Bangkok – A Feast for the Senses
(Thanks to @BradFraser for the photos. This post originally published on the CheapOAir site.)
In Thailand, especially in the big city of Bangkok, the sights, sounds, smells and especially the tastes, are amazing.
After the heat and the crowds, you first notice the colours of Thailand, especially the gold leaf-enrobed Buddha statues, pagodas and stupas. The chanting of monks will soothe your ears (while the beat from the go-go bars may assault them). Walking down any street in Bangkok, your nose quickly finds an appealing scent and leads you toward something to eat. Thais eat many small meals throughout the day, and this is the best way to structure your day too.
You may have had pad thai at home, but it is nothing like the version you’ll find in Thailand (although pad thai is not a traditional Thai dish). Tip: buy it from a street cart, not in a restaurant, for a more authentic taste. If you can handle a little heat, ask for pad kee mao – drunkard’s noodles. Pick up freshly cut pineapple to quench your thirst. Thais dip pieces into a little bag of powder — a mixture of salt, chilies, and sugar, and it magnifies the pineapple. Also try spring rolls, grilled skewered meats, and, if you’re adventurous, crickets.
Has your sampling made you more curious about Thai food? Try a cooking course. You’ll start with a tour of a local market to learn about ingredients, and then head to an open kitchen to start cooking. You’ll make several dishes (pictured massaman curry), eat them up, and can take the recipes home.
Thais are extremely friendly people who will always have a smile for you. Tell them your food is “aroy!” (delicious) and they’ll smile even more broadly. While you will find favourite places, foods and activities, keep treading toward the unknown so your senses can enjoy something new.
To stay: A good place to recover from jet lag before you head into Bangkok (or to spend your last night to avoid traffic before your flight), is the Hotel Novotel Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport. Thai luxury at a good price.