[Bangkok] ~ In Bangkok, I again walked

Last days are always heartbreaking. Goodbye to a short-lived love affair, Bangkok. – 10.21.13

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IMG_9148Spent my second and last day with an early morning walk around some non-touristy nowhere followed by ‘tour’ around the maze that is Chatuchak Market. What followed was more encounter with temples, Buddhas and history in Bangkok National Museum then spent a lazy afternoon people-watching and listening to music at the pier with Wat Arun on view. A few hours before saying goodbye to a happy weekend, loaded myself with last two bottles of Chang Beer and chill reggae music at Rambuttri.

BKK Day 2 collage

IMG_9148Early morning walk around the non-touristy. Feeling a bit guilty that I slept relatively early the previous night, I was up very early that day at around 6:30AM. And that is despite my phone’s battery still acting up useless that the alarm clock was non-existent. Having unintentionally slept the previous night while trying to finalize my plans for Day 2, I had no definite plan for this day except that I wanted to try the Chatuchak Market.

However, upon knowing that the weekend market opens at around 10am, I had to kill some time, ready as I already was by around 8AM. Happy surprise that my very economical hotel had breakfast which I later on realized to be a buffet one. Another happy surprise indeed! I just had to walk across to my inn’s classier sister hotel. And so I went and had a hearty breakfast. Side story – I was pretty sure there were Filipinos in the same restaurant – a couple and a family of around 5 or 6. Hmm but I can be pretty snob at situations like this that I didn’t look really.

After breakfast, I decided to go back to that intersection I was crossing to get to my landmark Sanam Luang and explore a tad of the area, especially having remembered my afternoons googling and marking spots near my inn that were maybe worth a visit. My semi-aimless walking led me to these quiet streets. It is maybe again the depressing side of my self but I liked the site. There were abandoned stalls or carts, homeless people sleeping and garbage-hunting and this unexpectedly historically important mini-bridge with a murky stream that flows underneath it.

 Temple

There are of course the most famous ones but shrines are plenty around the city. This one is interesting with its Rapunzel-like image of Mother of Earth squeezing her hair to give our clean drinking water. 

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Abandoned

Well, this city sleeps.

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BridgeA bridge that was built in celebration of the king’s birthday. King Rama VI apparently had bridges built for him on his every birthday. This is one of 6. 

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IMG_9148Loving bargain (“tiangge” in Filipino) in a foreign country when I am not even a tiangge person. After some walking, grabbed a cab and went straight to Chatuchak Weekend market. Low on some local currency baht, I had second thoughts about buying this pretty wallet I saw on the first store I checked. Also, at that time, I thought, 1 baht is equivalent to Philippine Peso / Php 2 so I was wary with my expenses.

When I first read about the market in a local map, I was actually wondering why there was even a need for a map with labels on what specialty items each ‘zone’/area is supposed to sell. I have been to popular markets in other Asian countries and we did manage to go around without the help of the map so this one kind of intrigued me. But sure enough, when I came to Chatuchak, I kind of understood why it was necessary.

Outside Chatuchak

Not sure whether this was the front but these are what greeted me when I crossed the overpass from where my cab dropped me off

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Food Area 1

A quick walk from that entrance is this ‘tent’ that serves as a food area

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So why is a map necessary? The place is literally a maze. One could just walk past the stalls inside without making turns and end up realizing that he or she has gone to a far-off area on a totally different side. Being me, of course, I did not use the map at my disposal. I was merely taking glances on it from time to time to check how far I have from my ‘target’ sections – like ones mostly with souvenirs and some artsy, unconventional stuff (I forgot the labels but these were somewhere in the sections 20 up).

Luckily though, I did not get lost though what I did was to keep on walking. Quite ironically also, no matter how I tend to be cautious with my spending, I had this mantra at that time that whenever I see something that I really like, I would buy it because I may never have the chance to go back. So my walk around the maze was endless (and quite conflicted) but I decided to take a straight path and I ended up tired but quite happy. Here are snapshots of some interesting stuff I saw along the way.

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MATA – which is Tagalog for an eye. To me, that store name, well, just looked creepy.

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Hmm who would want to buy fake fruit.

~~~Soaps

Handmade soap flowers

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Voodoo

I almost forgot that I am in Voodoo Land. Those voodoo dolls I collected back home were from Thailand!

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One of the cafes in the market

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Didn’t dare try but that man seemed to be cooking something interesting. 

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Store names

Interesting store names those “DETONATE” and “Belive me”

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An example of one of those ‘cards’ meant to guide people through this maze.

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JangKeunSuk

Oh it is my beloved Jang Geun Suk! And what is that reaction, fellow customer? 

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Food Area 2

More food stalls. Cart on lower left sells those salads by the plastic bag. And of course, your usual barbecue on stick on the right.

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Gwapong bata

“Gwapong bata” (best translated as “handsome little man”) toying with the croc

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Okay. Oh my God, big sale.

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And since when has it been scary to be around drinking women?!

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And here is another big bowl of interesting treat.

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Sausage Overload

Sausage fest! I love! To me, a bit of a scam though. They give you a bowl so you can put as much as you like only to later on realize that they do charge per a certain number of grams. I thought it’s that amount for everything you can put in that bowl (which was not that big after all). Yes, I am ranting but sausage is good nonetheless.

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I suppose that is a missing person’s ad? And of course, a No Smoking sign.

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I am not sure whether it is the seemingly headless child or the odd-looking dog that is more peculiar

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IMG_9148More temples and discovering my favorite Buddha at the Bangkok National Museum. It was a breeze finding a cab back to the inn to put in my luggage all the stuff I bought. Then off I was to Bangkok National Museum which is very near that intersection in Sanam Luang. My trip there was essentially more of intricately designed pagodas and temples, and as in Wat Pho, more Buddhas. Interestingly however, seeing tons of Buddhas made me realize which of the Buddha poses I am most fascinated in –  the reclining Buddha, that is.

Another (and totally unacademic or philosophical) realization I had during my museum visit it how humid it is in Thailand (even considering the fact that it was not even one of the most humid months). I was feeling so icky I even had to wash my face just to feel a bit refreshed. Thanks to those non-airconditioned exhibit halls which reminded me much of the provincial museums we have here in the Philippines – honestly a bit distracting and made the trip more tiring.

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And that is me looking all haggard – sweaty and sunburned. 

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National Muse. Yes, playing with words.

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Lovely buildings. 

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Just so that I remember where I can buy tickets

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Some buildings / exhibit halls were closed that day (or that season, I suppose)

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Pagoda

Lovely pagodas. At first didn’t realize what these are for but yes, I can just imagine these lovely areas during events.

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For there is beauty in symmetry, and that tilt imperfection I shall no longer correct.

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Temple

I just love how things seem to glow. 

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Red House

What is inside the Red House.

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When you are royalty or famous, everyone cares whatever you’re wearing.

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A queen’s bed. Literally. 

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Red House from the outside.

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My ‘feet were here” shot.

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Sculptures

Oh I just specially love these pieces. 

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Burial 2

Spell grand when people die. 

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Burial 1

One at the left is a crematorium. A dainty pink one at that.

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Lazy afternoon by pier across the Wat Arun.  Tired from the museum walk, I originally intended to visit another famous temple across the river but decided to spend some lazy time instead. I grabbed my spicy street food along the way, sat in one the benches, listened to music and people-watched. I first wanted to wait for it to get really dark but my impulse told me I better get myself an early evening drink instead so at around 5 in the afternoon, I started my walk back to Khao San area.

On my way there, was again ambushed by some lazy sightseeing times at the Sanam Luang as from afar, I realized how there is that lovely view of almost the entire palace from that giant royal field. Spent about 20 more minutes then toying with my random images to capture.

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Don’t those monks look real. Creeped me out initially then was amazed later on.

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A habit I noticed among Thais is how they use those magnifying lenses to scrutinize those small pieces of tiles. I shall Google later what those are.

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Street Food

More street food. Tried that peanut ice cream on the left. Tasted.. well.. normal I guess.

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Street Food 2

More street food, please! Love love this one, specially the flower detail. How girly can one get, right? 

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My view of the Wat Arun from the other side of the river. I shall visit you next time, alright? 

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This man inspired to just chill in this spot and take random photos of whatever.

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Gadgets

Oh technology.

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This is one cute kid. 

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Spot the bird.

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Very few fall but this couple is beautiful.

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Yep, even removed my shoes.

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View of the Grand Palace from the royal green field.

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This was randomly captured and it kind of makes me feel lonely I don’t know why. Reminded me of a similar shot of tree branches with Seoul’s Gyeongbokgung in the background.

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As I have written in another entry on my nights in Bangkok, spent my last night with my last two bottles at Rambuttri. Sad, but that day, I had to say goodbye to a weekend well spent, that I shall replicate.

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