Arriving in Bangkok, I was on familiar ground and felt right at home. Unlike the rest of Thailand, I’d been to Bangkok before, several times in fact. Plus, having lived the lion’s share of the last ten years in a major metropolitan area, just being in a real city put me at ease.
Real city-wise, Bangkok really needs no introduction. It’s a first-tier city all the way. Of the places I have visited, I rank Bangkok as a peer to London, Paris, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Vancouver, and Seoul. It’s huge, gritty, multilayered, and tough. It is the unquestioned capital of Southeast Asia and the center of the universe here. It boasts world-class attractions, infrastructure, and like in any real city, you can get anything you want. Maybe more so than other real cities, since it may be hard to buy a live leopard cub in New York.
My buddy/sophomore year roommate Scott lives in Bangkok, so I met up with him shortly after I got into town. We hit up the Khao San Road bars on Tuesday night, and then headed for a very non-Khao San area of town the following afternoon.
I feel a little guilty writing about this place, as it remains largely undiscovered by the farang tourist masses, However, Scott told me that it likely will be “discovered” soon, inevitably to be filled with coffee shops and banana pancake stands and dreadlocks and fisherman pants. For now, Ko Kret remains off the tourist maps, largely because it is fairly difficult to get to.
Ko Kret is a small island in the Chao Phraya River. Cheap bicycle rentals are available, and the road through the small town and around the island’s countryside is quite fascinating, and is where most of my pictures from this post were taken. Of particular interest is the water line visible on most buildings, as Ko Kret was almost fully submerged in last year’s flooding.
I’ll be in Bangkok several more times throughout this trip, nexus of the universe that it is. I still haven’t decided how to deal with that blog-wise, if each stop in town should get a post. I’d like to say that I’ve seen everything in town so next time I’m there I’ll just hang out at the bar all day, but I know that’s not true. In Bangkok, there’s always another level and something else to see.
On to the pics.