I mentioned earlier that I would recount my Bangkok trip in a separate post. Or save the details for a picture collage. I don’t know…I’m really behind. We traveled to Bangkok and then to India so there are numerous food stories but I’m still organizing pictures and events in my head for them to make sense. Oh well. But I’m super proud of my son Nikhil, who, (albeit with lots of cajoling) managed to update his blog about our trip on our way home. (Don’t ask why it took me 2 weeks to even write about it:).
In any case I figured his recap and the short movie I have about our food adventures in Bangkok will sum it up, not entirely but enough to give you a taste. I realize bite sized recaps will work, to at least get me caught up.
I will also add that if you do visit Bangkok for a short trip like we did (3 days and 2 nights), and want to see all you can, hire a tour company to plan your itinerary for you. I would highly recommend Tours with Tong, run by Ms. Tong, an enterprising woman who has an interesting story herself. This company comes highly recommended on top travel sites like TripAdvisor and Fodors which is exactly how we chanced upon it. And I will say it lives up to all the stars it gets on reviews.
We had an amazing tour guide called Jintana who customized our tour according to our time, our needs, dietary restrictions etc etc. 5 stars to Tours with Tong! Fascinating to see and hear Sanskrit amidst so many Thai words and phrases. Jintana, I’m sure has its roots in the Sanskrit word, Chintana , meaning thought. Jintana, she said, meant imagination which was close.
Here’s a fascinating tidbit of what Jintana told us, amidst the splendor and history of Bangkok city’s stories. Did you know that Bangkok city’s real name is “Krung Thep” meaning City of Angels. And this is only the shortened version of it’s real name which is..
Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Ayuthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Piman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasit. (Try saying that fast twice:) This is also the longest name of any city in the world, certified by the Guniess book of World records. And an impressive number of local Thais remember to recite the full name, through a song and it goes like this:)
Translated in English as – The city of angels, the great city, the residence of the Emerald Buddha, the impregnable city (of Ayutthaya) of God Indra, the grand capital of the world endowed with nine precious gems, the happy city, abounding in an enormous Royal Palace that resembles the heavenly abode where reigns the reincarnated god, a city given by Indra and built by Vishnukarn.
Okay so I made this post longer than I intended so I will let the pictures speak for themselves. We did a combination of a city transport tour and a hired transport/car tour and I think it was the perfect combination for 2 days to take in the local sights and flavors with the public transport (bus, train, ferry and walk) and the guide with car for the longer commutes (Tiger temple, train market and floating market).
Here’s another vlog of the Train market, another must-see. Watch how the fish, fruit and vegetable vendors throng the train tracks. When the train arrives (3 times a day), they “move back” and make way for the train. Amazingly, as the train departs, it’s business as usual:). Entrepreneurism at its best!
And there you have it. A quick recount of our trip, which doesn’t do justice to the gazillion things to see and do in Bangkok, or the rich culture and heritage it has among it’s temples, palaces, the curious connection between Hinduism and Buddhism as is evident by the names of the streets, the people, their great King and the stark contrast between the monasteries, temple monks and the bustling nightlife at Sukhamvit:)
Bangkok is a city I’d love to explore again…