My Bangkok

Honestly, I think my Bangkok is very likely different from your Bangkok. Each time I return to Bangkok and to Thailand, I’m continously being reminded about all my years living there. I catch myself thinking about all the people I met, the situations I found myself in, the opportunities I had, the wild parties and the nightlife, all the excitement and all the frustration of big-city living. I’m so extremely fortunate to say that I was a part of that city - for a so many decades. I wouldn’t want to live my life again without those years. 

I have said this before, and it’s all over the digital web, but it’s probably a great time to bring it up again: “When you first arrive in Bangkok, you may hate it… but, be really careful. Without any further warning, Bangkok gets under your skin and you may never be able to completely leave again". For me, this phrase is so true - there is so much tying me up to Bangkok, I feel I never will be able to finish with this city or it’s people. 

This is perhaps very cliche, but there is absolutely no place like Bangkok. Such as dynamic city, continously growing and continously evolving. It’s like a living thing: one of those gym-guys that keeps on pumping those big muscles. Still, amidst all the modernization, there is stil a little bit of the old city. You just got to know where to look, and what to look for. 

Another thing that I love about Bangkok is the smiles - though, I clearly feel there are more and bigger smiles in those shops that have quality items geared towards foreigners. The smiles may not be completely genuine, but it also depends on how you repsond to those actions. You got to understand the “game” in a place like this. If you are looking for the genuine smiles, the so-called Thainess advertised by Tourism Authority of Thailand, you need to get out of the biggest toruist places and tourist traps. Head out to the country sides, and smaller towns of the country. Don’t worry too much, these small places may not have the overpriced drinking places, the glitter and the glamour, but they do provide with some heartwarming situations and genuine people. 

In Bangkok, you may live at a really tight budget if you truly go “local” in both living and eating, but it’s also possible to really do the hi-so lifestyle, if that is your thing. I have done both of them, and I’ve met people from both extreme ends of the same scale. My time as a Public Relations Manager in Bangkok gave me some pretty wonderful opportunities to know so many different people, and the absolutely greatest thing is that I still are able to maintain contact with many of these people. With my time from Bangkok, I think my greatest asset for the future, is good understanding and respect for everyone, as well as the fact that I feel I’ve become extremely confident in many of the situations I meet today. I think that without my time abroad, and without my up-bringing on board cruiseships, I would not have been able to get to the place I find myself today. 

Looking back and reflecting at my life, I’m so happy and proud of what I have been able to achieve. The world is such a wonderful place to call home, and it’s always been important for me to see as many places as possible and to meet so many different people as possible - whatever their background, whatever their opinion, and whatever class they belong to. 

I’d love to hear what is your favourite place or experience in Bangkok, or in the world? 

View towards north, from one of the rooms at Centara Watergate Hotel in Pratunam, Bangkok. This has for a long time been one of my absolutely favourite hotels in Bangkok, but because its such a wonderful place, this hotel is often fully booked. 

One of the more hidden markets in Bangkok can be found on the northside of Centara Watergate hotel. In daytime, this is a great place to meet locals playing various types of ballgames, such as football or even takraw. 

Siam Paragon Mall. When this mall opened many years ago, it was one of the most common place you would find me shopping, eating, doing bussiness meetings, attending concerts and conferences, and working out with my favourite PTs in the gym. At each return, this is one place where a lot of memories tend to come flooding back to me. 

Old Bangkok can be found everywhere as long as you know where to look. These aluminium plate, painted signs were common in the past, but are now just that: something of the past. They can still be found in many areas. 

I think smiling - which comes so natural to many Thais, is something we have forgotten about in Norway, and perhaps elsewhere in Scandinavia. We should all learn to smile more, not only to those we know, but also to all the strangers we meet in the streets and shops. 

You really haven’t been to Bangkok (or Thailand), if you haven’t tried out the many streetside food-vendors. 

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