Thailand, a country of about 62 million people, is located in South East Asia. This is a country of wats (temples), steaming jungles, (of the natural type as well as the man made ones in Bangkok) cooler mountains and villages in the north and beautiful beaches and islands in the south.
There are different dialects spoken in Thailand depending on which part of the country you are in. However, the main language is Thai; this is a tonal language meaning that the same spelling of a word can mean 5 different things depending on the type of tone you use when you speak the word.
No visit to Thailand is complete without a stop in Bangkok the capital and by far the largest city in all of Thailand. There is absolutely no other city like it in the world. It is full of life…everywhere. You can’t help but be caught up in the hustle and bustle, the crowds and congestion – all day and all night. This is not to be ignored but is to be jumped into full throttle.
Bangkok is a city of many things; it is a city of crowds, congested streets, gleaming golden temples called Wats and an ever present ebb and flow of life – all day and all night long.
At first glance nothing appears to be static here – 3 wheeled automobiles called Tuk-Tuks weave in and out of traffic, the sidewalks are filled with throngs of moving people and there always seems to be another skyscraper under construction. However, there are some sights that seem to remain the same year after year – calm places like the estate of Jim Thompson, not so calm places such as the famous Wats of Po and Arun, and of course, the Grand Palace.
Thai food is so varied in its ingredients; the Thai cuisine incorporates many different types of spices and flavors. Thai food is incredible. Street vendors are everywhere in Bangkok and many of the other cities and towns. You can eat at most any hour of the day or night. Most of these food vendors setup shop on a street sidewalk – they have a small glass container for displaying the food, maybe a few plastic chairs/tables and they will have a small stall for cooking the actual food – which is done by using a stove hooked into a propane tank.
Food from the street vendors can often be classified into two categories – soup and rice. There are a variety of soups of course – and then the rice is served with a variety of vegetables and meats.
For more information about Bangkok, please visit Dave’s guide to Bangkok.