A photographic reportage from a long weekend in Bangkok.
No doubt (too) many pics, but believe me, I already killed a lot of darlings;-)
For pictures with Frits and/or me in BKK, look at my FB album.
There are many thousands of taxi's in Bangkok (BKK) and lots of them are new and in the brightest possible glossy colours.
Not the one that brought us from the airport to the hotel though; probably the eldest and ugliest in town;-)
|Look at the state of the ceiling light;-)|
|A lot of cracks in the frontwindow! Rubbish lying all over the car. And ofcourse miniature worshipping stuff hanging from the mirror. Many taxidrivers made a miniature-altar on the meter or on the dashboard.|
|Like this taxidriver; he made a little open air mini temple with trees and all!|
HOTEL - THONBURI - CANALS
|View from our hotelroom. In front the lit Long Bar and pier, both belonging to the hotel. The hotel is placed a bit outside the centre and on the 'wrong' side of the river. So to go 'in town' you have to take either the hotelboat or a taxi or both.|
The service and food at the hotel were great!
Like the breakfastbuffet. They e.g. made little pancakes on the spot and decorated them with chocolate easterbunnies;-)
|We stayed there with Club Lounge service, which meant that there were the most delicious snacks and drinks available for us throughout the day...mmmmm!!|
|They had sweet and hearty snacks and they were different every day. This day it was sushi and edamamebeans; we loooooooooove those!|
|The poolarea looked nice, but we hardly made use of it.|
The area the hotel was located in, is called Thonburi. In the old days it was referred to as the Venice of Asia. Because the whole neighbourhood used to be (and still partly is) full with canals going landinward from the river that flows through BKK.
|Walking through the area you cross canals all the time. So you also come across pumps, bridges, locks (NL: sluisjes), etc. People have found places to sit, live, work on every inch of town, so also on and around the locks...|
|Entrance to one of the many canals, as seen from the river.|
One of the bad things about the hotel is the canal that runs through its grounds. During the day, I guess due to the tides, it changes from filled with water (no problem there), to about empty. The dried up canal smells like hell; really disgusting!
In Thailand they ADORE their king and his wife. It's best not to discuss that or make fun of that, because they are deadserious.
The way it is shown seems a bit over the top: you see giant images of the king EVERYWHERE. Not once or twice, but non-stop. (His wife is less often presented.)
I already mentioned the taxis. But there is more on the roads, like the numerous tuk-tuks (a joy for the eye).
For the rest endless streams of motorbikes and cars, lots of congestion!
|Glossy taxis in candycolours.|
|Vehicles are really used to the max and untill they are really, really finished;-)|
And very important: watertransport is a big, big thing in BKK. More about that later in this blogpost.
In BKK you can really shop till you drop. They have everything and it's very affordable (for us westerners).
They DO have glossy shoppingmalls (we visited Platinum Mall, THE place to be at this moment and indeed: IN-CRE-DI-BLE!!! A shoppersparadise!
Ofcourse walking through such a shoppingmall is physically a lot more pleasant: airco, not so noisy, not so busy, not so smelly.
(Unlike Chinatown-alleys or Chatuchakmarket. I enjoyed that both very much as well, only after a couple of hours we were soaked and exhausted.)
But for the experience it is great to wander through the streets and see all the vendors, shops, streetstalls, etc. Fantastic to see how everyone makes a living with the simplest means, on the smallest spaces, etc. So creative...
|Go through an alley and end up in a sort of hidden market WITH small temple.|
|Another backway alley open air commercial hub;-). Eating, drinking, shopping, music playing, dogs sleeping...looked like a fun tiny neighbourhoodplace to me...|
|This used to be a traditional herbal pharmacie, still with the beautiful drawers and all.|
|Shops selling stuff to be burned for the ancestors in heaven.|
|You don't have to miss out on your smartphone or PSPplayer in heaven. AND you are given enough batteries too.|
|Chinatown alleys; so narrow and busy and exotic.|
|Pots and pans...|
At Chatuchack I found them; sooooooo many! I bought 50 of them. Partly for keeps, partly as gifts and partly for sale.
And then there are the foodvendors on the streets, selling either the ingredients or they make food for you on the spot:
|Like in this wok.|
|Or in this streetkitchen.|
Apart from the dead animals above (food), you almost trip over the dogs and cats:
|Streetdog in front of petshop.|
|Sleeping next to a foodvendor.|
|Kitten in hiding.|
The river is omnipresent in BKK's daily life and there's a lot going on around and on the water.
|View from our hotelroom. In front are the hotels three river-dining-boats, and the small one at the pier is the hotel's own ferryboat that runs every 20 minutes between the hotel and 'the city' on the other side. A 15 minute boatride.|
|On the hotel ferryboat.|
During the boatride you see the following around you:
|Boats need pimping too; I totally agree;-).|
|From our hotelwindow we looked out on one of the many bridges and the part with the big, industrious ships.|
|Living along the river; houses on stakes, sheds, houseboats, boats for work or transport....|
|Shed with small temple behind.|
|Would not like to walk over that wooden pier;-)|
|This house speaks to my imagination; great for an Alex Warmerdam-movie or so.....|
Right next to all these small sheds on stakes there are huge skyscrapers; contrasts enough in this city.
And here the hotelferry drops you of for the cityferries; easy and cheap transport to both sides of the river.
PALACES AND TEMPLES
Temples are scattered all over BKK; they are numerous. Thai, Chinese, Mosques, churches....you name it and it is there.
A lot of them are beautifull; inside, outside, both. A handfull is famous, like the Royal Palace that used to be in a walled city in the city with the most gorgeous temples and shrines.
Like the one from the Emerald Buddha, Thailand's most important symbol and place of worship.
The templegrounds of the Reclining Buddha are dropdeadgorgeous as well.
And there is the temple of the Golden Buddha.
Orange dressed monks are a very common sight on the streets.
The beauty of the temples and palace we visited was overwhelming.
|Don't think that you might be the only one visiting BKK's main attraction: the Royal Palace grounds!|
|There are heaps of people admiring the beauty of this area.|
|Did I already mention that you could walk over the heads? Hahaha....|
|They used to keep 'royal' elephants inside the walled city.|
|The detailing is enormous and ofcourse over the centuries the murals need a bit of restoration here and there.|
Lots of gold, glass mosaics, mirrorglass mosaics, ceramics, porcelain, paintings, stamped walls. Eclectic all the way. Just the way I like it!!!
|The roofs were beautiful and shiny in the sunlight.|
|Like a birthday-cake made of ceramic pieces.|
|The huge variety of gorgeous tiles made me jealous;-). I want those too!!!|
|Shining gold on the roofs.|
|Very beautiful statues 'holding' this stupa; see detailed images here under.|
|Wow, such a rich ornamentation!|
|Talking about eclectic!|
|The Palacial Buildings|
There were soooooo many (golden) Buddha's; incredible!
E.g. on the grounds of the temple with the Reclining Buddha; a 47 mtr long lying golden Buddha statue with Mother-of-pearl feet.
The temple also claims to have the most Buddhastatues in Thailand and I believe that right away;-).
As I wrote on FB: I was stupa-fait;-). It was stupa-ndous;-).
|Holding his head.....|
|Lot of maintenance and renovations needed to keep things that beautiful.|
The oldest Chinese temple in BKK:
|And another temple....|
In the taxi we passed by this display. We had no idea what it was and thought it might be a shop for religious items. Doing an eveningwalk we passed by it again and took a closer look.
It turned out to be some over-the-top street altar. Unbelievable, what a huge collection of statues, offerings, lights, incense and the weirdest possible items. Fantastic! Crazy! And whats with all the statues smoking a cigarette?????
Also notice the elephantskull and bones!
So far for our BKK-reportage; hope you enjoyed this little tour;-)