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  -> Bangkok

I expected Bangkok to be harrowing and overwhelmingly busy. It is busy, like any large city, but compared to cities in Vietnam, it's a quiet little midwestern hamlet. It is hot. In the north, someone told us that Bangkok has two seasons, hot and hottest.

Downtown, there are elevated trains at around 4 storeys, and often elevated walkways. The inability to see the sky, combined with lots of neon and swarms of vendors makes it feel like the past's idea of the city of the future. It does a good Blade Runner impersonation. In a district near our hotel, there were electronics shops where people worked on the street fixing obscure gadgets. Some of the shops sold components even I didn't recognize, adding to the Blade Runner image. Unfortunately, I couldn't find any street vendors selling genetic enhancements.

The public transportation system is good, with subways, elevated trains and ferries. Unfortunately, our hotel was a little ways away from the public system, so we had to take taxis. Taxis in Bangkok are TERRIBLE. They usually refuse to put on the meter and try to charge you 500 baht for a 50 baht ride. They're impossible to hail, and when you do, you have to spend 10 minutes arguing about the price in 95 degree heat. Even when you do get a cabbie who will put on the meter, they will kidnap you to completely random parts of the city. Never take a cab in Bangkok. If you can't take public transit, take a tuk-tuk. At least with them, you can negotiate a price quickly and they'll actually take you where you want to go.

We spent a lot of time walking around the city. I don't have any good pictures of it, but we wandered over to Soi Cowboy and some other red-light districts. These were entertainingly colorful, but the barkers trying to get you to go into sex shows pursue you relentlessly, which makes it harder to enjoy the weirdness all around.

Thailand -> Bangkok