How to get a real feel for Thailand

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Bangkok, Thailand

How to get a real feel for Thailand Bangkok Reviews

Amanda Amanda
83 reviews
Dec 07, 2006
This review is in response to a request for how to get a real feel for Thailand.

Hey there Claire!! :-) Looks like this is your first trip over there, is that right? MAN, are you in for a treat!! It's an AMAZING city, and you're going to LOVE it!! I'm going to touch on a few things here, all of them small, instead of one big thing, ok? And then let me know if you have any other questions!!

1. My first piece of advice, is make sure to take the skytrain as much as possible. First of all, it really puts you in touch with the general population, which is wonderful; I personally am of the belief that using the public transport in any city gives you a great feel for the city itself. Besides these reasons, there is something else; Bangkok is the most congested city I've ever been in, and using taxis just DOESN'T work most of the time, bottom line - so that's another reason to stick with the skytrain. It's cheap, effective, and will make you feel like a real part of the population. I highly recommend it!

2. My second piece of advice, seeing as how it appears that this will be your first trip to South East Asia, is to MAKE SURE YOU FIND SOME MANGOSTEENS!!! The mangosteen is the most wonderful fruit that God ever put on this planet, but they are illegal here in the US, to my understanding this has something to do with the fact that the countries that produce them don't have the money to go through all the testing the FDA wants prior to importing them. (Don't quote me on that, I can't swear that I'm totally right on that.) Anyway, they are unlike anything you have ever had before, and I'll never forget my first experience of them in Bangkok. On the outside, they are pretty round, and kind of a redish-purple; and kind of hard. When you get them open, they have small sections inside, about the size of manderine orage segments, that are white. They are about the consistancy of semi-soft butter, not too long out of the fridge. The taste?? Ahhhh...... kind of a wild mix on the tongue of grapes, cherries, oranges, strawberries, peaches....all at the same time. Very hard to put your finger on it, but SO GOOD!! Once you have one, you'll be hooked for life!! I'll try to find a pic in a second and attach it here! If you can locate them, they will be for sale with other produce in any small market, a whole bunch usually in a net like bag. Good luck, and PLEASE report back on if you found them and what you thought!! I'm off on a trip in 16 days, and my last stop is London; and the Harrod's food halls will normally sell them for a HORRIFIC price, but man, it's worth it! I can't wait, and getting a taste again will be the highlight of the trip! Not seeing the Sistine Chapel mind you, eating a Mangosteen! :-)

3. Find some shadey, around the corner local foot massage joint and get a foot massage. The people that do it are SO NICE, and you end up talking to them, and they are just wonderful, and the massage is great on your aching feet, just make sure to tip them huge, because they charge you almost nothing, and man, they earn it!!

4. Talk to EVERYONE you can! They are so kind, you won't even believe it! You'll have great conversations with lots of people.

5. You may want to hire a boat to take you through the canals; it's hard to see how poorly some of the people live back there, and harder still to feel like you're on a site seeing trip while they are suffering, but I think it's important to see, and know, and remember. It stays with me EVERY DAY, even years later, and I'm glad I saw, and I'm glad I know. I feel like it would have been wrong to leave Bangkok blind to that side of it; even if I felt a little funny at times while we went through it.

6. Get to know some of our TravBuddies there prior to going!! One of my really great friends, online AND off, is Dodge; she is here on this site, and is from Bangkok and lives there still; I'm sure she would help you! Look her up honey, tell her I sent you!! :-) You will LOVE her!
The sections are the part you eat;…
They may be sold in a bag, or loos…
dahling says:
interesting fruit, never even heard of it. thanks Amanda
Posted on: Jan 07, 2008
Brookeinnsw says:
Thanks for this awesome review! I am heading there in 84 more sleeps and counting!! Cant wait to try a mangosteen!
Posted on: Sep 30, 2007
Higton says:
Try and get hold of some Zapote (or Sapote) if you ever get the chance. Tastes like a fruit version of horse chestnuts.
Posted on: Mar 03, 2007
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