Scenes from Bangkok – Street Life

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Pink Elephants make for the perfect roundabout traffic circle, near the Grand Palace in Bangkok

#Bucketlist this: Thailand. Here, street life in Asia’s city of angels

Among its serene, happy people, Bangkok is known as Krung Thep, which can be translated in English as City of Angels. The citizens, aside from some political differences, do have a slight angelic quality to them, a friendly, generous and very tolerant society that makes you feel safe and welcome.

No trip to Bangkok is complete without a visit to at least one Wat, but beyond that, we’ve discovered a few must-do’s with the help of Thai travel experts, Smiling Albino. Calgary-born founder, Daniel Fraser, is a full-time resident of Thailand now, which makes him and his company a go-to travel insider. Fraser is a fan of “milestone” trips, a term he uses when he customizes tours for his clients. A mother and daughter, celebrating mom’s 50th; a group of 60-something guys heading to semi-retirement and about to embark on the second phase of their lives; a 25th wedding anniversary for the whole family.

Aside from the spiritual, Bangkok is also a city of food, of nightlife, of Southeast Asian culture come together. Buddhist, Hindu, Christian and Muslim all share the city, in a peaceful, respectful manner. The political climate has eased – Thailand is among the few countries that seem to function better under military rule, a rule that also respects their revered King above all else. He is the figurehead and the father of the country, and in Bangkok, his and his family’s image are splashed all over public spaces.

And that’s just it. With a country that sometimes has its name in news due to politics or royal dissent, it’s important to have someone on the ground who knows the terrain. Fraser and his team are entrenched in the country, and in Bangkok. Can’t speak the language? No worries, the guides at Smiling Albino are fully fluent in Thai. Many guides even come from the areas of the country that you might find yourself in, making it a much more in-depth, local experience.

So, hit your own milestone, and travel with me – and Smiling Albino – to Bangkok.; North America toll free: 1-877-THAIWAY (842-4929); Calgary: 1-403-668-9455

Here, we follow the Smiling Albino guides for a street-wise walk through Asia’s city of angels in the land of smiles.


Start with a serene oasis before heading into the city: the Ariyasom Villas are located in the Arab Quarter in Nana

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Shrines and temples sprout up street side everywhere in Bangkok, this one near a hospital

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A Hindu Temple laden with flowers shares the square with a lineup of golden elephants

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A vegetarian’s delight for lunch at the Navy Club at Krua Khun Kung

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The classic Pad Thai noodles at the Navy Club at Krua Khun Kung

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Sweet and purple potatoes The Reclining Buddha’s view at Wat Pho

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Coffee in Bangkok is a street food affair, served up in a plastic bag and a straw

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Thailand is famous for its Blue Sapphires and other gems, on display at the Gem Production Co., Ltd. House of Souvenirs on Soi Silom 15, Silom Rd, in Bangkok

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The lobby at The Siam Hotel, part library, part curio museum

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The gorgeous pink façade of the hot restaurant and bar, Namsaah Bottling Trust, in Soilom soi 7, Silom Rd., Bangkok

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Momo, the steamed mountain vegetable dumplings with Himalayan spices, as presented by Namsaah Bottling Trust

 Want more Bangkok? This is the second of a four-part series. Read the entire series here!