*Sorry for the lack of posting at the moment… I just seem to be going between my three part-time jobs, studying a wee bit (not enough at all) and sleeping a couple of hours (not enough either). Plus trying to fix some issues with the computer (hard disk, wahhh!), which is time consuming. (ㅠ_ㅠ) But this post has been lingering around in nearly-finished-form for quite a while, so I might as well just publish it.*
Bangkok, like quite a few Asian cities, is big and busy, day and night. It’s not always fun to get around Bangkok, because traffic jams (see above) can really grate on your nerves.
I didn’t get much time in busy-Bangkok – not even two full days. I would have liked more than that (I had no chance to go to Chatuchak, the weekend market, or Asoke’s Chamlong, a Buddhist-vegetarian restaurant that I like) but I guess there’s always the next visit? I did however get to go on the subway (the Bangkok M.R.T., in the picture below), which I was kind of excited about.
If that sounds strange, well, it’s just that the subway wasn’t open the last time I was in Thailand and, more importantly, my Dad was involved in the construction of the Bangkok M.R.T. It’s just kinda cool to go-on-things-my-Dad-built, if that makes any sense. At the moment there’s still only a single line (network expansions are planned and, indeed, much needed), but WIFI is available everywhere and works well – which, I’m told, is because of the tunnelling technology that was used.
Another good way to get around the metropolis is by public boat – it’s cheap and there are never any traffic jams and the refreshing breeze cools you down as well. Here are people waiting for their ride:
University students near one of the docks for the public boat:
I noticed a guy leaning on the railing of a bridge while we were travelling on the river. He cut a lonely figure, lost in his own world in the middle of an ever-pulsating city. By the time I snapped a photo, we were already quite a bit away from the bridge, so it’s not the best shot – though I still like the emptiness and the lines, which reinforces the smallness of individual people in a big place.
There are also plenty of old, traditional buildings of course, such as this temple, whose roof was being restored.
Next shot: I like to take pictures of constructions sites sometimes, as a challenge to find something beautiful in those places – like this intricate bamboo scaffolding, with workers clambering all over like children on playground climbing frames.
The building under construction was next to Wat Traimit, the temple that houses the Golden Buddha, the world’s largest solid gold statue. Here are some colourful rooftops from around the main temple building:
A few of snapshots of people now. We start with a little girl, whose parents were encouraging her to pose and smile for my photograph*, but she was pulling semi-grumpy faces instead. Such a cutie she was:
At Wat Arun, probably Bangkok’s most famous temple, the gardeners were trimming the trees. While everyone else was photographing the temple, I took a good dozen shots of these two men scaling bamboo scaffolding until I finally got a composition I was happy with. I don’t know, I would rather capture the life of a place, the every day, than take the gazillionth shot of a famous sight.
Tourists (iTourists we could call them) outside of Wat Pho, where the huge Reclining Buddha has his home:
And here’s a taster for the final Thailand-Photologia I will be posting in some days – a street food stall from Bangkok’s Chinatown, where I kind of hit the jackpot (you’ll see what I mean when I publish the next set of photos):
The guy’s kind of cool. Selling foods but listening to music on his headphones too.
*Note: Such a striking difference in the attitude of adults (and kids) in Asia towards being photographed – they all want to be in pictures. Here in London, it’s all total paranoia and political correctness to the max, so some people glare at me or reprimand me. Which I kind of understand, but at the same time the “You should ask” doesn’t work for street photography. The moment you ask, the moment I wanted to photograph is lost – I’m not looking for posed images, but real life after all. I’m happy to delete pictures people aren’t happy about, but I wish they had more appreciation of the art of street photography.