Dear Bangkok – A Goodbye Letter

by Poi on March 20, 2012

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Dear Bangkok,

After a year here now and with our time coming to a close it only seems fair I address you in person about the feelings we have towards you. After all, I did the same for Beijing and we were only there for a couple of weeks.

I know you probably feel a year isn’t enough time with you and I would  completely agree, I barely know you at all and it would take me years to become even vaguely familiar with your thousands of soi’s.  I still get lost five minutes from our apartment…

The thing is, we just have to go.

I could lie and say I’ve enjoyed every moment of living here but there have been times when I’ve honestly wanted to get away and the phrase “Why don’t we live on an island again’ often pops up in conversation.

Living in Bangkok

From our apartment window.

I guess my biggest problem is not even something specific to you but city life in general.  You can’t simply nip across town, getting anywhere can take an age and such dense and unpredictable traffic has caused us largely to stick to our neck of the woods around Khao San Road.  If we were to come back I’d be sure to live closer to a sky train stop which would solve all of the above but this time round it just didn’t make sense with Kirsty’s work.

To be fair to you though, other than traffic  I have very little to complain about,  I mean who doesn’t wish they were on a beach most days? Everything else you offer us more than makes up for it, for starters the amount of restaurants and street food you have to offer is insane.  Whether it’s sitting down for a full plate of Thai food for 30 baht (60 pence), wandering round collecting nibbles from all the stalls in China town or hiding away down an alley way in a small café enjoying some of the best indian food I’ve ever had.  Then of course there’s Ranee’s, I’m going there tonight in fact.

Although I can’t pretend to know the ins and outs of your extensive high end nightlife I’ve loved all the street bars you have scattered around. There’s even a few gems hidden away in Sukhumvit like Witches Tavern and Iron Fairies although on the whole that scenes not for me.   I’m much happier on the streets around Khao San in my flip flops moving my chair inside as the police come by to clear the streets.

Living in Bangkok, Thailand

Out exploring Bangkok

That’s one of the things I love about you, there’s something for everyone and the contrast between certain parts of town mean nothing is ever the same.

And now to your character.

Lets be honest and admit you have a bit of a strange reputation, If I have to listen to one more ‘watch out for the lady boys’ comment I might have to kill myself.  Although, when I get home I know that will be the first thing that comes from most peoples mouths and I’ll just have to smile and walk away, they won’t listen to me defend you even if I try.

It’s not just those pesky lady boys either, some of the news that comes from within you is frankly terrifying, gun fights, mental traffic accident rates (No thanks to the amount of Leo beer consumed) and all sorts of other stories.  I’m going to say all of this can be avoided though by being sensible as I’ve never encountered anything to worry about in my year here.

In fact, I would go as far as saying I’m too comfortable.  The idea of being a victim of crime simply doesn’t enter my mind wherever I am, whatever time of day.  Maybe you’re not so dangerous after all?

Well that’s about it, I love it here and I don’t want to go home but we will be back so any chance you could keep our apartment free? I’m very fond of the place.


{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

Ali March 20, 2012 at 10:12 pm

Wonderful good-bye to the city you called for for the past year. Good luck being back in England, and you’ll be back on the road soon enough!


Poi March 29, 2012 at 12:06 pm

Thanks – I’m hoping the time in England will go as quick as the time here has!


Edna March 21, 2012 at 6:24 am

Wow, that first photo is incredible! Wicked colors. Have to admit I thought Bangkok was a bit of a dangerous place to live as well — thanks for the positive view. Best of luck back in the UK!


Poi March 29, 2012 at 12:06 pm

We’ve had no issues what so ever while living here (lets hope it stays that way for these final few weeks haha)

Thanks Edna!


Erik March 21, 2012 at 6:52 am

Fitting testament to what must be a second home. Incredible year, thanks for allowing me to come along on the ride.


Poi March 29, 2012 at 12:07 pm

No problem, thank you for caring!


Satu March 21, 2012 at 4:04 pm

I always love to visit Bangkok so it’s good to know it’s a good place to live in as well. And what a lovely rainbow!


Poi March 29, 2012 at 12:08 pm

I often forget to take photos but when I noticed that out the window I ran for the camera! It’s a great place to live!


Will - My Spanish Adventure March 23, 2012 at 8:28 pm

Epic. I’m all teary. Pass me a tissue Poi. This time it’s for different reasons…


Poi March 29, 2012 at 12:08 pm

Cheers mate, I’m not all about the ass stories, but mostly…


Andi of My Beautiful Adventures March 24, 2012 at 8:50 am

Nice ode! I didn’t know you were based in BKK. I would have totally met up with you when I was there last week. 🙁


Poi March 29, 2012 at 12:09 pm

Thanks Andi, I think we were out of town while you were here anyway 🙁


David March 24, 2012 at 12:46 pm

I *love* that first photo. Don’t worry though, I’m sure you’ll have exactly the same view from your place back in the UK … right? 🙂

I’m sure you’ll be back in Bangkok one day … or on that island!


Poi March 29, 2012 at 12:10 pm

We’ll definitely be back here a few times I’d imagine.

As for the view… no chance. Unless we some how come into a lot of money we’ll more likely be looking at the side of someone else’s home 🙁


jan March 28, 2012 at 3:58 pm

A goodbye letter – what a nice gesture. Time to move on!


Poi March 29, 2012 at 12:11 pm

It is time to move and we are ready but it’s always hard to leave.


Nate @yomadic March 28, 2012 at 9:58 pm

BKK is just that type of place…. I always feel a little sad each time I leave.


Poi March 29, 2012 at 12:11 pm

It is indeed, it has a strange charm.


George March 30, 2012 at 12:28 am

Wow inspiring and sad, I know what it’s like to leave a place and know you won’t return I often have nostalgic pangs back to my flat in Rodenbach even if it was in the middle of nowhere


Poi April 2, 2012 at 4:22 pm

Thanks George. I’m hoping we’ll get back to see Bangkok plenty of times but I’m gonna miss our apartment like crazy!


Jackie March 30, 2012 at 5:42 pm

Bless you, hope all goes well on your return to the UK.
You will be back though one day…..

My best wishes



Poi April 2, 2012 at 4:24 pm

Thanks Jackie, we sure will be!


UberHoliday April 18, 2012 at 11:53 pm

It’s definitely one of the hardest things to do.

I am myself a huge sufferer of Bangkok withdrawal symptoms 🙂
if only songkran lasted from 1st jan to 31st dec

Luckily for me i get to say bye to bangkok once every quarter 😛


Peter April 23, 2012 at 9:42 pm

Hey guys,

Love the letter although I’m not sure what side of the coin it falls on. Would you do it again? Or would you pick another city? A lot of people loved Bangkok and rave about it. I struggled with the place myself and it seems like you might have as well. Time travel. Would you make the choice to stay in BKK again?


Poi Deeble-Rogers April 24, 2012 at 2:08 pm

Hey Peter,

We have no regrets about living in Bangkok and enjoyed it 90% of the time. However, a year was enough and being in this area of the world again I would chose somewhere else near the coast. It was fun but sometimes the hassle of getting across town would wind us up.

Altogether a good year though!


Alan May 5, 2012 at 1:02 pm

Great story I too love Bangkok and hate leaving. Thanks for sharing.

Good Luck


Kirsty June 12, 2012 at 1:39 am

I’m missing the weather the most!


Joey July 22, 2012 at 11:37 pm

Great view on Bangkok from someone who has lived there a good amount of time.I’m personally starting my travels there in October for at least 4 months, this has helped a lot.THANKS.


Travelmonger January 26, 2014 at 7:17 pm

It must be exciting to live in an exotic city like that… there is one thing that’s hard to bear: the climate!
Even Japan is so damp and hot at times, I guess Bangkok is hotter…


Youssef January 29, 2015 at 1:51 am

Good post and hard touch letter to City! really nice!
Our life is too short but we can make it very happy and most enjoyable to tour nice city in the world, Thanks for your good post, have a happy life!


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