Bangkok: Old & New


Bangkok is divided into two sections both geographic and social: New Bangkok & Old Bangkok. Although both were beautiful, one in its modernity and one in its antiquity, this duplicity would characterize Bangkok as a city balancing on the razor’s edge between two worlds.

On one edge of the blade I was impressed by how both New Bangkok and Old Bangkok displayed its marvels. On the other side of the blade I was struck by how sharp and dirty the income disparity was. Lamborghinis crawling through smoggy traffic among windowless buses, tourists dancing in bars while people clean the glasses in street buckets. Glamorous shopping centers haunted with the ghosts of gun-downed protesters. Bangkok was the like a scrap-metal spaceship, a future design constructed with spare parts from the past.

It was as if a time machine was ricocheting through the city leaving some spots untouched, some cars in the road, some people in the street, and some ideas in their heads. I heard from my Thai friend that the time machine has never landed outside of Bangkok, and that the rest of Thailand was waiting its turn.

Although the modernity was in progress, Bangkok wasn’t incomplete. The ancient temples and the glass buildings, the rickshaw pullers and the salary-men, the picture was complete in its contrast. Falling on the blurred line between both, like a lady-boy.

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