// smoggy sunset from the river
first: I hope you are not getting sick of vacation posts already, as we haven't even gotten to the bulk of the Thailand trip, or even touched on the Philippines. we only spent 48 hours in Bangkok, if you can believe it. and I have another post or two just on this city.
second: being as we were only in town for a few days, we didn't even see most of the city. Bangkok is HUGE. but this is how we saw what we were able to see.
// cab ride from the airport
we flew through both of Bangkok's major airports while in Thailand, and the cab ride in/out of town gives you a chance to see the city. or really, to see just how large and sprawling it is. you'll notice the driver is sitting on the right hand side. Thailand was never officially colonized by a European power, but being sandwiched between French and British colonies clearly has given a lot of influence. that, and being a trading powerhouse with Europe during the 16th century. [thanks, Wikipedia!] Bangkok is still a major gateway to Asia - mostly through the airport. our cab driver had tip money tacked to his ceiling in dozens of different currencies.
one other note about taking a cab - make sure you get one who will use his meter, otherwise you are going to get ripped off.
// water taxi // the rich, the poor, and the European // rush hour
during our stay, we decided to take the water taxi up the river and stop at various temples along the way. the ride cost about 20 baht [less than $1 US] and you can take to boat as far as it goes. we made our way up to the Wat Arun stop, but got to see quite a bit of the city along the way. it was an interesting mix of wealth [note the private yacht], poverty [people living in a shack that's literally falling into the water], and old buildings with clear European influence. you'll see your share of temples and skyscrapers as well. I definitely think the water taxi was a great way to get around, and
after a night + morning of walking, and an afternoon of climbing temple stairs, Husband and I [or really, my tired knees] decided to take a tuk-tuk from the river docks back to our hotel. what is a tuk-tuk? imagine a scooter that has a metal cart attached to/around it. and a driver that's even crazier than your typical cabbie. it's definitely an experience, but one you should probably have while in Thailand. the good news? you get where you need to go, fast + cheap.
other modes of transportation we took while in Bangkok: free shuttle bus between airports + a ferris wheel [does that count?]