Bangkok: The Silent City
Bangkok, the capital of Thailand, has been named the most tourist friendly city in the world according to a 2013 survey by MasterCard Worldwide Global Destination Cities Index. Accounting for both the number of foreign tourists crossing international borders in the year 2013 and the costs of sightseeing in those destination countries (the price of the plane ticket excluded), the survey found that Bangkok was the hottest destination capital in the world, winning out over London of the UK, Paris of France, Singapore, and the USA’s New York City.
You may have also heard that Thailand’s capital, Bangkok, with its congestion of cars now ranks top among cities with traffic problems. To give you a better idea, imagine what it’s like to take 1-2 hours to travel just one kilometer or that some people can arrive at work up to 4 hours late because of traffic problems.
On the 30th of September of 2012, BBC news reported that Bangkok was the capital city with the most congested traffic in the world. Using data from government car taxes, results showed that more than 5 million cars were running on the road, although Bangkok’s road had only enough space to support 2 million and on the September 30th, 2013, the Department of Land Transport cited 8,216,859 cars in Bangkok.
But if you live in Bangkok during the time of the New Year festival, between December 27th and January 2nd, you’d be astonished with Bangkok traffic—for you’d find 80% of the cars on the road have disappeared. The state of the traffic would have backtracked 20 years, a rare sight indeed.
So where do the car go?
As for Bangkok’s traffic problems, aside from the fact that cars naturally increase in number every year, another further hastening factor exists that exacerbates the problems, namely that many people from other provinces have come to live in the city. Each time a festival occurs, many people return to their hometowns, a situation similar to Beijing.
This period is considered a happy one for the local people of Bangkok because they can travel to and fro quickly without being troubled by traffic or pollution. They can pleasantly visit various sightseeing spots or department stores, have extra time in their day, and can accomplish so much more, rejuvenating their spirits.
Some enjoy a joyride around the city so go ahead and do the same because an opportunity like this doesn’t occur often in a year!