Bangkok is an extraordinary hub of influences where you can find excellent and inexpensive cuisine from every corner of the globe.
Why choose this destination
It's a hub, not only in the geographical sense, but also in time. Influences as distant as the Buddha, Vishnu and Mohammed share space with Skytrains and 3G mobile phones.
What do you miss most when you are away?
Thai smiles, Thai courtesy, Thai sangfroid, Thai humour.
Whatís the first thing you do when you return?
Drink a cold beer on the street in Soi Cowboy (Asok Skytrain station) and listen to the latest gossip.
Where would you meet your friends for a drink?
Khao San Road (the taxi driver will know it), where every third shop is a bar. It doesn't matter which you choose, the street is so extraordinary, with its traffic of young world travellers, second-hand bookshops, fake antiques and cuisine from every corner of the globe.
Where would you send a first-time visitor?
To the Grand Palace on a river boat from Taksin Pier. Take the Skytrain to Taksin Pier and buy a ticket for five baht (10p). The Grand Palace complex is an awe-inspiring product of the Siamese imagination and the boat's a lot of fun, too.
What would you tell them to avoid?
Tuk-tuks, the three-wheeled two-stroke open taxis of yesteryear. The pollution can be asphyxiating.
Public transport or taxi?
If the Skytrain goes your way, take it. You will avoid traffic jams and enjoy a great view of the city. Taxis are good value, but you can still find yourself in a classic Bangkok gridlock.
Handbag or money belt?
There have been a few cases of bag snatching, but nothing like in Europe or the US. But a money-belt is overkill. If the street looks dodgy, keep your bag closed and in front of you.
What should I take home?
A bracelet and massage from Wat Po.
And if Iíve only time for one shop?
Stroll down Sukhumvit from Nana (starting at Soi 3) to Asok for everything from clothes, souvenirs, CDs and miniature Buddhas to watches, mobile phones and martial arts adjuncts. Offer roughly 70 per cent of the asking price.
Add other high light spots, and tips if you have.
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The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page. ~St. Augustine