Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Bangkok Day 2 10th January 2012

University, the ferry, school run and hospital…

More pounding of Bangkok streets today, not with any particular plan in mind but just explore and soak up the Bangkok way of life. Breakfast time, or rather lunch time now, oh well I needed the sleep. A bowl of fruit salad with natural yogurt precedes a cup of coffee for about 2.10 pounds then must make a start.
Quite familiar with the network of allyeways that makes up the Khao san area since I must travelled most of them yesterday, at least twice over. Following a few of the other backpackers I’m sure they’re going somewhere interesting – yes I can spot a wat (temple) in the distance. Not so hot today, quite pleasant with an overcast and a breeze, must be about 29-30ish. The backpackers were going to catch a bus, maybe a coach for a long interstate journey and that temple looked way too far for the effort required today.

The boulevard has an underpass this end, makes sense to use it and head in the direction of another temple complex I spotted yesterday. There is a tourist information office, actually, some smart buildings are prominent around here. It’s the river front, with a pier and of course boats – tourist boats for about 12 pounds. The trip will last an hour and takes in a circuit of tributaries, so I am informed. Oh yes, need to wait for a few more people to turn up or the boat is yours for 1,500 baht. Not something I wanted to do there and then, maybe next time. Just next door is a little coffee shop – coffee time it is then and a chance to read some tourist info.

I can here a school, that kind of class room din along with a music lesson of sorts. A rather rundown block opposite doesn’t look like any obvious school building, but that’s where it’s all coming from. Some rather smart, expensive cars are coming and going from an entrance near by. Investigation reveals a huge complex of buildings – a school, college and university all in. No security since I can wander around quite freely glancing through windows of class rooms and take a seat in the eating area. About a dozen kiosks selling Chinese food mainly although I notice some typical western style ads for burger and chips, all at student prices (About 80p for a meal). It’s a really nice spot to eat lunch since the place sits directly on the river front, with boats plying up and down with mostly tourists.

Sand bags line the river bank and the most vulnerable of the university buildings. Evidence of the recent flooding here and looks more expected. The main building is high, perhaps 7 floors, but the climb should be worth it. Short of taking a helicopter ride, this has to be the next best thing – a panoramic view of Bangkok city skyline looking right along the river from the top floor of the university building. A truly memorable experience – probably shouldn't be here though, oh well. 

Next...stumbling upon a local ferry service and chaos around the hospital. Also the King visits.

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