I’ve never cried after leaving a place as much as here. I don’t think that will change.
Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Ayuthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Piman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasit , best known as Bangkok to you, me, and the rest of the world, is not some seedy Asian capital (with a ridiculously long name may I add); for me it represents so much more. It is the gateway between my two cultures, where West meets East, an extraordinary metropolis where you could feed an elephant, buy a fake Rolex and sit in the back of a rickshaw, all on the same street.
This place makes no sense. Translated as ‘City of Angels’, Krung Thep to me, is a prime example of Crazy Town. Stepping out of the airport we were hit with the full-force of the city’s humidity; the air is literally so thick and hot, it is hard to breathe (I don’t suppose pollution helps this either). Whilst driving through the capital it is difficult to comprehend the sheer size of it; reflective skyscrapers tower over vast motorways lined with colourful taxis, beeping tuk-tuks, dangerously volatile mopeds and trucks with impatient drivers. Amidst this chaos the sky train hustles overhead, an extensive form of transport which has been running in Bangkok for a while now. The Chao Phraya river takes pride of place in the centre of this madness, and runs alongside the Royal Palace and the Temple of Dawn on the other side, an outstanding feat of illustrious architecture, whose presence only highlights the country’s unsettlingly imbalanced distribution of wealth, when compared to the shanty-town river huts dotted not too far beside it.
Being a pedestrian here is just as bewildering. This city can be summed up as noise and people. When they say twenty-four hour, they mean it never sleeps; the buzz of mopeds, the unbearable heat and the general feeling of constant hectic energy never stops. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
For a bit of tranquil shelter (to keep a sane mind in this exciting disarray of a capital), we always stay at The Honey Hotel, its slogan ‘a place small enough to call home’, which is perfectly fitting. My Dad has been going there for 35 years now, first travelling alone, then with my mum, and now as a family; all the while the staff have remained the same, the reception just as welcoming, and the food just as authentic and delicious. Starting and ending our trip here has become somewhat of a tradition; there aren’t a lot of places where you can have a cocktail and Pad Thai for just over 3 quid, by a pool, in the hub of this city. I wouldn’t know Bangkok without it.