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...two travellers in search of the world's wildlife

18 December 2010

Bangkok busy

17th December 2010

How lazy is this? A four day gap since the last blog. But it’s easily summarised. On the 14th we made one last (failed) attempt to watch for small-clawed otters, then said farewell to Jan and Tu boarded the train at 2PM. Rattle, rattle, rattle, at 3PM on the 15th we stepped off in Bangkok and got a taxi to our hostel. Industrial chic, very boutique, right in the middle of this giant city – talk about a lurching change from the rainforest.

We took the Skytrain that evening to Siam Square, very definitely Bangkok’s Oxford Street. On a quest to get our crappy compact camera fixed, we had to scour the depths of the labyrinthine MBK shopping centre to find the camera shop we were recommended… but alas, they could do nothing. So apart from the chance to gawp at this massive bastion of consumerism, wasted trip.

The 16th was one of those very rare do-nothing days, except of course it was actually update-blog day and plan-itinerary day, book-hotels day, catch-up-on-email day, do-laundry day and all the other things that need a bit of downtime to accomplish. I think we were at it until 2AM.

And so today. We had another mission: to track down a shop in Khlong Thom plaza, Chinatown, were we could buy a small powerful torch for night-spotting animals better than our head torches. Khlong Thom plaza turns out to be like something out of Bladerunner; an absolute warren of passageways clogged with tiny shops selling every kind of electrical or mechanical contrivance you’ve ever seen and many you haven’t. There was a shop that only sold TV remote controls. Another only sold steering wheels. Only steering wheels. Another specialised in security cameras.

Eventually we found the shop that only sells torches. Except it turns out that all the powerful ones use rechargeable batteries that require an additional recharging unit, more than doubling the packing space – so we compromised on the strongest one that takes ordinary batteries. We’ll see.

Bangkok is a city of blatant commerce. Everywhere people are selling stuff, not tucked away quietly behind placid plate-glass window displays, but in great piles, heaps, stacks and bundles spilling out onto the street from an infinite number of small frenetic businesses. It’s eye-popping, congested and exhausting. On our way back we walked along a street with at least a dozen businesses dedicated entirely to the selling of sacks.


One Response to “Bangkok busy”

  1. Jane says:

    LOL @ “something out of Bladerunner”!!!

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