Seeking ‘slowness’ in the fast-paced culture and lifestyle we live in today is not easy. It is also becoming more widespread as you can see this in most big cities around the world ( just watch the locals when you take public transport and you will know what I mean). Luckily, in recent years, the ‘slow movement’ is getting more coverage and being promoted, which I think is more positive and healthier for most of us who have to deal with the stress of living in a technology-driven society.
I can’t say that I am good with being slow, esp. when I travel, so doing ‘less’ was my priority during my 3 nights’ stay in Bangkok. My advantage was that I have been to Bangkok a few times before, so I could skip the sightseeing and explore different areas and attractions.
Whenever I visit a city, I try to use as much public transport as possible, and the rest on foot, this way, I will get a more ‘real’ picture of the city and its people. I also prefer to visit less touristy areas, and exploring Bangkok’s Old city and Chinatown gave me a more authentic feel of how the locals live. Even though there are two major sights in the area, it is not as touristy as other parts of the city, and the best way to get to this area is by boat, which is cheap and frequent.
Museum of Siam– If you want to learn more about the history and culture of Thailand, this interactive ( kid-friendly) museum in the Old city near Wat Pho and the Grand Palace is really worth visiting. Housed in a Colonial style 19th century building that used to be the Ministry of Commerce, there were more locals than tourists when I arrived. And without knowing, I got there just in time for the free afternoon entry!
What I like about this museum is their effort to make it as fun and interactive as possible, while being informative too ( it reminds me of the equally interesting Museum of Macau). I love the miniature models of ships and old Siam, as well as the map room. The gift shop is also not to be missed as it sells many interesting (non-tacky) souvenir and books.
Pak Khlong Talat/ Flower market – Located between the Old City and Chinatown, the wholesale flower market is an interesting area to explore even if you are not into flowers. Walking along the canal, it suddenly reminded me of Amsterdam, and it was just fascinating to watch the people at work here. When I return to Bangkok again, I will definitely spend more time wandering and getting lost in the part of the city…