Friday, June 6, 2014

Non touristy Bangkok

I needed to pick up my train ticket for the journey from Bangkok to Butterworth. The bnb does not really have an address so I could not get the travel agency I used to deliver the ticket.


I took a different way to the local MRT subway which took me down this narrow lane.


Yet another covered market.


Turn a couple of corners and suddenly here is big city Bangkok.


The MRT is quite modern and appears to be very much like the one in Beijing, particularly the markings at the entrances to the carriages.


The MRT uses platform screen doors.


I took the MRT to Lumphini station which was the closest station to the travel agency. Bangkok has several of these raised highways leading into the center city.


I chose to walk through nearby Lumphini Park.


Green and refreshing landscape. It was about 10 am and already it was very hot and humid.





Small monitor lizard. This is a good blog about the park and its lizards.








Not a poinciana but some other spectacular tree.






I think this might have been the beast who starred in that blog I mentioned.


There was an anxious moment at the travel agency when the girl could not find my ticket but eventually it turned up in another pile of tickets. I headed north along the street which was lined with food stalls.



The vendors cook meat over these little fire pots.


One way to get your stall to the street side.



A few hundred yards north and suddenly the buildings became quite ritzy.



Fortunately not many people inside. In general, the coffee is SE Asia has been strong but rich tasting and I have quite enjoyed it.



My water bottle was running low so I bought a bottle of fresh squeezed orange juice. It went down very easily and was really refreshing.



Flower seller in front of another ritzy building.



A row of stalls all selling the same stuff. How do they make a living?



Bangkok has a Bus Rapid Transit known as the BRT. Here it runs on an elevated track. I haven't been on it.


Underneath the elevated roadway is a Skywalk.



It's relatively pleasant walking up here because of the shade and also there is some breeze.


I wouldn't ride a bike in Bangkok.



I went into a shopping mall called Centralworld. It makes other malls I have been in look positively dowdy.




Subway stations and shopping malls all have security gates that you have to pass through before you can enter. I usually manage to set them off every time but they just waive me through. people do have to open closed bags however.


I think this was the headquarters of the Royal Thai Police.




Tuk-tuks. After a while you get tired of being constantly pestered by drivers. 


I came across a street that was the equivalent of Lowes or Home Depot. All sorts of building materials were sold here. Notice the wires running along the ceiling. They are naked power wires. Definitely scary.


Where you could buy your aluminium angles.


Finally I reached Hua Lamphong, the main train station of Bangkok. I will be taking the train to Butterworth in Malaysia tomorrow from this station and I usually try to check out the station in advance if I don't know it. It's easier to do this the day before than on the day when you are lugging your luggage around. The MRT station is close by so I should not have too many problems. 


The waiting hall. My train leaves at 14:45 so tomorrow morning I will get up early and try to get to see the usual tourist attractions before lunch time.

After all that walking, I headed back to the bnb for a cold beer.

Speaking of cold beer, if you order beer in a Bangkok restaurant, they serve it with ice. I know somebody near Whitby who would be appalled at the idea, but in this heat and humidity, really cold beer is wonderful.

One thing I have noticed is that Thai people are generally not as slim as those in Vietnam and Cambodia. There is a much greater western influence in Thailand which is emphasized by the food available in the shopping malls. Most of the food is Thai, but there is much more western food available.


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