Chiangmai and Bangkok: Different universes

First time taking BTS..., © benhourigan
First time taking BTS… (Typical Bangkok.)
, © benhourigan

A friend asks, “You lika Bangkok?” Well…

It’s been a mixed bag—I started out in this relatively awful hostel on the (also relatively awful) Sukhumvit 11, which has a distressingly strict no-guests policy … and bedbugs, which at the daily equivalent of close to THB 30,000 a month is not on.

But then the girl I came down here to meet took me to Chao Samran on the weekend with her friends for one of the best parties I’ve been to in my life, I spent a couple of days finding a new apartment to stay at off Sukhumvit 22, and I can finally relax at “home” and do some work again. And last night we went to Asiatique, which has a spectacular view over the river from the deck.

Comparing it to Chiangmai—well, they’re two vastly different things. Bangkok reminds me of Tokyo: it’s maybe Tokyo before the property bubble and the subsequent 20 years of stagnation. Chiangmai makes me think of a small Japanese city as it might have been 70 years ago. Bangkok (or at least this part) can be almost expensive as Australia, which makes me feel very lucky that business is good right now; in Chiangmai it’s almost inconceivable that you could spend as much money as you could back home. Chiangmai has a restorative, meditative quality and human scale; Bangkok has an immense, fractal variety and modern grandeur. They seem to belong to entirely different universes.

Twilight sun over Doi Suthep, from my room on Sripoom soi 1., © benhourigan
Twilight sun over Doi Suthep, from my room on Sripoom Soi 1. (Typical Chiangmai.)
, © benhourigan

Author: Ben Hourigan

Ben Hourigan is a novelist from Melbourne, Australia. His books Kiss Me, Genius Boy and My Generation’s Lament are Amazon category bestsellers, and are available wherever good books are sold online. Ben also works as an editor, copywriter, and self-publishing consultant at his own firm, Hourigan & Co. For news and book release updates, sign up to his email newsletter.