Street Shots: Bangkok from the Inside



Ask uncle Google about places to visit in Bangkok and you will get answers related to culture, religion, shopping, history and architecture. You’ll get suggestions ranging from Buddhist temples, shopping places, floating markets, river cruise, the backpackers' spots, temples again and more temples.

Of the 10 things travelers would usually suggest you to see in Bangkok, five or six would be temples or anything "Wats" - Wat Pho, Wat Prakeaw, Wat Arun, so Wat, then Wat, all Wats. (No mocking intended. Just emphasizing.) A candid male friend will add from his suggestions a visit to Patpong, a rather weird strip of pleasure precincts with blinking lights. It's the city’s red light district. These are the places where tourists flock in this city of diverse attractions and never-ending pretzel-ed skyways.

The following photographs do not represent any of the said destinations. If you want to take a day off from the popular strips and see more of life in the city there are places you can indulge your senses into. I don’t mean indulging in a pleasant way but the type where you get out of the comfortable and see the other silent worlds within the worlds in the mainstream.

Seeing the popular may quench your curiosity and validate what you already know or what you have read. Experiencing the unfamiliar enriches your understanding.
Here is my attempt to capture the sights, sounds and smells of the streets of Bangkok (minus the temples, strip clubs and the shopping centers) through random snapshots:

Raise your feet if you want chicken! - Klong Toey market is Bangkok's busiest and biggest fresh market. If you want to smell freshly massacred animals and see cadavers of look-alikes of your cuddly pets, early mornings are the best time to drop by here.
Crossing Generations - A family of three generations crosses the busy streets with cars and the mighty Tuktuk. This road somewhere in Yaowarat leads to BKK's lively China Town. 




Gang Banged! - Skinned frogs or even live ones are among the bestsellers in Klong Toey market. Restaurants and sidewalk vendors are among the patrons of this "banged" frogs. Yeah, cadavers again!

One Big Community - The Thai government is gearing up for the integration of regional economies in 2015. This integration will be called the Asean Economic Community (AEC). There is a worry among economists that Thailand will be negatively affected once this regional bloc takes off. A Wall Street Journal article explains that experts think it "will make smaller or less-developed countries such as Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar more attractive, allowing them to suck away some of the investment..." With confidence, Thai officials dismissed such worries. Have you heard of any AEC preps from your government?


Fantastic Four - This old couple owns a humble eatery just outside the apartment where I got adopted for two nights by my couch host. They both worked together to finish one serving of shrimp rice that we ordered for breakfast. In this frame there are four of them.
 Aiming a little high - a normal morning in the life of a BKK street vendor (somewhere in Sukhumvit area).
It's a family affair - Half-grilled young chickens sold at 20 Baht apiece. Not a good sight to see for the vegetarians and lovers of these two-legged creatures.
Slow-moving, slithering - Turtles and live eels are among the goods here, too. Talk about exotic foods.
Standing still among the steels! - A dove stands still and undisturbed in this noisy and crowded Hua Lamphong train station. The train has just arrived and the dove, standing on one foot, seem to not give a s***.
Who's the King now? - King Bhumibol Adulyadej's portrait watches over the thousands passersby in Hua Lamphong train station that come and go in and out of Bangkok. Portraits and posters of the 85 year-old King is a common sight all over BKK and the whole of Thailand.
Genius Guard Boy  - He's not a guard. The boy stands by in school uniform outside Wat  Traimit and  asks tourist for donations to help him go to school. Aside from kids like him, several youngsters also roam around the vicinity of the temple to sell you button pins with your face printed on it.  How did they do that? You might have smiled earlier when they said Hi-Hello pointing to you their SLR cameras.
Take me to the party street! - The ubiquitous Tuktuks are the fastest and easiest means of transpo around the busy streets of BKK.  Drivers of these three-wheeled roaring kings of the road are the usual subjects of complaints like overcharging of fares and reckless driving.
Are these vegetables? - Local farmers of organic fruits and vegetables (and fungi), selling their products during the Vegetarian Festival.
Umm, Collector. - Buddhist Monks are everywhere in BKK.  Every morning monks in saffron-coloured robes collect alms from  people in the neighborhood who are willing to donate anything, from foods to goods, for their consumption. It's  one way also for the monks to connect with the people from the outside world. The man in the picture, by the way, is not a monk. What is he then?   Your guess!
Gastronomic selection - BKK's China town is teeming with sidewalk food shops that serve a variety of Thai and Chinese foods. It's a fiesta of aroma for every sidewalk passers by.
Horror-esque Apartment alleys - Try exploring the dark aisles of not well-lighted buildings.
Jewels gifted with time - BKK is full of contrasting images. Check this out.
Chao Phraya River lovers - Chao Phraya River is famous for river cruises. The port area is  good for spotting monks and dating lovers. After the cruise I chanced upon this couple, both seem to be amazed by something. It could be the skyscrapers or the melodramatic skies. I didn't ask.
Grasshopper Adventurers - No, they're not stranded travelers nor flash mob performers.  While  sweeping the Ratchadamnoen Klang Road for interesting photographs around the Democracy Monument this is what I found.
Money ain't EASY to find - Not easy at all. One of the homeless BKKian found a temporary shelter in this set of  money dispensers. His presence breaks the monotony of the tiled designs of the paved streets.
Tuktuk Race - I Want you to meet again Tuktuk, part of what defines the daily life in BKK.
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