Noelle here:

It’s been a relaxing week. Napping, reading, wandering around our neighborhood. I’ve felt emotionally and physically drained, plus recovering from a cold that swept through our family back home. So the down time has been good.

Steve relaxing on the rooftop deck

I randomly chose our first hotel the night before we flew here. I’m a huge fan of booking.com. It makes it easy to see what’s available in any area you define. Since we weren’t positive what our plans were, I just made a choice. Turned out to be not too bad. It’s a couple blocks off the main road so it’s a little quieter and less chaotic here. Our first week was at Aim House Bangkok. There’s a rooftop deck for lounging in the evening. It’s kind of awesome.

The view out our hotel window

The first thing I like about Bangkok so far is the frenetic chaos. Uneven sidewalks with all kinds of awnings jutting out. Cats everywhere. Laundry hanging on balconies. Simple life right next to skyscrapers and high end shopping malls.

Iconsiam shopping mall

You can literally buy Porsche’s on one floor of a nearby mall, Iconsiam, and Mini Coopers on another. You can buy Dior dresses, Patek Philippe watches and Christian Louboutin shoes. There’s also a section of regular stores for us mere mortals. 😁

Dior to die for!
Oooh, the beautiful shoes…

Then you walk out the mall, turn right, go half a block and turn into a neighborhood market where you can buy dinner AND an outfit for under 400 baht (~$13 USD).

I love the contrasts here in Bangkok. High end shopping mall and local market. Frankly the local market is always going to be my top choice but the contrast between the two is wild!

Klongsan Plaza is a great local market

My second favorite thing is the abundance of spirit houses. They’re everywhere! There are two kinds. One is for the spirits who used to inhabit the land, like ancestors of the neighborhood or plot or site. The other type of spirit house is called the grandparents house, for the spirits of one’s own ancestors. The purpose is to provide shelter to spirits who may cause trouble if they aren’t appeased. Thais leave food and drinks to encourage the friendly spirits to gather, in hopes of warding off the more sinister spirits. Here’s a good article about them. You can check how close I came to getting the facts right.

Large spirit houses at a shopping center
Spirit houses at our hotel
Small spirit houses on a balcony

The third of my new favorite Bangkok things is the street food! It’s cheap, it’s tasty and it encourages me to stretch out of my comfort zone.

Some kind of sausage on a stick. Pretty yummy and only 12 baht 40 cents.
Grilled fish and sticky rice with spicy dipping sauce. Yes! 50 baht / $1.61 USD
Did not try…yet!
Love Thai milk tea with tapioca bubbles. 24 baht / $0.77 USD
Vietnamese pork noodle soup. The best! 40 baht / $1.29 USD

The one thing I couldn’t do was drink out of a glass after I saw the young man take it from another table, dip it in a bowl of dirty dish water, wipe it out and hand it to me. 😲

I am excited to continue trying all the delicious and new items out there. Have you been? What do you think I should not miss?