Bangkok and the Siam Empire

Ahhhh Thailand! We heard a lot about it (in good or bad), it’s time to discover it by ourselves!

Bangkok

We spent 2 times 2 days in Bangkok, since we did our visa for Myanmar there just before leaving for Yangon. Bangkok represents 10% of the Thai population and 90% of registered cars in the country! It’s an enormous city mixing modern buildings and traditional shops/streets: jumping into the Skyrail (suspended subway), spending hours in big malls, eating barbecue and fresh fruits from streets shops and watching Thai box matches…

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Since the recent protests in Thailand, people moved from all Thailand to join the movement and are living in Lumphini Park (circled with barbed wire and sandbags)

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 Jim Thompson house Museum in Bangkok

Bangkok is the kingdom’s capital: we visited the royal palace and Wat Phra Kaeo, built in 1782 by Rama I. The palace is protected by impressive walls and regroups different buildings (temples, apartments, etc), especially the Phra Kaeo Wat and its emerald Buddha.

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Ah Bangkok nightlife is… interesting! You chose to discover Khao San, the backpacker place full of bars, hostels and small chops over Sio 11-23 with it’s big clubs and “girls bar”. Bangkok nightlife can be summarized in 3 words:

  • Relax, the dress code being shorts, tank tops and flip-flops
  • Buckets: you drink everything in a big bucket, yes the same one you used when you were 5yo on the beach
  • Ladyboys because yes, they’re everywhere! You can also find a big number of “girls bars” and several adult shows…

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Bangkok is a buzzing a furious city, full of adventures (especially at night), a mix between the present (electronics, clubs, technologies) and the past (temples, rituals…). Some people like it, some people don’t, but it deserves a try!

From Bangkok we decided to explore the north, its mountains, food and ancients cities!

Ayutthaya

Almost 2 hours from Bangkok by bus, Ayutthaya is the ancient capital of the Siam Empire. Throughout the centuries, the ideal location between China, India and the Malay Archipelago made Ayutthaya the trading capital of Asia and even the world. By 1700 Ayutthaya had become the largest city in the world with a total of 1 million inhabitants. Its big archeological site is now part of the UNESCO and regroups a impressive number of temples, deteriorated by centuries of vegetation. Built in 1350, the ancient city was destroyed by Burma during the war in 1767.

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Sukhothai

Sukhothai was the first capital of Siam,before the rise of Ayutthaya, founded by King Ramkhamhaeng (another prononciation exercise!). The archeological site is smaller than the one in Ayutthaya, organized around small lakes/wooded hills and well conserved. The name translates as “the dawn of happiness”.

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Where are we… ?

After a those few days going up north, we arrived in Chiang Mai, close to the Golden Triangle of Myanmar, Laos and Thailand! More on that later.

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  1. Pingback: The legendary Angkor | Hello World!

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