This is a wonderland for foodies and a paradise for shoppers as well as a holy city with many temples and images of the Lord Buddha. , Much of what I have read about Bangkok appears to be true. The sights, sounds and aromas merge to create a unique recipe of attractions with a unique flavour and atmosphere to which only Bangkok holds the secret.
The city’s modern undercurrent blends perfectly with its old-world flavour, which charm also explains why there are so many international tourists flocking here year after year.
I travelled by the popular BTS SkyTrain network to Saphan Taksin station by the city’s famous Chao Phraya River and connected at Sathorn Pier with a shuttle boat to the exotic Asiatique night market. It was the perfect opportunity to watch the sun slowly setting in the western sky.
It was to be a perfect night.
With a soft breeze blowing and the heat of the day slowly dissipating, the setting sun sent shimmers of sparkling gold across the ripples of the gentle river.
The buildings on both river banks are high and low, as if to reflect the modern and traditional heritage of riverside living.
About 15 minutes later, I arrived at Asiatique – one of largest night markets in Thailand. The smell of delicious food (Thai, Japanese and Chinese) and all kinds of snacks overwhelmed me the minute I stepped onto the jetty.
Durian is one of my favourite fruits. I almost smelled my way to the booth and got a durian pancake. But there was more. The smell of perfumes, bustling of sellers, cute elephant souvenirs, cheap and flowery dresses and shirts, local dancing performance, it was a bizarre world for newcomers, a proof of its tolerance and diversity.
What surprised me most is that, different from ordinary night markets, which can be unorganised and dirty, it is well planned and beautiful. People can easily go through different sections of Asiatique by following the map.
I am sure there is more to explore in Bangkok, a new world to see and a different culture to experience.