Early morning in Bangkok, the sun is up, only barley, but the air isn’t cool. Bangkok, no matter the time of the day, or night, is hot. In the morning the ground is damp, the humidity has sunk down to the ground and condensate over the city. Layers of mold poke out from every building. The city is busy, people trying to move around and live their lives before the heat of the days hits.
For hours the sun is lost, bouncing around the tops of skyscrapers as it tries to wiggle its way into the shadowed streets. By noon it finds its way. The angry sun incinerates the water, perfuming the air with thick mold, and turning squeezeways into saunas. The smart locals close their shops and disappear from the streets. Other people, primary foolish tourists, wake up around this time and start to explore the empty streets in shorts and T-shirts. Shorts and T-shirts are nice. They keep you cool. But at noon, the sun is hunting, hurling down razor-sharp spears of ultra-violate radiation. The tourists smile, and walk on. In a few hours they won’t be walking, their charred, crimson skin will cripple them. Unfortunately tourists rarely understand that at this latitude the radiation at noon is about the same as several days on the beach in their homelands.
The noon sun sets the city ablaze, by three the city is smoldering embers. The embers, the sidewalks and streets, walls and alleyways exhale heat. The tourists have usually fled into the never-ending labyrinth of air-conditioned malls that seems to connect all of Bangkok. The locals wash away the heat of the day by dousing out the embers with warm tap water.
When night falls, Bangkok still isn’t cool. The Warmth of the living city pulsates off the massive concrete buildings and sets the dim night air dancing. The tourists nuzzle bottles of overpriced beer, drinking fast and hard, letting the cold beer flow into their veins, cooling their body and dulling their senses. The locals take no notice, night is night, night is cool, even when it’s not. They ready their mosquito nets, turn on their ceiling fans and lay down to sleep, planning on waking up early, when it’s truly cool.
Bangkok is the hottest city in the world, not the one with the maximum temperature, but the hottest on average day and night, summer and winter.