SOUTH EAST ASIA

All photos © Ruud Leeuw

 

 

Bangkok, Thailand 3-2013
We came full circle on this trip, having started out from Bangkok, flew to Phnom Penh, went by bus to Siem Reap for the Angkor Temples, then flew to Luang Prabang in Laos, returning here with Bangkok Air on March 19th for a few more days. The links for the other reports you'll find at bottom page.

 

 

Bangkok, Thailand 3-2013
We soon found ourselves exploring the market streets in Banglampoo (Bang Lamphu), along the area of Khaosan Road.
I found I had difficulty in adjusting to Bangkok's pace after the quiet, restful days in Luang Prabang.
The atmosphere was also more humid, so it was back to sweat running in my eyes, toiling with sticky clothing; it was hard to imagine people at home were bracing against winter conditions!

Bangkok, Thailand 3-2013

Bangkok, Thailand 3-2013

 

 

Bangkok, Thailand 3-2013
Bangkok certainly shows it is moving with modern times too.
 

 

Bangkok, Thailand 3-2013
We found this useful bookshop near our hotel (Navalai River Resort), among the shops and stalls in the area across the road. Swapped one book and bought a few others. The bookstore did not have a calling card, so I forgot about the name; I think it could be on Soi Rambuttri (on the river side of Chakrabongse Rd).
We also chased another bookstore, Chula Books near Siam Paragon, but found this to be a university bookstore and of little interest to us as non-students.

Bangkok, Thailand 3-2013
They even had a good selection in Dutch!

Bangkok, Thailand 3-2013
This bookshop, DASA, came recommended by Lonely Planet.
One cab driver (outside our hotel) refused to take us there, perhaps it was outside his comfort zone. It was quite a drive, and Sukhumvit Rd was one big traffic jam. The cab driver who accepted the fare struggled to understand us, but we got there in the end. We found it of nu use to show him a map (from the LP guidebook): he may well have been unable to read English or unable to interpret the map. Also you may find a cab equipped with a meter but that doesn't mean it will be put to use; the driver will negotiate a price, and it actually may be the better deal for you if traffic jams cause considerable delay.
The DASA Booke Café wasn't much bigger than the shop near our hotel, but did have some books of interest to us.

Bangkok, Thailand 3-2013
And DASA offered a seat and coffee! While bargaining wasn't accepted, we did get a 20% discount as a sale was on.

 

 

Bangkok, Thailand 3-2013
This is the bookshop in Siam Paragon, Kinokuniya, a lovely place to browse and I left with some nice photobooks.

Bangkok, Thailand 3-2013
With so many international tourists and expats it doesn't come as a surprise Kinokuniya has a great English section.
Opening hours are from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Bangkok, Thailand 3-2013
We walked into a performance by 'Hunz', sponsored by some beauty brand I think; 'Hunz' is the artist name for Isariya Pattraramanop and is (or was) a talent of Thailands tv program 'The Star 8, Thai Prince of Dance' (2012) www.youtube.com/watch?v=lYyDs1-iA9I
He was the latest tv idol during our visit and came with a screaming fanclub and lots of media attention.

Bangkok, Thailand 3-2013
I rather enjoy beauty over fame!

 

 

Bangkok, Thailand 3-2013
The nightscene outside Siam Paragon; here we always found plenty of tuk-tuks for the ride back to the hotel. It would cost us THB 200, some 5 euro. But during times when tuk-tuks were in demand we couldn't get a better price than THB 300.

Bangkok, Thailand
Good advice to prevent theft.

Bangkok, Thailand 3-2013
A simple streetscene, but there is so much detail in there if you examine it closely.

Bangkok, Thailand 3-2013
A very rich streetlife kept the camera in constant use.

Bangkok, Thailand 3-2013

 

 

Bangkok, Thailand 3-2013
Quite a bit of wind on the river resulting in choppy waves.
Travel on the River Boat Express seemed easy enough, but I missed the dock I planned to exit at. I had shown my map to the conductress and I thought she acknowledged to help when I indicated the dock I planned to disembark. But she did nothing, maybe forgot whil ekeeping tabs on embarking & disembarking. So we continued to travel down river and exited at the next dock; there is always enough to see.

Bangkok, Thailand 3-2013

Bangkok, Thailand 3-2013
From above water we went below water... The is the Siam Ocean World at Bangkok's Siam Paragon Aquarium.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siam_Paragon

Bangkok, Thailand 3-2013
Smile: you are on camera!

 

 

Bangkok, Floating Market

Visit to Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, an excursion booked from the hotel.
We were picked up at 06:30am and crammed into a minivan, after a hasty breakfast: at once I regretted to having booked this excursion! None of the other people seemed anxious to talk at this hour, probably also recovering from shock. Silently we drove on for 01h30.
We transferred on a busy dock into a longtailboat and travelled over water, through some non-scenic canals, to our destination. Mass tourism.

It made me decide against a similar trip, to Ayutthaya; leave something for another time.

 

Bangkok, Floating Market
We opted for a boatride (against additional costs) among the canals of the floating market; as did most people.
The items on sale were mostly souvenirs; the locals had bought their food hours ago and had long gone. It was a crowded affair on the water, boats bumping into each other. Mind to keep your hands inside the boat!

Bangkok, Floating Market

Bangkok, Floating Market

It struck me that most women selling their goods were on their best appearance: wearing make up and sometimes a string of pearls.
The sunlight was in fact too fierce for photography, but I managed to score a few satisfying portraits.

 

Bangkok, Floating Market

Bangkok, Floating Market

Bangkok, Floating Market

Bangkok, Floating Market

Bangkok, Floating Market

Bangkok, Floating Market

Bangkok, Floating Market
Men were a minority here.

Bangkok, Floating Market
Hug a snake!

 

 

Bangkok, Thailand

 

 

We stayed in Bangkok's Banglampoo area (note the circle on the map below, near the river), often referred to as the Old City.
Our stay in Navalai River Resort was very pleasant and the hotel was suitably located for wanderings into the old town and a dock for boat travel on the river. It took a tuk-tuk less than 20 minutes to get from the hotel (if the traffic wasn't too bad) to get to the MBK or Siam Square for shopping, cinema or aquarium.
The hotel we stayed in at the start of the trip (link below) was not far and equally satisfying.

Bangkok, Thailand

 

BANGKOK 3-2013, a start
PHNOM PENH, CAPITAL OF CAMBODIA
ROYAL PALACE & SILVER PAGODA
STREETS of PHNOM PENH
CAMBODIA'S KILLING FIELDS
PHNOM PENH TO SIEM REAP BY ROAD
DAY 1 AT THE ANGKOR TEMPLES
DAY 2 AT THE ANGKOR TEMPLES
DAY 3 AT THE ANGKOR TEMPLES
CHONG KHNEAS FLOATING VILLAGE (TONLÉ SAP LAKE)
KOMPONG PHLUK FLOATING VILLAGE (TONLÉ SAP LAKE)
LUANG PRABANG (LAOS) CITY
LUANG PRABANG EXCURSIONS

 

 

 

Helpful links:
www.Into-Asia.com
Bangkok on Wikipedia
http://wikitravel.org/en/Bangkok/Khao_San_Road
www.thai-faq.com

 

 

 


 

 

 

Page compiled/updated: 17-Jul-2013 / 19-Jul-2013