 scalp, a beautiful manicure and a foot massage.
Just so friendly and lovely. And I love how Bangkokkers are so entrepreneurial. They will set up their little business doing just about anything, just about anywhere. I know this is driven by the widespread poverty, which can break your heart at times, but you gotta respect their willingness to make the most of everything. I saw quite a few men and woman who’d set up as a tailor on the edge of the road. There was one guy, a locksmith, who’d set up his business on the edge of a frantic intersection – with a full lathe. Now you’ve got to respect that!
It’s probably very wrong to go from talking about the poverty to the strength of the Aussie dollar, but I did try to do some good with it. I found I was doubling the price of things when it came to paying because for me it was the difference between $3 and $6, but for them it was so much more. You can live very well in Bangers on our dollar, and how I made myself feel better about that was to spread as much of it as I could. Cab drivers were my favourite, so appreciative. You can live very well and still make a subtle difference (without being completely patronising…)
So after a week I feel like I could be a very good Bangkok tour guide. Well I know all the best shopping and the best hotel in town. I also know where to find an amazing curry. The rest in Bangers takes care of itself.
I love Bangkok. It’s why I’m calling it the new New York.
Phew! Finally got all that Bangkok-love out of my system. Tomorrow, St. Murphy will be back to its boring old self.
Thanks for indulging me.