Pulsating In The Heart Of Siam

Those who follow me on Bonding Tool Facebook knows I am out of town. While I was posting some of the photos in facebook, I had trouble tagging the location. I cannot find a simple city Bangkok. In the end, I tagged my location as country “Thailand”, instead.

"On the road again."

“On the road again.”

Its full ceremonial name, which came into use during the reign of King Mongkut, reads as follows:
Krungthepmahanakhon Amonrattanakosin Mahintharayutthaya Mahadilokphop Noppharatratchathaniburirom Udomratchaniwetmahasathan Amonphimanawatansathit Sakkathattiyawitsanukamprasit
(กรุงเทพมหานคร อมรรัตนโกสินทร์ มหินทรายุธยา มหาดิลกภพ นพรัตนราชธานีบูรีรมย์ อุดมราชนิเวศน์มหาสถาน อมรพิมานอวตารสถิต สักกะทัตติยวิษณุกรรมประสิทธิ์).

The city’s name is listed by Guinness World Records as the world’s longest place name. – Wikipedia.

Say what? Hahaha… It’s like asking an Asian to say supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.

What I saw while in the air, during and after landing:

The name, composed of Pali and Sanskrit root words, translates as:
City of angels, great city of immortals, magnificent city of the nine gems, seat of the king, city of royal palaces, home of gods incarnate, erected by Visvakarman at Indra’s behest.  – Wikipedia.

It all happened one night when I was Whatsapping with a girlfriend and she disclosed she and a common girlfriend were booked on a short getaway.

“Where to?”
“Bangkok.”
“Bo jio!” (Hokkien dialect for “why didn’t “invite” me to tag along?”)
“We didn’t think you could go.”
“Well, you didn’t verify. I can and I want to go.”

Some emails were exchanged between the girlfriend I spoke to and the ticketing agent and by the next day, my name was in their itinerary 😀

While the sky was blue when I departed Singapore, dark clouds loomed when we arrived in Bangkok's new Suvarnabhumi Airport.

While the sky was blue when I departed Singapore, dark clouds loomed when we arrived in Bangkok’s new Suvarnabhumi Airport.

My last visit to Bangkok was in 2007 with my children and this time, I took Thai Airways (instead of SIA) where stewardesses still clasp their hands together prayer-like and greet you,  “Sawatdee Kaa” and I felt great already!

Our flight TG404 was scheduled to fly at 12.25pm (got delayed slightly in the end) so we had lunch on the plane.

We met our hotel transfer guide and in no time, we were ushered into a van. Along the way, we saw a gathering of people, some wearing animal costumes. A street protest was going on.

“Damn the Dam!”

“The dam in Mae Wong National Park will go ahead despite opposition from environmentalists”, Deputy Prime Minister Plodprasop Suraswadi said.

I was amazed at how orderly and peaceful the protest (388km march) took place.

To read more on the peaceful anti-dam protest, click here.

Traffic congestion in Bangkok is one of the worse in the world and especially after a 10% rise in vehicles since last year. The best way to get around is on foot (stay at a hotel near the action or shopping malls depending on your intended activities) or by tuk tuk.

Traffic congestion in Bangkok, one of the worse in the world - this is not it!

Traffic congestion in Bangkok, one of the worse in the world – this is not it!

Tuk Tuk. The best way to get around but be prepared to haggle over the price. You won't save much money but it's quite fun to bargain.

Tuk Tuk.
The best way to get around but be prepared to haggle over the price. You won’t save much money but it’s quite fun to bargain.

Happy traveling 🙂

See my upcoming post on Thailand’s street food!

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Comments
9 Responses to “Pulsating In The Heart Of Siam”
  1. Lignum Draco says:

    I suspect I’ll be craving Thai food in the next few days. Have a great trip.

  2. Jessica says:

    Oh, wow, Sam! Glad you had a good trip! I loved the pictures from the air. I really liked the airport at Bangkok, but I know what you mean about congestion on the streets! That’s cool that you got to see a peaceful protest, too. Really interesting… Thanks for sharing!

    • Sam Han says:

      Really glad to be exposed to other cultures and how they work things out. Sometimes the media over sensationalize, like my trip to Tehran, it looked horrible on news but it was peaceful and in fact almost non existent when I arrived (few years back).

      • Jessica says:

        Wow, that’s so interesting. And I fully agree that it’s so great to be able to be exposed to other cultures and how they work things out, not to mention how they live their daily lives. The widened perspective that travel brings is amazing and should not be underestimated in importance! Thanks for your awesome comment, Sam! 🙂

      • That’s why it’s nice to have a network like all of us do. Between all of our travels,research, passions with food and culture we all share we can keep informing the world on some things that many people are disconnected and misinformed of.

      • Sam Han says:

        So wise and true, Damien 😀

  3. Iris says:

    Can’t wait for your Thai food posts! 🙂

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