Bangkok is hot, sticky and sweaty. The food. The people. The markets. The alleyways. At times it can be hard to think, or even move. You feel dirty. You want a shower, but standing in a cool shower 24 hours a day is not an option. Besides, this is Bangkok. A city aimed to please every type of tourist imaginable. The trick is to find yours and make the most of it.
Khao San Road
Many a traveler has been mesmerized and kidnapped by the infamous Khao San Road. It’s hardly the road’s fault. After all, travelers could walk past the rows of bars selling cheap Thai Buckets, hits from hookah bongs, and spicy food. They don’t have to stop. The road isn’t responsible for getting travelers high, or encouraging them to create a drum circle on the side of the road. Nope, travelers make that horrible decision all on their own. So, if you’re looking for cheap Thai buckets, spicy food, drug-induced drum circles or hits from a hookah, the Khao San Road is a ‘Banging Good Time’.
During the day this alley near Asoke BTS may not seem like much, but a night it’s sparkling brighter than the Las Vegas strip! Sin City is a small town librarian compared to Soi Cowboy. This alley is crawling with farangs, ladies and lady boys. The bars here offer a slightly different menu than those along Khao San Road. Think seedy. Think sweaty. Think sexy. Those are all in abundance in Soi Cowbody.
If you think you’re game for whatever this alley has to offer you, you’d be smart to leave your valuables at your hotel, write your hotel addy somewhere on your body with permanent marker and come to grips with the possibility of not remembering anything the next day.
Muay Thai Fights
It’s hot. It’s sweaty. It’s dirty. It’s FREE at MBK every Wednesday night. If boxing and UFC procreated, their love (or more likely lust) child would be Muay Thai. There are not many activities that surpass the rush of excitement as you watch an intense Muay Thai fight. Daring travelers may take Muay Thai classes, but hardcore fans realize that watching it is as exciting as its going to get. I wouldn’t be surprised if some travelers admit to having wet dreams over this sport. It is THAT good!
Are you into pain? Do you like being jabbed with a hard wooden tool? Then getting a Thai massage is exactly what you need. There is nothing quite like a Thai massage. Many travelers do it. It’s like a luxury. Until the smiling Thai women go to work. That’s when the small bouts of pain start. Most of it is manageable, but when they start using a long wooden stick on the bottom of your feet, watch-out!
Once you find your happy place and accept the pain, well, that’s when the pleasure comes into play. Your body can loosen up and you can allow your mind to drift. Of course there are other forms of Thai massage. So if feet are not your thing, then perhaps a full body rub or something off the menu in Soi Cowboy is. Either way, you’re bound to have a ‘Banging Good Time’.
Do it in a Tuk Tuk
If you’re going to do Bangkok, then you have to do it in a tuk tuk. These open-air, tri-wheeled vehicles are the only way to experience Bangkok. Yes, there are buses and taxi cabs and the BTS, but there are certain places in and around Bangkok that only a tuk tuk can go.
Negotiating the price before your ride is often times the most exciting part, at least it is until you find yourself smack dab in the middle of crazy Bangkok traffic and your driver is trying to do something impossible. That is when the rush kicks in.
Find a driver who speaks okay English, negotiate a price and have him drive through Bangkok’s semi-seedy sides. The streets are narrow, the sidewalks are thick with people, the air is stagnent, and the food is amazing. If you really want to see him smile, then tell him you want to see Pat-Pong. The dark side of Bangkok starts over there and your night will definitely be an eventful one!
While men dream of Soi Cowboy and other deliciously seedy things, women often covet Siam Paragon, Bangkok’s answer to a shopaholics wet dream. Hours (and quite possibly days) can be spent inside this shopping mall to beat all shopping malls. From couture to bargain chic, Siam has something for every whimsy. Shopaholics love maxing their credit cards as they fuel their shopping fetish. Plus, Siam Paragon is shiny!