by TRT Thongnuan
16 March 2016
It is not an exaggeration to say that Bangkok is a capital of diversity. As Thailand’s largest city, it is a melting pot where people of different races, religions, ideas and social statuses come to live together, forming a unique cultural group that best represents the area. It is also where tourists from all over the world or expats gather to create some of the world’s most renowned areas.
Thai-Chinese residents have been living in Bangkok Chinatown and Sampanthawong District for more than a century, showing to us the authentic Chinese lifestyle and offering us some of the best cuisines to enjoy. Muslim people live their simple lives in suburban areas of Minburi and Nong Chok, forming some of the strongest islamic communities with a religious way of life that amazingly blends well with the busy city life. Hindus add a colorful life to the areas of Pahurat, Baan Kaek and Sukhumvit.
Bangkok attracts a considerable number of tourists who wish to experience what the real diversity is like. European and American tourists flock Khaosarn Rd. or treat Rambuttri Rd. as their favorite hangouts and make the areas one of the world’s most famous roads with a diverse cultural lifestyle and manifestation, which makes you wonder how a hip lifestyle can go so well with the historical aspect of the Rattanakosin Island. Japanese people lose themselves in the Sukhumvit area, thinking that they actually are in Japan, with lots of Japanese food to enjoy and a Japanese way of life to pursue. Indian people at Soi Nana own their business and consider themselves the real residents of the area.
Wander Soi Cowboy and you will find it hard to believe this is Bangkok. Explore Silom or Patpong at night and you will definitely see yourselves as minorities. Walk along Khlong Lod or Ratchadamnoen Rd. at night and you will understand what it takes to be homeless. Go shopping at an outdoor market or order food at any restaurant and you will be greeted by workers or waiters from other Southeast Asian countries. Take a bus to Bangkhuntien and you sure will come across workers from Myanmar. Stop by a Japanese restaurant on Sukhumvit Rd. and you will find yourself lost in translation. Go to Starbucks Coffee at Nana and you will know what it feels like to be the only Thai among Indian or Middle East customers. Or even explore The Temple of the Emerald Buddha or have dinner at Chocolate Ville, you will be shocked at the number of Chinese tourists there.
Diversity is what tourists find in Bangkok and love about it. They never get bored of visiting this capital again and again, knowing every of their visit will be highlighted with a new travel experience.