Dropping below the clouds into the Bangkok airspace thousands of stretched out rectangular fields absorbed in water with the fairly modernized- scattered concrete buildings representing the two classes was immediately recognizable; the rich and the poor. Bangkok Airport is a symbol of the rising economy that is emerging here with its modern glass structure and the hundreds of planes from around the world docked.
Especially with Airlines such as Air Asia going to such countries has become much more accessible.
www. Airasia. Com
Opting to spend our first few nights on the infamous Kao San Road we got our metered taxi from the airport and headed to the out- skirts of the city. On the drive there we noticed that unlike Indonesia Thailand is wanting to become “Westernized”. Its clearly loosing its charm amidst the Seventies concrete slabs filthy with sewage sat on all corners yet two roads down into the city the wealth of its economy shines with newly high-rise buildings and bustling traffic of new cars. Even more so the British chain of Tesco has also become the primary food store – very odd. Yet at the heart of all of this the ancient Temples and the many Giant Buddha’s that highlight the 90% Buddhist religion here.
Kao San Road
You may hear a lot of stories of Kao San Road and boy does it live it to them. Within minutes of arriving on the neon- lit road we wondered where on Earth had we arrived- it was a scene from the most bizarre movie.
Walking onto the North of the road you are greeted with the Police Station (unable to comment). Lining the road all the way down the fake- clothing shops and those of the bizarre hippy fashions; the neon lights of Macdonalds/ KFC/ Bars and the many tattoo parlors (not a good idea with the alcohol that is consumed there). Through the centre of the road a line of food stalls selling everything from kebabs- Pad Thai (noodle dishes) – fried Dragonflies and many fried other little insects; the smells intoxicating. In between all of this hustle and bustle the many hawkers trying to pull you into what they are offering – every store has one including the tattoo parlors! Scattered in between all of this the “corruptness” of this place glows like a torch in the night. Firstly; stalls that can produce any legitimate fake I.D. / Passports / University Degree’s that easily pass for being real; the many sad elderly men who have nothing other to live for apart from the young girls (or Lady- boys) that are so easily on offer here; and the drugs – the extremely visible dodgy criminals that litter the scene in their thousand dollar suits making their deals publicly on Kao San’s Road. Like I said you can understand why I wont comment on the police just yet but this is a world unlike any other- a world ruled by money- debauchery and an easy satisfaction to have whatever it is you desire. If you ever visit enjoy a drink or two- it’s a safe place contrary to what I‘ve mentioned- take in the bizarre scenes going on around you with a pinch of salt including the woman who thinks she’s a dog and the elephant that may be led up and down.
But if you get drawn into places like this they can destroy the soul- and the world it has created for itself is based on the unhappiness of expats getting a quick fix.