Really, this story can pretty much be applied to most of Thailand, but my personal experience was in Bangkok. Thailand is one of the most beautiful countries in Asia and although tourism went down by a lot after the 2004 tsunami, it still remains one of the top destinations for people traveling to Thailand. The country encompasses a lot of the appeal of most Asian countries while also being very tourist friendly and open to foreigners.
Now, I’ve been to Thailand twice. Once to Bangkok with friends, and once with family. The first time I went was with family, and let’s just say – I wasn’t expecting to end up where we ended up. We went in blind, and we decided to go explore the city on our first day without a guide. Big mistake. We ended up smack dab in the middle of the red light district and if you’ve never ended up in such a place with your family, count yourself lucky. I seriously stared at my feet the entire time, and I think we walked around for a grand total of 15 minutes before heading back to the hotel. We did take a proper tour of the city the next day, but thankfully it was one with an actual guide.
The city itself is very diverse, and there are pockets of luxury interspersed with pockets of poverty. It’s like most large cities in Asia in that sense, and while the luxury is opulent, the poverty is depressing. There’s also a river that runs straight down the city, which is dirty if you look too closely but if you can take a ride on it, you should. The view from the river is amazing, and the Bangkok skyline is stunning. Obviously, I couldn’t really explore the nightlife with my parents, but when I returned with my friends, we got to see a bit more.
There’s a variety of bars, clubs, and lounges to everyone’s taste – there are local bars and clubs, which are less fancy but sometimes are way more fun [and much cheaper]. Yes, there is a higher chance that you’ll get sick on cheap alcohol, and it’s unlikely you’ll really meet a lot of people there [considering that a lot of locals don’t speak English], but still fun. The really fancy clubs and bars are a tad expensive, but there are always tons of tourists and expats and foreigners, and we ended up making some amazing friends.
Anyway, further adventures in Thailand to come, but if you’re going with your family, do your research before exploring the city.