BANGKOK VOTED BEST CITY IN THE WORLD – Travel and Leisure Magazine has just awarded Bangkok, Thailand with the accolade of being the best city in the world; which is the fourth time in a row that Bangkok has been awarded the accolade.
The honour is provided from ‘traveler’ ratings who gave Bangkok the thumbs-up with 90.4% of the votes. Second place was awarded to Istanbul with 89.96% and Florence with 89.84%.
Bangkok Governor, Sukhumbhand Paribatra, received the award in person after travelling to New York to thank the editors and the voters in this year’s Travel and Leisure Magazine Awards.
The accolades didn’t stop there for Thailand as the magazine also awarded it as ‘Best City in Asia’ due to its cleanliness, food hygiene, efficient transportation system and of course the cultural delights.
Right that’s enough… I need to hit the bathroom because my stomach simply isn’t accustomed to this level of outright clap trap.
I actually live in Bangkok, not by bloody choice but by the demand of the company I work for. I’m a straight talker and something doesn’t smell quite right. No it’s not the stench of the open sewers, the garbage strewn everywhere nor the filthy canals, its manure and considering there’s not that many cows in Bangkok I can only assume it’s being generated by the Government’s PR machine.
I can’t comment on Istanbul as I have never been but I can tell you that Florence is a beautiful city with clean streets, well run transportation, the food is outstanding and law and order is upheld by both the public and the authorities.
So what’s Bangkok got that Istanbul and Florence doesn’t have; oh let me count the ways…
Open Sewers – Neither, to my knowledge, have open sewers that allow its residents or tourists the pleasure of the aroma of millions of people’s human waste. Yes Bangkok smells like s*** but that’s because there are open sewers everywhere. I wouldn’t exactly call Bangkok a clean or hygienic place.
Garbage – Garbage is a problem the world over but the Thais have the unsavory tendency to just dump whatever they don’t want onto the streets.
When I first arrived in Bangkok some 9 years ago I couldn’t believe the amount of trash on the streets or the way in which the Thais flippantly discarded unwanted plastic bags as they left 7/11.
During my first couple of days in Bangkok I stopped one young man outside a mini-mart who just threw his plastic bag on the floor and asked him if he wouldn’t mind picking it up and disposing of it in the trash can some two feet from where he stood.
As it turned out he spoke pretty good English, and was well informed of many four letter words but as I was to learn in the coming years he, like so many Thais, hit me with the usual rhetoric; “This Thailand not your home, you don’t like f*** off.” I decided at that point that this was to be the last thing I ever bothered saying to a Thai.
Temples – Yes Bangkok has some spectacular Temples unfortunately to see these one must first navigate the hordes of stray dogs, their diseases and of course their inevitable piles of waste that they dump all over the Temple grounds.
Of course most of the Temples, like the streets of Bangkok, are strewn with garbage and dog and feces; which in my view takes away the pleasure of visiting such places.
Chaotic Traffic – Nearly all major cities have a traffic problem but Bangkok’s issues are exaggerated by the fact that Thais are not exactly the best drivers in the world. I don’t drive anywhere in Thailand simply because it’s too perilous due to the excessive speeds and lack of consideration for other road users.
Law and Order – All countries have police in order to maintain an ordered and law abiding society. Alas Thailand’s police force appears unconcerned with the laws but rather more about breaking them.
It is common knowledge that the Police are corrupt and will certainly not help anyone unless money is slipped into their back pockets.
Sidewalks – Walking down a sidewalk in Bangkok is akin to a perilous obstacle course. There are food vendors everywhere and with the odd bits of sidewalk that are not taken up with food vendors it’s taken up with other vendors; generally selling everything from fake watches to DVD’s containing child pornography.
Yes, that’s child pornography, and the sale of such material is sanction and protected by the police in order to make money.
Considering the above why would any traveler vote Bangkok as the top city in the world. The answer is startlingly obvious.
Prostitution is rife and no matter what your preference it can be obtained; from underage children being peddled by their Thai masters, often who are the police, to ladyboys and of course the usual fare of straight sex.
Add to the mix the abundant availability of every sort of narcotic known to man and you have a paradise for every pervert and deviant walking the planet and where they can freely indulge in their fantasies without fear of persecution or indeed prosecution.
This is the first time I have ever written anything for any blog but after seeing the results of the Travel and Leisure Magazine it is obvious that either those who voted don’t get out that much or that they frequent Thailand for its underworld cultural delights.
I am about to retire in just a few weeks and my bags are already packed for Thailand is one cesspit I not only do not want to live in I never intend to see again.
I suspect, considering the many Thai / Western forums that my synopsis of Bangkok will meet with some criticism but this will mainly come from those who spend most of their days propping up a bar and getting a kick out of some 18 year old bar girl telling them how handsome they are; despite the fact that they’ve moved over into their senior years, weigh in at over 250lbs, and sweating profusely between chugging the next beer and breaking into yet another packet of LM cigarettes.
Bangkok, No.1 City is the World? Yes probably but for all the wrong reasons.
Do you live in Bangkok? What are your views? Please share by leaving your comments below. If you want to tell your story please get in touch with the editor.