Arriving in Bangkok from a country like India is like the equivalent of getting money from the tooth fairy, you go through a lot of pain, but the reward of going through it offers you a relief to enjoy (instead of £1, it’s a rare cultural relief). From the initial arrival it is obvious Bangkok has a touristic welcome with plenty of available information at 4am in the morning. Be prepared though, doesn’t matter what taxi you use, no one will have any idea where you want to go. The main concern here is the inability for not only taxi drivers to understand English, but to read the English version of Thai street names and places, simply pointing at a map doesn’t cut it. After arriving NEAR to our hotel, we received help from a kind soul, an elderly man with an incredible level of English and understanding of our situation. Our angels looked after us after one man suggested we travel 10 mins in a taxi to another area (when our hostel was on the road we were on). Our kind soul intervened, told the taxi driver where to go and kindly offered to use his phone to call the hostel. Shortly afterwards without asking, our hostel representative found us and walked us to the hostel, how nice. Our initial hostel was full of character, a vibe of backpackers but with a modern twist and an excessive amount of cat merchandise. Walking outdoors doesn’t give you the same ‘walk as quick as you can’ vibe, such as India, but a vigilant eye must be kept. You will get a similar case of cultural overload but it’s pleasant, especially when your main form of transport into the centre is a river boat. The city has a mix of the Chinese look and the Japanese technology influence, which make it a great place for tourists. A visit to Khao San Road explains everything Bangkok offers a backpacker; cheap food, extortionate drink prices, embarrassing Brits and of course, the ladyboys. A meeting with an acquaintance explained much about the way Thailand operates, which for us seemed to sum up that the place is not only racist but easily bribed – not suitable for living really but this guy was the equivalent of a young millionaire over there so why should he mind. This is our first impression, before we move onto Vietnam for a week and our opinion of using the city as a base hasn’t changed, but we certainly need to learn more. Other mentions: – Some taxis like to charge what they like, make sure the meter is switched on and flag one down, there’s a reason if someone is standing around offering their taxi doing nothing. – Boat is a normal form of transportation, but when it stops it sounds like a child screaming. – Thailand copy everything; clothing, shoes, technology, music. – Everything’s a lot further away to walk than you think. – You WILL get lost in Chinatown, even with a map. – You get a free rickshaw ride when you visit the Jim Thompson museum, be it a 30 second journey, but we chose to activate our lazy gene. – It’s the land of ‘changing clothes’; there are dress codes for places such as temples and posh restaurants, but it’s ok, every place offers you a change of clothes for free. – Best milkshake I’ve ever tasted at Bangkok Don Muang airport, so glad we have another flight departing from there. – People queue in ridiculously straight lines at Skytrain stations. – Busses have ‘knee mirrors’ (see pic for explanation). – All Ronald McDonald statues have ‘namaste poses’. – A typical Thai house is built by joining several built houses together. – The Banyan Tree hotel offers fantastic views over the Bangkok nighttime and glasses lean like the leaning tower of Pisa. Now, for a 10 day break in Vietnam, time to get immersed in culture.