When does it wake up, when does it go to work, what does it do to have fun, how happy are they – these are some questions that need to be answered to get a feel of a place. A monument, a restaurant, a Facebook check-in or selfie at its cosmopolitan hub will never provide you with the answer. You need to know the generalities so that you can admire the uniqueness.
Time is the only dampener. I have realised that you cannot claim to know a country but just the part that you visited and that too, slightly. Visiting Paris is not equivalent to visiting France nor does a visit to Switzerland, Germany and France amount to visiting, or for that matter, knowing Europe. So let’s stick to places where we actually spent time.
Another runaway was on the cards as the birthday approached. We settled on Thailand. Given the paucity of time, I had to choose what I wanted to see and do in that vast country. Northern Thailand was out of question. There was too much travelling involved and I wouldn’t have managed to even cover one place properly. So I stuck to exploring the food in Bangkok and checking out the islands of Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao.
I had chosen the location of the AirBnB’s precisely where I wanted to travel around. The first one was close to Chinatown where I had planned to stuff my mouth with numerous delicacies. The chaos of Bangkok will definitely calm the heart of an Indian. It does feel like home. A few rules you must abide by when you are in Bangkok if you want to save some money. Tuk-tuks are a rip-off. You are much better off with a taxi. Use a combination of the metro/subway and taxi to get around. The bike taxis are also wonderful.
Tossed the bags and off to Chinatown. Broad roads occupied by street vendors offering an infinite number of dishes for you to devour. I swear I hadn’t salivated so much in the recent years as much as I did here when moving from one alley to the other. The grills shimmered and the oil dripped on to the coals, and the ensuing smoke drew you ever closer. We started off with a clear pork soup and some fried pork dumplings. Seafood noodles really filled us up. Octopus, squid and prawns do get quite heavy.