Today we left Bangkok to go over to the west coast of Thailand, before we head up north to do some work with elephants.
Bangkok like many other cities seemingly has become less seedy and more like every other city I have seen on this trip. There are cranes everywhere building more vertical space to satisfy the population growth. The city has been westernized with KFC, Starbucks and McDonalds lining many of the corners. There are mega malls - (even one with an ice rink, which warmed my heart)
In other ways Bangkok is quite a different city. We stayed in Chinatown and I have never seen anything like the amount of street food in this area. And every night it was packed. I mean there were street vendors selling various Chinese / Thai dishes side by side for a good mile.
We happened to be there for the commemoration of the death of the King (everyone was wearing yellow.). It is weird to think of a "King" at all from my perspective and the way the yellow was everywhere it felt like a college town on game day.
Riding the “Tuk-Tuk” or modern day rickshaw was a hoot (something about them feels a lot more genuine than a cab or “grab” (the Asian Uber).
Would I go back? Probably not. Not a lot of beauty to this city and if it once had a real “edge” which I like in a city, it does not anymore.
Much like New York, the seedy stuff is gone. Maybe it is me that's changed. Or maybe, culturally, nothing is shocking anymore.
“One night in Bangkok” was a hit in the 80s and not in 2018. It sounds like the excitement and taboos of this city are on the same trajectories.