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曼谷街头 October 20, 2013

Posted by hslu in Travel.
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Bangkok , like many metropolis in the world, offers different and distinctive faces to its visitors if you look carefully: palaces and temples where gold plated buildings and nicely maintained lawns offered a glimpse of how the royals lived their lives, glittering and lively sections spreading around the city where tourists spend their foreign currencies to support the third and much less glamorous section of the city where the locals live.

The parts of the city we have visited, the restaurants where we had our meals and the shopping centers we went to were always crowded with tourists day in and day out and many of them stayed until the wee hours in the morning. The traffic there was bad especially when it rained because many streets were flooded and became impassable. Additionally, the streets were simply too narrow to support the number of cars and buses in the city. Our guided told us that an extended period of rain three years ago resulted in a huge flood which damaged many cars parked in auto dealers’ parking lots. These cars were auctioned off at a huge discount to people of Bangkok. Many citizens took the once in a life time opportunity to buy a car for their kid. Ever since then, the traffic in the city center of Bangkok became unbearable and it will stayed like that for a long time to come.

As we were driven around the city and as we walked around the parts of city where tourists didn’t visit, we saw locals packed in buses with their windows wide open to get some cool air in; taxi drivers sitting by their cars or in their tricycles waiting for their next customer; people with brown colored vest, sanctioned by the government, ferrying people in and out of the traffic on their bikes taking them to their jobs in rush hours, waiters and waitresses in their trimmed uniforms taking care of their customers’ needs and street vendors putting one more layer of seasoning on chicken kaboh while his customers were anxiously waiting.

Outside of the tourist sections of the city, houses were covered with a layer of dust waiting for the rain to wash it off. The streets were in general very clean but occasionally we still smelled foul odor coming out from the sewage. Many shops on local streets were small and dark because lights were turned down to save electricity. Occasionally, people would walk up to us offering stuff to buy and places to see. We usually declined their invitations and walked away.

Yes, this is taxi too.

Yes, this is taxi too.

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These people came from villages outside of Bangkok. They have camped here for months and the government hasn't resolved their issues yet.

These people came from villages outside of Bangkok. They have camped here for months and the government hasn’t resolved their issues yet.

Post office's letter drop box.

Post office’s letter drop box.

The buildings are stained and the rooms are small. The red/pink discs are satellite discs.

The buildings are stained and the rooms are small. The red/pink discs are satellite discs.

Privately owned taxi. The background is a metal shop of some sort in the midst of other type of shops.

Privately owned taxi. The background is a metal shop of some sort in the midst of other type of shops.

Government sponsored taxi are in green/yellow color. The windows of the bus are open because it has no A/C. The cost to ride this bus is considerably (several times) cheaper than the ones with A/C.

Government sponsored taxi are in green/yellow color. The windows of the bus are open because it has no A/C. The cost to ride this bus is considerably (several times) cheaper than the ones with A/C.

People in orange-colored vest are sanctioned by the government. They take people to work on their bikes.

People in orange-colored vest are sanctioned by the government. They take people to work on their bikes.

 

Bangkok rush hour our。This was on a sunny day。

Bangkok rush hour our。This was on a sunny day。

Not sure whether it works or not.

Not sure whether it works or not.
Our hotel uses this tricycle  to tkae its customers to subway stations near by. It is small and easier to move in and out of the traffic and on the sidewalk too.

Our hotel uses this tricycle to tkae its customers to subway stations near by. It is small and easier to move in and out of the traffic and on the sidewalk too.

I didn't see a door probably because it opens 24-hours a day every day of the year. Many guests were foreigners.

I didn’t see a door probably because it opens 24-hours a day every day of the year. Many guests were foreigners.

So it claims:"The Best" in Bangkok.

So it claims:”The Best” in Bangkok.

Many massage parlors are in the basement or on the second floor. 300 B is about $10 in US.

Many massage parlors are in the basement or on the second floor. 300 B is about $10 in US.

Religion is part of Thai people's life. 95% of Thai people believe in some forms of Buddhism. Statues like this one are ubiquitous.

Religion is part of Thai people’s life. 95% of Thai people believe in some forms of Buddhism. Statues like this one are ubiquitous.

Street vendors line up both sides of the sidewalk. The tarp is used to provide cover for rain which is very common in Bangkok.

Street vendors line up both sides of the sidewalk. The tarp is used to provide cover for rain which is very common in Bangkok.

Roasted fish with salt and very little other spice. Spicy sauce can be applied after fish is done. looks good and probably very tasty too. Couldn't gather enough courage to try it though.  It did a very steady flow of business though. It also offers other kind of seafood such as squid too.

Roasted fish with salt and very little other spice. Spicy sauce can be applied after fish is done. looks good and probably very tasty too. Couldn’t gather enough courage to try it though. It did a very steady flow of business though. It also offers other kind of seafood such as squid too.

You probably can see it from this picture but the power posts are squire in shape; not round. It prevents snakes to climb up to the posts. Cell phone tower is in the view too. The ad is for a seaside resort south of Bangkok.

You probably can see it from this picture but the power posts are squire in shape; not round. It prevents snakes to climb up to the posts. Cell phone tower is in the view too. The ad is for a seaside resort south of Bangkok.

湄南河。

湄南河。

Bangkok city center is in the background。

Bangkok city center is in the background。

Our van and many other cars were stopped for a VIP entering into a government compound.

Our van and many other cars were stopped for a VIP entering into a government compound.

A small 四面佛 on a street corner。

A small 四面佛 on a street corner。

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