Bangkok was the arrival and departure place in Thailand. An impressing city, full of paradoxes and surprises. Usually when I travel I don’t like big cities, but Bangkok seduced me. Many things in Thailand reminded me Brazil. The mixture of rich and poor, modern and antic, high technology and obsolete, nice people, heat, informality, chaotic transit… Bangkok is like São Paulo, although more beautiful, for its temples and palaces.

We spent almost two days visiting temples. They are impressive: golden Buddha, palaces, gold, ornaments. The city is a mixture of Buddhist temples and modern architecture. The high buildings catch the eye as much as the temples.

The transport here it is already an adventure. The tuk-tuk taxi are everywhere, they are like a 3 wheel motorcycle with cabin for passengers, a cheap way to move around town. Another interesting taxi is the river taxi, a ferryboat that connects the two margins of Chao Phraya. There are about 20 stops of this boat taxi. Another attractive public transport is the sky train, as the name says, it is a train in the sky that goes through overpasses. Every sky train we took was fast, clean and modern.

When we went to by train tickets to Chiang Mai we saw that the ticket seller put on the computer the right date (month and day) but the year was 47. Later we realize that in many places where there was a date, the year was 47. We realize, then, that the Thai people are in the year 2547, they count the years using the Buddhist calendar that started 543 years before the Christian calendar.

From Bangkok we departed to a tour to the floating market. I had seen photos and it looked like really picturesque. What I did not know was that the photos must have been from many years ago. Nowadays the market is not anymore a merchandise exchange of the local people. It is a tourist place, crowded of boats with foreign tourists and local people selling handcraft and fruit. The place is beautiful and the way they can move around the narrow canals is threatening. The tour to visit the market stopped before in a coconut farm where they showed how to make coconut sweet and coconut cream and milk. We also visited a wood facture. Even though the place was too touristy, the trip was worth wide.

The city, with its contrasts was an excellent starting point to the trip in Thailand. I considered it an important place to visit in order to be able to understand a bit the countries culture. It is like a synthesis of everything.


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