Bangkok could not be more different than Luang Prabang. It’s big, busy and noisy. The streets are packed, even at 5am in the morning, and it has a lot of traffic. But the city has an energy which really draws you in.
My visit has coincided with the Chinese New Year, a celebration as importance as Christmas is in the west. Wondering around the streets of Bangkok, I came across a Chinese dragon dance, a crucial part of the new year celebrations. It is believed that the loud beats of the drum together with the dragon’s aggressive dance can evict evil spirits. I managed to capture one of the young dancers, transfixed and staring into the eyes of the dragon.
Coming from the UK, I had to chuckle at the disregard for health and safety during the performance. The dancers were literally jumping over firecrackers, while the dragon spewed fireworks into the crowd, something that would never be allowed in Britain. But fortunately no one was injured and the crowd did not seem to mind.
This is the year of the rabbit, which is traditionally associated with home and family, artistic pursuits, diplomacy, and keeping the peace. As a result 2011 is predicted to be a relatively calmer one than 2010 both on the world scene, as well as on a personal level. Unfortunately the events in Egypt, don’t fit with that prediction.
There are lot’s of things I have loved about this city ….. the street vendors, the food, the mad motorbike taxi drivers, the beautiful Wat Pho and the river ferries to name but a few. Sadly my stay in Bangkok, has not been long enough. I feel like I have only scratched the surface of this amazing city. I definitely plan to come back and explore it more thoroughly.