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ASEAN ANALYSIS 14 July 2010

The City

By David Swartzentruber
AseanAffairs   13 July 2010

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It’s a rather noisy place, except there are some narrow streets where one can hear a pin drop and live quietly.

Sometimes it is difficult to walk down a street when it suddenly narrows for a telephone booth, tree or food stand.

There are too many dogs roaming freely.

When there is a severe rainstorm, some streets go underwater for a few minutes, maybe more. Some cities proclaim themselves “the city that never sleeps,” they should visit this city. The air isn’t the cleanest, but in certain areas it seems quite clean and this writer’s allergies have never been less of a problem when there.

It’s a city that speaks a foreign language but one can usually find his or way around with help from the locals.

There’s no way to tell how large geographically this city is, it seems to keep growing. The garbage collection, water and electricity services are extremely efficient as well as phone service, but most city residents prefer the mobile.

There are too many cars in this city and traffic is always jammed. Public transportation is modern and fast but it needs to cover more areas.

The cultural life is not as good as some cities but better than a lot.There is a strong tradition of domestic and western culture here.

It is very cosmopolitan city with a wide range of nationalities and languages. It’s airport has recently been ranked 10th in the world.

The readers of Travel&Leisure Magazine, has released its 2010 "World's Best" list, with Bangkok voted by readers as the top city in the world, followed by Chiang Mai.

The magazine said in its press release that it was quite certain there had to be a bit of celebrating going on at the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), which had been battling hard to bring back tourists following the March-April unrest in Bangkok, although the survey was completed before the mass protests.

Rounding out the top 10 on the "World's Best City" list, after Bangkok and Chiang Mai, are Florence (Italy), San Miguel de Allende (Mexico), Rome (Italy), Sydney (Australia), Buenos Aires (Argentina), Oaxaca (Mexico), Barcelona (Spain) and New York City (the United States). The votes were based on:1. Places for sightseeing, their beauty and greenery; 2. Arts and culture; 3. Food; 4. Shopping areas; 5. People's friendliness; 6. Value for money spent.

Bangkok was voted the "World's Best City" by the magazine's readers in 2008. After a difficult year, hats off to Bangkok, the home city of AseanAffairs.


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