I am in love with Bangkok. I'm not really sure why; we've only been here for about 24 hours, and surely you can't base real love on quality of streetfood and public transportation, can you? (But really, that's what it comes down to. How you gonna get around and what are you gonna eat?).
The skytrain. The metro. The phat thai and the tom yum soup and the sheer cuteness of all the alleys and the squeaky cleanness (relative to Saigon) of the uber-urban downtown. It's like Manhattan putting on a Thai food festival. They have a Little Arabia, a Little India, and a Chinatown. And in terms of plentifulness, the following analogy may be used:
Charlotte, NC : baptist churches and banks :: Bangkok: thai massage spas.
I think that's the way you write an analogy. The first night we got in late after the worst bus ride of my life (never ever voluntarily travel from Thailand to Siem Reap, Cambodia via the border at Poipet) so we took the first cheap room we could find, which turned out to be the local hangout for burnt-out middle aged people who sat in a huddled mass outside our room door and smoked a water bong until I blearily requested a quieter environment sometime around 1am. Walking around the next morning we noticed that most other guesthouses declared a “no unregistered guests after 9pm” policy, and since the bathrooms were crappy and you basically had to shower in the urinals, we would find another place. Turns out the guesthouse next door is just the cutest thing ever, at only a buck and a half more per night (we're now up to almost $5 a night), we get clean, quiet, and endlessly charming due to the funnily translated signs posted on just about every wall keeping people from repeating apparent infractions commited in the past:
“No drinking whisky and playing cards”
“Please not to washing here before 8 am”
“Teke shoes off we are not responsible for any loosing”
Adorable. I'm so into the place. If anyone goes to Bangkok, stay at the River Guesthouse on Soi 3 off of Th Samsen. We have been eating great food at really cheap prices, which are spiced to the moon and back (think red swollen lips a la Lip Venom from 2002) , and drinking fresh orange juice, and even though we're leaving in 2 days, I can't wait to spend more time here. This city is really, really impressive.