I took 2,500 photos in Bangkok this spring break, so sorting them out and deciding which ones to use, has been, to say the least, time-consuming. 7 days in Bangkok were not enough, to even begin to capture it all. Next time I visit Thailand, I’m going to Chiang Mai and surrounding areas.
But the experience was amazing. Despite the simmering heat, which stripped me of my energy, I thoroughly enjoyed the visit. My only complaint was the terrible heat. California is hot, but thankfully dry as well, so the heat doesn’t feel so instense. I am now thoroughly tan from my time there.
I arrived in Bangkok at 2 in the morning, because of flight delays, but I was surprised at how blatant prostitution was in the wee hours. By the freeway, in alleyways and on major streets, there were huge throngs of prostitutes soliciting men for services. I’ve never seen so many women, obviously and openly doing this for a living. The taxi driver, as he took my family to the hotel, sighed as he muttered “night ladies.” Dishonorable, perhaps, but as long as there’s demand, people will continue supplying and fueling the industry. Las Vegas is nothing in comparison to Bangkok in this respect.
I also did the usual tourist things, like ride elephants, pet tigers and visit the Grand Palace. The elephant mahout, to my surprise, was Burmese (from Burma, but had no citizenship in either Thailand or Burma). He was a Karen who made 3,000 baht ($85 USD) a month for his work and told us that there were at least 10 others from Burma working at the park. There’s an Economist article about Burmese migrant workers in Thailand, published 2 weeks ago that demonstrates how difficult it is for Burmese people there. While the taxi driver was quick to admit that Burmese laborers did work hard without complaint, he quickly followed it with a bleak criticism: “When they find out where the boss’s money is, they kill them and take off with the money.” A sentiment shared by many Thais, I presume, but it didn’t help that while on the trip, a British tourist was murdered by 3 suspected Burmese fishermen in Thailand.
Anyway, here are my 12: