Friday, 15 March 2013

Bangkok, love at first sight

The NY Times carried an article yesterday by Thomas Fuller entitled '36 Hours in Bangkok.'

Newley Purnell published an extract from this article on his site which I shamelessly share below. Why? Well in just a few words the extract sums up exactly why I first fell in love with Bangkok and why it's still one of the world's greatest cities.


Bangkok has hit the sweet spot. It’s modern but far from antiseptic, filled with luxuries, pampering and great food — but still affordable. In the glare of the tropical sun it can be an ugly sprawl of tangled wires and broken pavement. Yet amid the chaos, visitors find charm and, above all, character. Somehow extremes coexist: skyscrapers and moldy tenements; high-end, cloth-napkin dining and tasty street food stalls; five-star hotels and fleabag guesthouses overflowing with backpackers; libidinous hedonism and Buddhist meditation. To travel across Bangkok is to see several worlds at once. Increasingly it is also convenient. The city of paralyzing traffic now has ample public transportation options ranging from boats to an expanding subway system. But if there is one reason visitors return again and again to Bangkok, it is the people. The anonymity and daily grind of urban life is slowly wearing away at the legendary Thai smile. Yet Bangkok remains one of the friendliest cities on the planet, still infused with the Thai village traditions of hospitality and graciousness.


 Is this why you fell in love Bangkok?

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