i read an article a few months ago that listed the top ten most visited cities in the world. Of course I tried to guess before looking up the answer, and chose either New York or Paris. Well, the answer turned out to be Bangkok !!! The article did not really say why, rather spending its print on how many visitors per year. So Mrs Bear and I speculated: 1) Bangkok appears to be a desired trip for Buddhist pilgrims, both from outlying Thai areas and the rest of Asia. It’s temples are spectacular and I can only guess as to their spiritual calling. 2) Bangkok is a very reasonable city to visit financially…We have gotten used to spending the big bucks in New York, London, and Tokyo. The costs here were MUCH lower. We traveled up river on the water taxi for 15 Bot, or roughly 50 cents. Mrs Bear bought me a soda from a roadside store because it was cheaper than bottled water. Our hotel was about $150 /night, which included the Club Floor. 3) Location…Bangkok seems very accessible for travelers from Australia, China, and Indonesia…As well as for the occasional Yankee. There are probably a lot more reasons that I am omitting, such as a generally stable government and the lure of the beaches to the south.
I want to close my comments by talking about the people. Thais are generally literate, employed ( the unemployment rate is about 1 %), curious. I was impressed by how often complete strangers asked us where we were walking, where we were from, and then offered directions. We were greeted by smiles as we passed people on the streets. And I believe some of these conversations allowed the people to practice their English. I found similar acceptance by the people of Cambodia, Myanmar, and Malaysia on our previous trip. Even the sellers of wares were not pushy…They accepted our “no.” I wouldn’t hesitate about encouraging you to visit. We all need a little more courtesy and spirituality in our lives right now.