Exile:- Bangkok, the place of the Java Plum (ma-kok) on the banks (bang) of the river may not, at first glance, seem to be the best choice for getting far away from the madding crowd when you need to go into exile after the big break-up, but you would be mistaken. The cultures of most Asian countries are built around the concept of ignorance and tolerance, up to a point. You would lose face if you were to acknowledge the suffering of another and more so were you to be so rude as to try and interfere with their karma, or destiny. You can stand alone, crying your eyes out in the middle of Sukhumvit Road shopping precinct and your right to privacy will be respected.
However there are far better places to experience exile and the best for me is in a Buddhist temple. Pick one, anyone. The one closest to your hotel will do. You can’t miss them as they have 450 to choose from and so long as you leave your footwear by the door you are welcome to stay as long as you wish. Go there and just sit, think and be blissfully by yourself until you are ready to rejoin the rest of the 6.3 million city residents.
Express:- Take a Tuk-Tuk if you are brave and a motorcycle taxi if you are fearless and go somewhere! This is what is so wonderful about Bangkok. No matter where you are now there is somewhere else even more fascinating to go to. Express your feelings by screaming at the top of your voice (he’ll just laugh and go faster!) as your driver navigates through the chaotic traffic with infinite skill and an almost sixth sense. But don’t go too far, the traffic jams will keep you staying close to your hotel or dreaming of the efficiency of the BTS Skytrain or MRT Subway to get anywhere important on time.
Exorcise:- You are in Bangkok girlfriend! Exorcise those demons the sensible, civilized, Bangkok way. Shop! While Tokyo has its Shinjuku and London has Oxford Street, Bangkok has Siam Square, Chatuchak Weekend Market, Central World Plaza, Patpong, Khao San Road, Pratunam-Phetchaburi, Silom, Gaysorn Plaza, Isetan mall, Erawan Bangkok, are you getting the picture yet? You’re divorced, not dead! If you can’t find a bargain in Bangkok then there is no hope left for humanity! Tailor made clothes, Thai silks, electronic goods and cosmetics are great buys. Beware when buying any jewellery as there are too many scams involving emeralds and rubies to risk losing your money.
Explore: – There is only one way to really explore Bangkok and that is by long tailed boat on the khlongs, or canals. The Chao Praya River is the main artery with dozens of canals running off linking one amazing place to the next. You can soak in the romance of the tropics with an evening dinner cruise and have everyone wondering why you are dining alone… or spend the day hopping from boat to boat as you zoom around these canals, peeking into the closely packed houses and shops along the banks.
Exhale:- Wat Arun. Of all the temples in Bangkok, this is the perhaps the most visited and when you join the throng there you will appreciate why. This is the temple (wat) that King Taksin took refuge in when he led his troops out of Ayutthaya and on to Thon Buri. It is more than merely a place of sanctuary, it is a place from which great new adventures have commenced. King Taksin went on to liberate the Thai people from the Burmese in 1767. You can liberate yourself from your past and start a new chapter the moment you walk out of the gilded gates of Wat Arun… and exhale.
By Perry Gamsby 2010