18 April 2011

Bangkok pt. 1 - Day 6

Since I saw a bit of Phra Nakhon yesterday, I thought I might take it to the northwest today. I left the hotel, turned right, then left and followed Th Chao Fa. It's sort of a fast lane street, so except for a lot of traffic there's actually not too much to see. I turned right again to get back to the inner part of the block and headed further north. I came through a number of alleys and decided to go with the flow. There was dead ends and cross roads, I got lost and walked on till I recognized a building I might have seen before. It's the best. 

At a pension slash restaurant I took a break and had lunch. The menu was enormous and everything looked real good, but at the end I made my pick: Spicy Fried Chicken with Cashew Nuts and Vegetables on Rice. And I don't know, maybe the air is different, maybe the spices, or maybe all the water that I've been drinking has polished my tasting sense, but that meal was just phenomenal. I took a first spoon full of rice and my god, that clean taste of plain white rice was just perfect. I didn't cry, but I'm pretty sure I was making noises.

Strenghtened by the goodness I walked further north. I came to a main road and across the street there was a white historical building. I looked it up and found out that it's called Phra Sumen Fort, an octagon building built with bricks in the eighteenth century. Attached to the fort there's a little green called Santichaiprakon Park. I chose a bench in the shade of a gigantic tree. Later I found out that it was a lamphuu tree, wich is the name patron for this district, Banglamphu. From the Chao Phraya came a cool breeze and I enjoyed the whistling sound of the dancing leaves. It was a brilliant break from all the traffic and tourism.

I crossed a little ditch and walked through the southern part of Thewet. Most of the two-storey buildings had stores on the ground floor, and I assume that the shop owners and their families are living on the floor above. I passed many laundry places, lots of supermarkets and a few other stores that sold car parts, electronics and other stuff. But it was the teak wooden houses that really impressed me, they're surrounded by a different type of atmosphere, one of ancient times. Following my feet I slendered here and there, catching another glimpse of life in this crazy beautiful city.

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