From Sydney via Singapore, it takes approximately 12 hours by plane before reaching Bangkok in Thailand. Asia is my second home, I feel comfortable there, find there what I missed in New Zealand and Australia. It’s a bit messy, the people are cheerful, nice and uncomplicated, the culinary offer is not only reduced to Mc Donald’s, Burger King or Starbuck’s but you can eat something excellent at reasonable prices on every corner at some street kitchen – and all Asian countries have developed a millenium old, independent history – i means you can really immerse into culture.
Bangkok is an Asian metropolis – the city itself has about 8 million inhabitants – as a metropolitan region, and with the surrounding area there are already 16 million. In a confusing maze of streets there is hectic traffic, you get the feeling that all the people in the city are on the public transport at the same time, yet the air pollution is not as intensive as in China or India. This is probably due to the fact that most vehicles here run on LPG, which means liquefied petroleum gas, and not on petrol or diesel.
In 2013 Bangkok was the most visited city in the world with 17 million visitors, currently it is again number 2 behind London – but if you walk through the Khao San Road in the evening you get the feeling, that all tourists were here at the same time. Also the food offer is specially designed for tourists – namely very protein-rich food. I have tasted through everything – I can only recommend it, it tastes not bad.
Normalerweise ist der Lumbhini Park ein ausgesprochener Hort der Ruhe inmitten der Stadt – wenn man allerdings gegen Sonnenuntergang durch den Park schlendert, zeigt er sich in einem ganz anderen Bild. Hunderte von Aerobic Sportlern folgen den Bewegungsabläufen der Vortänzer und dem Rhythmus der Musik.
Normally, Lumbhini Park is a very quiet place in the middle of the city – but when you stroll through the park towards sunset, it presents itself in a completely different picture. Hundreds of aerobic athletes follow the movements of the pre-dancers and the rhythm of the music.
Westwards from Bangkok, in Kanchanaburi you can find the famous bridge over the River Kwai – built by the Japanese in World War II to connect Thailand with Burma by land. It only became really famous when Hollywood took up the story and made an Oscar-winning film about the history of the bridge and the fighting.
If you are already in Kanchanaburi, a visit to the Tiger Temple, which is known far beyond its borders, is a must-do. This temple is also designed for the handling of masses of tourists. What looks so spectacular here is in reality completely harmless. The animals are real cuddly cats – whether they are voluntarily so relaxed or, as some claim, have been sedated by administering drugs, I unfortunately cannot answer. Besides – I always wanted to pull a real tiger by the tail.