Chatuchak and Chinatown

So far the Siam City is proving to be the worst of the hotels that we have stayed at in Thailand. Full of tour groups, ornate opulence rather than modern style and crappy expensive internet. Advantages: it’s close to the Phaya Thai Skytrain and Airport line stations.

It does have a decent buffet breakfast and Alex likes the many fountains, the lifts and the pool so it’s not all bad.

Anyway, we slept in this morning and enjoyed that. Then we caught the Skytrain to its northern terminus at Mo Chit, which is within easy walking distance of the famous Chatuchak (Jatujak) markets. Easy walking distance except for the big playground which lies between the station and the markets.

It was great to let Alex play for a while, though some of the equipment was broken and even dangerously so. Others were in great nick.

The Chatuchak markets were not as scary as I had imagined them to be. Yes they are big, but not overwhelmingly so. All sorts of stuff is sold there, not just pirated bags, clothes and touristy souvenirs. There are artworks, pottery and even a posh pet section that seems custom made for the Paris Hilton chihuahuas out there, not to mention performing squirrels and guinea pigs. There are narrow warrens and broad, but busy, streets in the market area.

We bought a few things, ate lunch at one of the many food stalls, and were amazed by how late it was.

Back to the playground for a while, then we went underground to catch the MTR (subway) all the way back the Hualumphong station, the terminus of the service. A bit of a delay first at Mo Chit while Alex used the clean toilets there – twice because he liked the hand dryer.

Bangkok’s Chinatown was really buzzing in the evening. All along the busy main road Yaowarat there were stalls selling Thai-Chinese food, like seafood, shark-fin and birds nest, as well as fresh fruit, chestnuts and other goods under big neon signs.

Squeezing into one busy outdoor eatery we had a dinner of grilled prawns, curry prawns with egg (crab being too messy with Alex), fish in a lime sauce, served with a burner underneath and fried rice with crab. Delicious!

Near the end of the meal Alex looked at me and said “Catch tuk-tuk?”

How could we deny him? For 100B we caught a tuk-tuk all the way back to the hotel. Alex was so excited, shouting out with joy and at the radio when it squawked. As we were stopped at one set of lights a young girl came out selling sweet smelling white flowers wrapped in leaves. I couldn’t help but buy them, making Alex even happier.

B wanted to explore the hotel area. There wasn’t much except for the big King Power duty-free plaza. Just a collection of mega-expensive brand names, but at least Alex caught more lifts, to his delight.

Last full night in Thailand. Tomorrow we’ll visit the malls of Siam Square, maybe see Jim Thompson’s House again and that night we depart for Fukuoka. We’ll be staying well clear of Tokyo, the north and the radiation.

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