Tuesday, 10 January 2012
Bangkok Day 2 10th January 2012 Conclusion
Concluding a short tour of Bangkok...
Noticed from the top floor, just beyond the campus is a ferry terminal although not obvious at first looking down on a plethora of watercraft. OK, so that's my next goal - find the ferry that crosses this river. easier said than done. No obvious signage, not in English anyway and no picture indications for average Joe tourist either. A little guess work involved here then - a market to negotiate, a side street and a few more market stalls that obscure the waterfront view, but its got to be around here. Very few people speak English in this part of town, and those that do, only a few words but eventually I'm pointed to a spot just along the front. Yep, there it is, so obscure it's no wonder I'm the only tourist around.
It's about 5p to cross the river on this little foot ferry that ply back and forth all day long (according to the notice board, which is in English!). It's a good time to get the camera out and snap various aspects of Bangkok river life before docking at the Black Canyon Coffee House. Through the turnstile and into another maze of alleyways - looks like a covered market of sorts that leads onto a single main street. Quite a wide street, but crammed on both sides with people, mostly kids just out of school waiting for their transport. I would describe the scene here as chaotic - everything and everyone confined to the narrow paths. Food carts, thousands of kids and traffic to match all vying for limited space. Adding to the chaos, the city hospital exits a little further down. A complex of modern high rise structures with a carefully manicured park, and a makeshift temple right at the centre. I'm limiting my exploration to the ground floor - time is limited as sunset approaches and I'm sure security will be running after me at some point. The park here is just a quiet escape from the mayhem outside, a time to calm down, sit down and relax.
An intersection ahead with a pedestrian overpass, how thoughtful! A good vantage point for some more camera work. Something wasn't quite right though. Traffic is being withheld, and I'm being pointed at by a policeman. Oh dear! Looks like I'm being told to move on - yep, good idea. Back towards the ferry, hopefully I can find it again. Progress is slow since the amount of people congregating seems to have doubled. "What's happening", I ask. The young girl replies "everyone is waiting for the king".Seconds later a motorcade sweeps past - to quick for any camera action!
Again, no signage to the ferry, but I am well placed to find it since I can recognise some of the alleyways. Another 5p and some further snap of river life, this time at sunset. Now that I have my orientation figured out, getting back to base will be easy, routing back through the campus. a food booth was still open - looks good to. To good to miss in fact so a bowl of pasta with herb tomato for 25p just had to be consumed. Coffee, Wifi and crash - that concludes day 2 in Bangkok.
Next....Preparing for Cambodia and the scariest ride ever!