Travel with Big Grass: Bangkok at Dawn

Posted on January 17 2016, By: Aquilina Castillo

Big Grass owners John and Duang Hanesworth are in Duang’s native Thailand, meeting with vendors and selecting new products for the store. Share their experiences on the road through John’s periodic blog entries.

Bangkok: 4 a.m.

Someone is banging on a bell, 300 feet down. Slowly and rhythmically. Beautiful really, but still, it's kind of early. Clear as a bell, even through our sealed windows. And then the sonorous chanting begins.

Usually when you are in a hi-rise hotel room on the 24th floor of any city, you are sealed off from the outside world. Not so in Bangkok, the massive, modern capital of Thailand. Here, a Blade Runner inspired futuristic  urban landscape bangs up against an ancient culture. In spite of modern development, Thailand's national clock is still set to nature and the land. In a village, that monk chant announcing the day would be followed by roosters and barking dogs. Then the morning sounds of hocking and kitchen noises.

But here, in this city of 20 million, it is traffic sounds  coalescing to continue the next daily cycle.

I could drop back into a final, sweet couple of hours of sleep. But it's time to get out there. Lots going on.