February 18 – 19, 2023
Headed out to drop off my laundry for service. The staff was not there, so I went ahead and started the wash. After 10 minutes the attendant arrived, but I only had 45 minutes remaining, so I just did my laundry myself.
Afterwards Travis, Stephanie and I went out to explore a few things in our neighborhood. We stopped at the Wat Traimit to see the Buddha. Then we went to Talot Noi to check out the street art. Talot Noi is one of Bangkok’s oldest neighborhoods, so the alleyways are narrow. Paired with murals along the walls, it gives a different, fun vibe to the city.
We wandered for a bit before deciding to check out Benchakitti Park. This is clearly a newer park that includes wetlands viewable from an elevated walking path, in addition to a lake and flowering trees. It blows Lumphini Park out of the water.
Benchakitti Park is next to/part of the convention center. We popped inside to access the metro station, but first, grab a treat from one of the many food stalls. A little slice of lemon cake later, we were ready to roll on.
Next stop involved Decathlon, because I couldn’t stop thinking about getting a few last deals before leaving Thailand. We rode the metro for about 30 minutes around town to get there. I was happy Stephanie was just as eager as I was to go there. We spent an hour combing the entire store looking for the best ROI for our taste.
On our way back to the hotel, we stopped at the Chatuchak Weekend Market. According to their site, over 200,000 people visit the Chatuchak Market every weekend. The Market has over 15,000 stalls which are spread across 35 acres! After seeing markets in every place I’ve visited, this has been the biggest by far.
The market takes place next to Chatuchak Park, which we walked before entering the market. It’s another very nice park in the heart of the city.
We got some chicken kebabs, coconut ice cream and mango sticky rice, all eaten on tiny plastic stools amongst the crazy. There’s an endless stream of things to take in at such a big place.
The next day we had breakfast at the White Dragon before wandering around more scenic places in our neighborhood. One of our stops was the Flower market at Pak Khlong Talat. Between the stores, street vendors and a giant floral warehouse, there were seemingly endless flowers for people to pick up. Some were bagged, others free and a white variety were stored on ice up until purchase.
We walked a few blocks further to see Wat Arun Ratchawararam Ratchawaramahawihan from across the river, then worked our way through constant street markets back to the hotel. I used Google Maps to route us back to the hotel, and I wasn’t sure what the thin green lines represented. After walking a few blocks through increasingly packed street markets, I realized all the green lines represented the street markets.
The markets ran block after block after block with a single file line of pedestrians walking like lemmings from one end to the other. Occasionally a scooter would pass through, making deliveries to shop owners deep within the market. It’s hard to imagine a lifestyle of either buying or selling staple goods in this way, but it appeared to be a way of life for many.
When we finally made it back to the hotel we told each other stories of our job histories over rambutan and hummus. Nice and relaxing day before I made my 1 hour 30 minutes trek to my airport hotel.