Thailand Beckons! 10 things I miss! I will go back!

Colorful Longtail Boat
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An interview with Swedish National – Agneta Bekassy

By Daniel Herron

Thailand is exciting, exotic, friendly and one of the best destinations in the world to visit! 

One of my closest friends in Bangkok is Agneta Bekassy, a Swedish national who has lived in Thailand for over 20 years.  We became good friends working as journalist in The Big Mango covering the cities exciting social event, interviewing ambassadors and generally all the great things about this vibrant city and its people. 

She returned to Sweden earlier this year to visit her mom, family and friends and enjoy the spring and summer weather of the country.  Then COVID hit the world. In order to stop the risk and incoming spread of the virus, Thailand closed its borders to outsiders until a system could be set up to allow Thai citizen, expats, and working people back in the country safely.

During that waiting period, Sweden turn cold as winter approached and Agneta longed for the balmy days of Thailand.  During the time, she was delayed in Sweden we had text conversations that I thought might be interesting for readers to see on just what was the attraction to Thailand for her.

So here we go with her 10 Best things about Thailand.

Agneta – This is really not in any particular order except for #1 because no matter where you go in the world, it’s the people that really make the destination what it is! 

1.The Thai People I have been living in Thailand for over 20 years having come here with my husband for business and I must say the thing that impresses you first off is how kind the Thai people are. They seem to be always smiling, in good spirits and go out of their way to assist you as a foreigner to their country.  

2Safe!  I have never felt unsafe walking alone anywhere at any time in the city and I love to walk! I have walked from my condo on Sukhumvit to the Chao Praya River and back, a distance of over 14 klms.  The sights, sounds and delicious smells of Thai street food along the way are fascinating!

3. The diversity – There are beautiful Thai temples and old city buildings, modern malls, hotels and funky little shops and restaurants.   A nice blending of old and new that makes this a very modern as well as historic city. 

Grand Palace
EmQuartier
IconSiam
Central Embassy
Central Embassy -Park Hyatt Hotel
Fowlmouth Restaurant Soi 11
Hola Spanish Food Soi 11
Cali-Mex Soi 11

4Thai Food – Aroy Mak – That’s Thai for very delicious!   In Bangkok you can find the best Thai food from street vendors to world-class rooftop restaurants.  And the diversity of international cuisines is unlimited. Italian, Spainish, Germany, Singapore, China, Muslim, the list goes on and on.  One the world’s top Indian restaurants, Rang Mahal, is located in Bangkok at the Rembrandt Hotel. They host a 60 entre buffet brunch every Sunday with live music and a spectacular view of the cities skyline.  

Hand Carved
Seafood Salad
Crab Rolls
Fresh Sea Fish
Spring Rolls

5. The Chao Praya River – Known as The River of Kings. When we first came to Bangkok, over 20 years ago, we stayed at the Royal Orchard Sheraton Hotel overlooking the bustling Chao Praya River.

Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel

During the day you can see barges with colorful tug boats transporting rice from central Thailand to the ports downriver through Bangkok.  Colorful longtail boats, used as river taxi’s, race up and down the river every which way.  

Longtail Taxi Boats
Traditional Thai Style River Hotel Taxi
Rice Barge
Dinner Cruise Yacht

 For lunch or dinner, you can find excellent restaurants riverside.  In the evening there are beautiful dinner cruise yachts with live music slowly cruising the rivers scenic sights. 

6. Shopping – On the banks of the Chao Praya River is the new stunning shopping complex ICONSIAM.  A real destination in Bangkok.  

IconSiam
Iconsiam
Floating Garden Restaurants – Iconsiam Food Courts

 Wear comfortable shoes as you can put in a lot walking to see all the latest shops, There’s even a Rolls Royce, BMW and Ferrari dealship inside. Thai crafts shops and a complete floating garden of restaurants on the bottom level.  

Sukhumvit Road has amazing shopping malls as well. EmQuartier, Siam Paragon and Central World are all easily accessible by the Skytain. 

Skytrain System

There is also Chinatown and other areas to find the more traditional Thai Stores. 

Chinatown markets

7. The Flower Market – This is one destination in Bangkok you should take in.  An explosion of color awaits you when you enter this area of Bangkok. It bustles from dawn till dusk with colorful tuk tuks carrying bunches of flowers to hotel all over the city.

Flower Market Bangkok
Traditional Flower Arrangements

 8. Medical Care – Thai hospitals are amazing.  Many look and feel like 5 Star Hotels and the Thai hospitality is overwhelming.  The doctors are world-class having studied worldwide at foremost universities and medical facilities.  

BNH Bangkok Nurses Hospital
BNH Lobby

Bangkok Nurses Hospital, Samitivej and Bumrungrad all state-of the art for service and care. 

Samitivej Hospital Reception Area

 I know a woman who spent 1/3 the cost for back surgery in Bangkok. With the money saved she could afford to rent a beach house for a month for her recovery. 

9. Side Trips – I could go on for days on this one but just 3.5 hours outside of Bangkok is the coastal town of Hua Hin

Hua Hin
Hua HIn – Monkey Mountain
Waverunner
Yoga on the Beach
Skyscraper Sandcastles

 This is the summer residence home for the King of Thailand.  It has sprawling long sugar sand beaches and is still somewhat a quite resort town compared to Pattaya on the Gulf of Thailand, crowded and overwhelming with tourist shops.

Dan – Then there is Krabi – This is my favorite destination in the country! A 2.5 hour flight south of Thailand to a more remote jungle and beach province with towering limestone cliffs.

Krab

10. The Social Life – Bangkok and Thailand in general is just a happy place! It’s social life can rival any city in the world!

Reception at the Russian Embassy
Evening at the Fashion Show
Swedish Ambassadors Wife and Thai Designer
Thai Fashions

It’s up to the roof tops for the nightclub action in Bangkok and it’s non stop with stunning views of the city below.

Penthouse Bar & Grill – Park Hyatt Hotel
CRU Champagne Bar at Red Sky, Centara Grand at CentralWorld

People are all pretty relaxed in general and the Thai’s love a sense of humor called Sanok. You can be with your Expat friends and socialize with them or just blend in with the Thai’s at the clubs, restaurants or where ever.  My favorites are the rooftop restaurants and nightclubs! 

A Toast to perhaps a future trip for you to the “land of smiles.”

So, there’s my list of ten and I could go on and on. Dan has agreed on just about all the above as we worked together on most of these 10 Bests together as journalists.

Dan & Agneta Khao San Road

In the future we will team up again and tell you are 10 Best of other destinations in the country, the latest restaurants and night spots and pretty much “What’s Up Thailand.” In 2021 things hopefully will start to loosen up as far as travel restrictions, so you can start you’re planning now!

Sunset at Hua HIn
Sunset Krabi Beach

Daniel Herron Copyright 2020 

1 Comment

  1. Asia, as a continent has the best of everything in one plate. Diverse cultures, cuisines and topography. A definite visit is a sure way to live it’s vibrant reality.

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