For many travellers embarking on a globetrotting crusade, Thailand continues to establish itself as one of the sweetest options in amongst the pick-and-mix of universal pit stops, with Bangkok an increasingly popular option.
A city sugarcoated with an abundance of aesthetic assets, visitors seeking South Asian solitude continue to flock to locations adorning pages in magazines, deemed as a ‘must-see’ for the archetypical vacationer.
Thailand is scattered with tranquil and concurrently recognizable locations, with many undoubtedly a joy to behold. However, while the likes of Phi Phi Islands, Kho Pha-ngan and the Grand Palace are held on the highest of pedestals, the sprawling city of Bangkok is perfect for visitors seeking a more diverse experience, with eccentric innovations strewed throughout the city’s urban landscape.
On the surface, Bangkok may seem like a typical city, a concrete ensemble blanketed by a cacophony of commotion. However, dig through the grungy façade and a constellation of urban charms are waiting for an opportunity to shine, with each intensifying the notion that a trip to Thailand needn’t conform to guidelines outlined in a travel brochure.
Step into the realm of yesteryear, with a visit to Papaya Vintage Shop, a site comprising reams of memorabilia paying tribute to a bygone era. From replicas of movie stalwarts, superhero homages to a repertoire of kooky clothing, the site is an omniscient ensemble of oddities; never has a product of mass hoarding been so absorbing.
Though Bangkok has been marked slightly by the scar of modernity, nods to historical periods remain, as demonstrated with the Scala Theatre. Irrespective of services such as Netflix, cores of zealous movie enthusiasts remain, with traditional movie theatres the preferred way to satisfy their thirst for a flick. The Scala Theatre is an exquisite movie theatre, splashed with retro splendor, sandwiched between the layers of metropolitan modernity. The one thousand capacity building opened in 1967 and continues to amaze visitors with its original features, including a stunning chandelier and double staircase in the lobby; with tickets priced at a measly 100 Baht and popcorn a tasty 30 Baht, a visit is ludicrously cheap, as well as dazzling.
The buzz of the marketplace is the soundtrack of many of the world’s cities and Bangkok is no different, with scatterings of street merchants littered throughout the city. However, Rod Fai Train Market gives visitors the opportunity to experience an alternative form of retail therapy, with the market located at a site of a former train depot, injecting character and a degree of peculiarity to your shopping experience.
Ordinarily, the suggestion that a museum would deliver a psychosomatic experience would be met with a certain degree of apprehension. However, the city has established itself as the hub of unconventionality, with Siriraj Medical Museum a testament to the quirks that the city holds. The exhibition contradicts convention, with artistic and cultural objects substituted for disturbing medical artifacts; the sites nickname, ‘The Museum of Death’ gives an ominous insight into what visitors can expect upon arrival.
While a trip to Bangkok needn’t be inundated with departures from typical tourism, broadening your horizons and exploring the city’s underbelly presents the opportunity to fulfill the potential of your visit.