Wednesday, July 28, 2010
I got flooded with novelty--almost literally--when I hopped on a river taxi and cruised down the Mae Nam Chao Phraya, Bangkok's main water artery, more popularly known as a wartery. It was quite a strange sight to behold clusters of gleaming high rises flanked by pointy temples and run-down shanty towns precariously perched on stilts out over the river's edge. I disembarked at the Saphan Taksin station about two miles South of Banglamphu, from where I walked down the road a ways to the Myanmar embassy to work on getting a visa.
I filled out the visa application, but, unfortunately, it required two photos, and the office was closing, which meant a return trip tomorrow to submit the whole kit and kaboodle. I moseyed on down a side street and got four photos made for $5.00, which is a good deal, as the same thing costs $20 back home. I wandered into a really fine yet inexpensive eatery called Krua Aroy-Aroy, where I devoured a delicious plate of Pad Pak Ruam Jay, better known as fried vegetables.
Then I took a long walk down a short pier, I mean Thalon Silom to Lumphini Park, home to a lake with duck-shaped peddle boats and scores of people--young and middle-aged alike--doing aerobics to odd Thai techno pop. There were two separate big groups of several dozen, each with their own music and leader egging them on with a clip-on mic. I had a field day shooting photos and videos of that.
I took a Skytrain back to the water and caught a river taxi back up to the Ratchawang stop, where I got off and walked around on a photo mission in Chinatown. I shot quite a few snaps of all the bright, pretty neon signs and hoped to chow down on some authentic Chinese food, but the only thing on offer from every food cart was meat. Then I got disoriented and couldn't figure out which way was North, so I ended up going back and forth up and down the same street three times, which wasted at least a mile and a half of walking.
I finally got it straight and made it back to Banglamphu, but I had been walking so much all day and my legs were so tired, I had to stop and rest a few times. I proceeded into the tourist zone to look for a Wi-Fi connection, but, oddly enough, most places don't have it, and the ones that do have a one-hour minimum for $2.00, which is really expensive, and it doesn't include regular Internet usage. After an hour of walking around in circles and asking 10 different shops, I finally found one that was reasonable.
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All words and photos ©2010 Arcane Candy.