Bangkok – the capital of smiles

Did you know that Thai people don’t use the name Bangkok? They call it Krung Thep instead, but full name of this city goes like this:

Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Yuthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Phiman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasit

This translates to:

The city of angels, the great city, the residence of the Emerald Buddha, the impregnable city (unlike Ayutthaya) of God Indra, the grand capital of the world endowed with nine precious gems, the happy city, abounding in an enormous Royal Palace hat resembles the heavenly abode where reigns the reincarnated god, a city given by Indra and built by Vishnukarn.

And this is the reason to be number one on the list of the longest geographical names in the world and we think the hardest one to remember 😀 …So we will use just Bangkok.

 

Bangkok – a return to civilised world!

We arrived in Bangkok 3rd of May 2015 in the early morning. We were after a hard night, didn’t sleep on the plane at all, but just after we got out of the plane it was like a shot of fresh energy. After India, we were back in the civilised country! Everything was so normal in Thailand, like at home. People were completely opposite to what we had to deal with for last two months. We were flooded with smiles and everybody was very helpful. We heard that Thai people are on the top of the list of nicest people in the world and without a shadow of a doubt we can confirm it! On the way from the airport to Khao San Road (foreign tourist fav spot) we were lost a little bit, but no worries – Thais were asking where we were going and showing us the right direction. We were very tired so didn’t want to look for accommodation for the first night in Thailand. We did it in a lazy way just booked it over the internet. The place was on the parallel street to Khao San. We reached the place at 8am, but check-in was at 1pm and there was no vacant room to accommodate us earlier, so we went on the back of the restaurant and had over 5h nap there. 🙂

 

Soi or Thanon? – confusing street naming

All days in Bangkok we spent on walking and enjoying obvious things such as price labels in the shops, clean streets or lack of noise. We were trying to decode street names what wasn’t an easy task. Every so often we saw street name „Soi” or „Thanon”, were we walking around on the same street or what? All streets couldn’t have the same name, right? We had to find out, what was that about, and… here is what we know now, clearer, but still not easy to understand: big streets are named „Thanon”, for example Silom Thanon, Sukhumvit Thanon, or Th. like Road = Rd. All side streets branching off from Thanon are called „soi” and for example the address „23 Samran soi 5” means that building number 23 is located on the 5th soi of Samran Th. Short soi are called „trok”. To make it more complicated, bigger soi have their own sois. Want more? Long thanon changes name every few miles. How to find yourself in the city then? We still don’t know. We were just walking wherever we wanted and then to find the way back we were using sat-nav to get us near Khao San Rd. 😀

 

Buddhist Thailand

Main religion in the country of smiles is Buddhism (over 95% of the population). 67 milion people live in Thailand so over 63 million people are Buddhists and pray in over 40 717 temples (which can be seen everywhere). In South-East Asia Buddhist temples are called „Wat”.

 

We were walking by the one shop that was selling statues made out of resin and they were looking like real humans from the distance, even with a closer look! We could even see facial hair and veins or other details. Only little poke revealed they weren’t real.

rasin monks
Artificial monks made of resin
monk thailand
Artificial monk – like real!

 

Thai cuisine

Food. Thai food is delicious! The only problem we had it was a vegetarian food (we haven’t been eating meat for a couple of years). We thought food without meat didn’t exist there. The only solution for us was asking for eggs instead of meat. Thais were surprised, but there wasn’t any problem to have it.

fried rice

Thai food

We wanted to try everything, including weird looking, exotic fruits.

  • the white one with black seeds is called pitaya (tastes like sweet kiwi);
  • the yellow one is a jackfruit (very sweet);
  • the orange one is a pomelo (cross of orange and grapefruit), you can buy it in the UK!
  • two pink-brown pieces are rose apples and taste just like normal apple;
  • two white pieces are unidentified fruit; it was crunchy and without taste, it wasn’t sweet, or bitter, just blunt.
thai fruits
Thai fruits!

 

Siriraj Museum, Museum of Death…

We’ve also visited Siriraj Museum Of Medicine called sometimes „Museum Of Death”. It was next to a hospital. The place is a great source of information for medicine students and tourists too. There are many exhibits of the structure of human body like nerve system, blood system or whole human dipped (adults or conjoined twins) in formalin. Sometimes we didn’t look to close as it was scary. The place was looking like a set from a horror movie.

Siriraj Medical Museum

Siriraj Medical Museum Bangkok

 

 

More photos from Bangkok:

 

After 4 days in the capital of Thailand, we took a train down to the south to see pristine beaches and islands. More travel stories from Thailand you can find in a tab: Thailand