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Scotty in ...

Scotty in Thailand

24.12.2003

- 6.1.2004

 

Noraseth

 

Bangkok

PICS

:: Grand Palast

:: China Town

:: Teak-Mansion

:: Wat (Temples)

 

Chiang Rai

 

Chiang Mai

 

Hua Hin

 

Afterward

B a n g k o k

 

Bangkok is the western name of this city. The Thai name is very long and, roughly translated, contains words and phrases like “beautiful,” “big,” “city of the gods,” etc. (really, this name goes on in Thai for about 50 or 60 words, but the short form is “Krung Thep Maha Nakom”). The city is big and choked with auto traffic and heavy air pollution. This should ease in the next 10 years as subways, elevated trains and other forms of public transit are being built. Noraseth and I travelled mostly in normal taxis (very inexpensive) or buses, most of which were enclosed and air-conditioned. If you ride in the Tuk-tuks (motorcycles with a covered seat for three behind the driver) or “pick-up truck taxis” (Toyota pick-ups with a cover and bench seats in the back for about 6, although there are usually 12 or more riders) or even on the back of a motorcycle or moped taxi (they wear orange vests to distinguish them from private motorcyclists), or if you walk in the city center, you will experience the air pollution. To me, this was the only negative aspect of Bangkok.

 

Bangkok is a thriving and busy place with lots to see and do. There are very poor neighborhoods and very rich neighborhoods, as in any city. We visited a lot of temples and palaces, but we also visited the malls and shopping centers, the markets, etc. Most of the shopping centers we visited - whether indoors and modern like a typical western mall or the outdoor market with raw meats and vegetables hanging or being cooked fresh in front of you - were in Thonburi, the neighborhood where Noraseth and his father and sister have their house. As this area is far from the city center, it was, for me, a true experience, rather than a tourist experience, of Bangkok. I was often the only white guy and I found that to be both a new experience and fun since the Thai people are so openly friendly and curious. People would stare and smile or wave. Children and older men and women would often come up to me and take my tattoo-covered arm to get a closer look. I loved the attention and Noraseth kept calling me “Angeber” (German for “show-off”). (Interesting note: although many Thai people speak a bit of English, Noraseth always spoke to them, naturally, in Thai and he and I spoke exclusively in German, as we always do. I didn’t use or hear much English at all when I was in Thailand.)

 

 
 

Noraseth and his family | Noraseth's private homepage