Bangkok, ‘City of Angels’
I still remember the first time I arrived in Bangkok it was as hot as hades, moving at one hundred miles an hour and extremely noisy. The first thing that hit me, apart from the cacophony of smells was the complete lack of anything resembling order.
Everywhere I looked there were holes or large cracks. When heavy traffic made the roads impassable, no problem motorbikes just rode on the pavement. Rows of open barbecues spat hot coals at passers by. It was in short beautifully confusing and wonderfully interesting.
More than 15 years later my heart still skips a beat when I step off the plane. Even though I’ve walked most of the back streets and alleyways around the center many times I would happily walk them all again tomorrow. Every time I turn a corner I see something new and refreshing.
Locals on the whole are wonderfully tolerant and nearly always respond with a smile if spoken to with a smile.
Early morning is a good time to hit the markets. Vibrant and noisy with so many photo opportunities you won’t know which way to look. They can be hot and stuffy but they are at least out of the searing heat of the sun.
You can buy anything from a cow’s head to a kilo of dried squid and are some of my favourite photographic haunts.
A basic knowledge of any local language is worth having when you travel and even vain attempts and total fails will break the ice and have locals encouraging you with smiles and chuckles.
I highly recommend the wonderful street food, whether it be from a hand pushed cart or a few small table and chairs assembled under the shadow of the omnipresent sky train. Everything is fresh, tasty, cheap and pant rippingly spicy! In my view it’s way better than spending up to five times as much in a posh restaurant for the same dish. You also get to watch the weird and wonderful things pass by.
I always bring enough film for my trip and travel with a couple of cameras. One film and one digital. So far I haven’t had any mishaps.
I never tire of Bangkok or anywhere else in the far east for that matter. As long as I have a passport and am able to fly I will continue to visit. Long may it continue to be exactly what it is – Totally enchanting, beautiful and utterly glorious.
All pictures taken with Fujifilm XPro-1 with 35/1.4 lens