Life in the ‘City of Angels’ by Bruno Mammone, Backyard Travel’s Sales Manager
Growing up in Australia, I always had a dream of travelling the world and experiencing life in a different country. I’d visited Bangkok as a tourist many times before I moved here, and was always amazed by the overwhelming sights and sounds of ‘downtown’. Sidewalks overflowing with pedestrians, food stalls and sellers trying to get you to buy whatever they had, noisy streets roaring with cars, tuk tuk driver’s spruiking for business. It can be quite an experience for the casual Bangkok traveler.
Packing my bags and touching down in Bangkok to live here, I couldn’t help but wonder: Is this what my life would be like – a constant buzz of excitement? Little did I know the journey was only just beginning.
Now that I have lived here for a while I can say that within a short period of time you quickly become accustomed to the sights, sounds, smells, tastes and ever-changing scene Bangkok has to offer. The city literally never sleeps, and is full of spots to be entertained on weekends and after work (yes, I do have to work).
Amazing roof top bars such as Above 11, Sky Bar and Red Sky, to name a few, are a great way to see the city. In this constant heat, I love a beer and have had some pretty decent drops at places like Scene Space in Thong Lor, HOBS (House of Beers) and, for the German experience, Tawandaeng. If I want to hit the dance floor then my choices for great music (tech, house, RnB) would include RCA, Demo and Ku De Ta.
The food in Bangkok sends you on a culinary journey that never ceases to delight and amaze. What makes the food scene here even more rewarding are all the people you meet. The aunite and uncle food vendors, the families with young children, the teenage couples frying late-night feeds for night owls – all of them welcome you with a smile. After a while, my local street vendors have become more than just the people who cook me food; they become friends, they teach me the Thai language and provide me with an insight into their lives. This warmth and welcoming attitude is something I encounter on a daily basis, and only increases my love for this city.
My advice for travelers to Bangkok is to just pick up a plastic stool, make your way to a small table and get ready to indulge in local Thai cuisine. Not only is it delicious, but expect to pay between 30 – 50 THB per dish; that’s amazing value.
This may be biased but in my opinion some of the best food I have tasted in Thailand has been hawker-style street food. Everything from spicy som tum (papaya salad) on Petchaburi Road, khao moo daeng (BBQ pork with rice) on Soi 8 Sukhumvit and gai yaang (fried chicken) with special chili sauce on Sala Daeng in Silom.
For those of you who are not as at ease eating on the street, there are also ‘street style’ restaurants where you can get the same sort of feel without literally sitting on the curb. Some spots I have tried include SUDA on soi 14 in Sukhumvit and The Tree House on Soi Tham Sarot in Ratchathewi.
Bangkok is forever evolving and changing. The longer I stay, the more reasons I found to love this unique city. The next time you are here go where the locals go and have a real Thai experience.