Bangkok, Thailand is now a very popular tourist destination amongst young travelers. Bangkok, where most first touchdown, is an enticing city. The capital of Thailand is well suited to western culture as well as keeping old Thai traditions very much alive and thriving. It therefore strikes an amazing balance ideal for travelers to immerse themselves in a new culture while still finding some familiar bearings.
Volunteering is a way to experience local culture and new experiences while meeting people of all backgrounds. Bangkok, a city emerging as a world metropolis, is a great place to start volunteering. This article will address a few reasons why spending time volunteering in Bangkok can be so enriching to oneself and the local population.
- Eat Authentic Thai Food
Bangkok street food culture is extremely vibrant. Seeing food cooked right in front of one’s eyes as soon as it is ordered and coming together in record time is somewhat hypnotizing. The western palate may need to adjust to the amount of heat Thais put in their food but the balance of flavors; sour, sweet, salty, bitter and spicy, are well worth the burn.
- Help Kids Get Ready for the World Ahead
There are many projects for volunteers, among them are working in an orphanage, a school, or a monastery. Each of these opportunities allows a traveler to come in contact with local children of various ages and teach them about one’s own culture and the world beyond what the kids know in their city. An outsider can help teach English, giving children a grasp on a worldwide language, and in return, outsiders get a glimpse into local children’s own realities.
- Women are Ready to Take on the World
Bangkok is now an important trade and business center in the world. It is also one of the most visited cities by tourists. Women, who were previously at home, are now entering careers of all kinds. However, this phenomenon is still fairly new and it is important for them to see that is OK to pursue their passions fearlessly. Volunteers can help by simply being an example, in the case of women who volunteer, or letting them know what roles women can play in other countries and that it is a very real possibility for them to do the same in Bangkok.
- Venice with an Asian Flair
Like Venice, Bangkok was also built around a river, the Chao Phraya flows through the heart of Thailand to the Gulf of Thailand in the south. The Chao Phraya is at the heart of Bangkok, a city with roads not ideally built for its over 6 million citizens. While the roads are often backed up with traffic, the river offers a beautiful alternative to travel through the city. It has water taxis and buses for easy access and, while going from one point to another, one gets to observe old Khmer architecture along its banks.
Buddha figures are everywhere in Thailand. From souvenir shops to statues and temples, Buddhism is a prevalent way of life and its icon adorns cities and country in plenty. The most sacred image in all of Thailand, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, is found at Bangkok’s Grand Palace. This beautiful agglomeration of buildings, pavilions and gardens were built in homage to the King of Siam.
- Relax with a Massage
Thai massage techniques can be found around the world but what would be a trip to this capital city without experiencing this massage? Wat Pho is right behind the Grand Palace, it is a temple known as Thailand’s first public university and the birthplace of these massages.
Right outside the city of Bangkok is the Siamese capital of Ayutthaya. It is in the valley of Chao Phraya and so, easily accessible by boat. It makes a wonderful day trip to escape the heat and crowds of the city and gaze at the World Heritage Site of ruins that were once dubbed the most magnificent city in the world.
- Thailand Folklore
In Thailand’s royal courts, puppets have been popular entertainment for centuries. Performances with shadow puppets and marionettes tell traditional Thai fables, both contemporary and classic. This art form is a great example of Thailand’s seamless blending of tradition and innovation.
The world’s largest market is found in Bangkok. Chatuchak Market’s 35 acres offers everything from food to clothes, jewelry and even animals. For those with a taste for designer brands Siam Paragon is the street to go to while Khao San Road’s night market offers every kind of souvenir imaginable.
- Open Mindedness
One of the reasons orphanages are very welcoming to volunteers is the children usually get adopted by foreigners and so, being in contact with people of various ethnicity gets them comfortable to be around everyone. Bangkok is just as welcoming and accommodating to all backgrounds and lifestyles; backpackers, wealthy tourists, easterners or westerners, businessmen, leisure travelers or volunteers, gay or straight, each will find their interests and needs fulfilled.