I know this: Bangkok is never going to make the list of top ten tranquil vacation destinations in the world. Suicidal tuk-tuk drivers, miles of sky-train soaring over one’s head, loud Thai folk music, gargantuan malls, canals cheerfully gargling with life, and enough shrine incense to get you high won’t exactly raise you to a Zen-like state. Instead, you’ll get so caught up in the activity around you that you’ll completely deprogram. What was so important in my life before I came to Bangkok? you’ll wonder.
Those candied colors and warm faces swirling around you will reassure you that everything you need to feel really good is right here. The tension will slowly leave your body and your headaches will become a thing of last week — I mean, of the past. Your heartburn will go away (as long as you stay off of Khao San Road) and your blood pressure will lower as smoothly as Buddha’s arm.
So why isn’t Bangkok on your short-list? Never mind, just take this virtual stroll with me.
On the stroll to the Golden Mount.
Bring your cash and your sense of humor!
You are delusional if you think these tuk-tuks come with seat belts.
Asiatique, new fixture in Bangkok.
Khao San Road, home to motorcyclists, mercenaries, muggers, and misfits.
This is the view from my taxi.
Be sure to wrap your expensive electronics in plastic on the streets, or a drive-by squirting may result in your panic attack.
Another gorgeous shrine to help you relax.
The people who live here have never heard of Prozac.
The mystique of the monastery
Home sweet home on the Chao Phraya River.
You, too, can find inner peace under a gray sky.
Bangkok’s canals provide a restive retreat from the hectic pace of the cit — never mind, just get in.
I’d like my place of worship all in pastels, please. (Gosh my local church needs a makeover.)
Something about Buddha can just make you feel trippy.
What Bangkok looks like when you’re still really jet-lagged. But at this point, you don’t care!