As we sat on Khao san Road slurping down probably our 8th pad Thai in 2 days, hennas drying on the kids bodies, carts of street food clunking past, smells of basil, sizzling chilies, fresh mangoes, papayas, dragon fruits, vibrant colors, lady boys, scorpions on sticks, tuk tuks, foot massages, the weirdest combination of North American 90’s pop music which seems to be Bangkok’s official soundtrack, and all the madness of Khao san slamming against our senses, Phoenix says to me…”why can’t we just live here?” The city is seething with vibrant energy and we can’t get enough.
Despite above description, its much more quiet here than it was when I visited in March. October is the end of the monsoon season, and although my weather app shows rain, rain rain, it only seems to rain at night or early morning in short bursts which are a welcome relief to the heat. I even let the kids explore Soi Rambuttri (quieter street where we are staying, steps away from Khaosan) without me to find some street food in the afternoon. Shops are opening later in the day and things are just more subdued, also because of the year anniversary of the death of Thailand’s beloved King at the end of the month. The country is still in mourning and the anniversary is a big deal. There are thousands of people coming to Bangkok for this, and most of the people we see are Thais..not a lot of tourists even in the bars at night.
There are many floating markets in Bangkok and to be honest…I could not be one to guide you on to how to find any of them. We did mange to get our sleep deprived butts to one of them however, payed way too much money for the long tail boat there but hey…when in Bangkok 😉 We were super happy with Talingchan Market it was small, mostly food and almost devoid of tourists. We saw water monitors on the canal, watched a woman feed cute little turtles and snakes to the fish, got knowingly and willingly hustled by a tuk tuk driver and drank something called butterfly pee. We ate everything we could and left smelling of spices and sweat. It was a good one.
The other thing we chose to do with our time was visit China Town. Complete and total madness and definitely worth it! Be prepared to walk a lot and if you decide to go down a crowded, narrow alley way of shops…be prepared for not knowing where it may end or take you. Its very easy to get there by ferry from Khaosan Road and in our opinion, can’t be missed.
As the plane lifted off I looked down at that crazy place and thought, “maybe my favorite city on earth”. I know not everyone shares that opinion, but if you like think a mixing pot of dirty, beautiful, dark and vibrant sounds alluring…you’ve gotta love Bangkok.