You may find it curious that a writer for a company that has “culture” and “environment” written on its flag is living in a hell-hole like Bangkok. To be honest, it was not at all my first choice for a permanent stay but I have come to terms with it and somehow got to “like” it.

I have been to some cities around the world and I have seen some stunningly beautiful places. To say Bangkok is one of them would be a plain, straight out lie.

Bangkok is not beautiful. Bangkok is hot, polluted, overcrowded, constantly congested and sometimes comes along like the literary “aging whore”, too much make up, the laughter a bit to loud and shrill.

You surely can call Bangkok “interesting”…but not beautiful.

But I have been living here for 6 years now.

And why?

Maybe because Bangkok has a lot offer? You want party and action? You can find it on any given day and until late at night.

Late afternoon- the light get's soft and the atmosphere, too!

You just arrived. It is close to midnight and the jet lag won’t let you sleep. No problem. Grab something to eat, find yourself a bar, play a game of pool with the friendly ladies or stroll over the night market in your area.

According to Mr. Sinatra, New York is the city that never sleeps?!

Well….according to me and if you know where to go, Bangkok doesn’t even take a nap.

But that is not it.

There is a time of day when Bangkok actually is really charming – a time when the make up is still fresh and when the city actually shows itself from the best side.

It is around 4:30 to 5pm and the office workers are ready to go home. Many of the local roadside restaurants put the chairs and the tables out and turn on the fairy lights and the small neon signs. If the city was buzzing before, now it comes to life.

You see groups of people laughing over a noodle soup. You, the tourists, breath a sigh of relief because the hellish heat of the day fades away, slowly. The street vendors set up their stalls around Patpong and Silom and the smell of freshly fried food is in the air.

As the daylight fades, more and more of the neon signs light up and music from the bars, pubs and restaurants fills the air and the chatter of the people and the honking of the cars turns from aggressive noise into the “music of the night” and Bangkok turns from an angry monster into a swirling, colorful, happy dancer.

The office people, the expats and the tourists meet in the pubs and bars for an “after work” or “pre night life” drink, some spicy food and even the lonely and heartbroken suddenly find themselves in the company of a smile that will comfort them for a few hours and makes them feel less lonely and less heartbroken.

The taxis and Tuk Tuks wait patiently in line while the motorcycles wizz left and right to take people home to their families or the thirsty to the waterholes.Bangkok is alive and glorious at this time.

Bangkok by night

Unfortunately, it only lasts until about 10 pm, before the make-up starts to crumble and the atmosphere gets hectic again and almost aggressive. The roadside stalls and the vendors start packing and bringing out the garbage and for a few hours the place is almost the same as during daytime…only darker.

It takes until about 3 o’clock before the sound softens again. The cars get fewer and Bangkok takes a little siesta- sleep, just not moving much and waiting patiently for a new day of hectic and chaos…and the game begins again!