New Year for most of us feel like a crossing time, a time for reflection. What will the new year bring? Opportunities, adventures, love and happiness?
One of my goals is to take the time to open my eyes and explore the richness of my local context. Urban adventures are so inspiring and enriching. Explore the galleries, the side alleys, the urban richness with all your senses: the gritty, the artsy and the beauty. Be an adventurer! Explore with all senses -plus explore the world through the lens of a smartphone.
The day before the New Year 2016 I explored the “darker side” of Bangkok (meaning less known) by taking a 2 hour longboat ride of the lesser known Thonburi Khlongs around Chrak Phra on the opposite side of CBD (central business district). Under the King Taksin Bridge at the BTS station Saphan Taksin you will find numerous boat tour vendors, and if you are persistent in negotiating, and insisting you are not a tourist, you can get a great deal for a 2 hour shared long boat ride.
The thrill ride on the big river is bumpy, with an abundance of refreshing splashes of the brown river water in your face, mixed with diesel fumes and floating lotus.
The water gate system slowly lifts all the tightly packed colorful longboats into the peaceful canals, abundant with old picturesque wobbly wooden shacks interspersed with gold leafed or red painted Wats (monasteries).
Charming and rustic living seemingly in a different world. It is as though time stands still. Old grandparents are dozing off in hammocks while kids are playing in old tires in the dirty river. New developments are sadly starting to push away the ramshackle houses and huts and may in a few years dramatically change this charming area, part of Bangkok history and lifestyle. This area has such a colorful charm, tranquility and character.
What a colorful memorable adventure. Do not go on a guided tour, just let your own senses explore and inhale the diversity and juxtapositions of urban life and urban history. Explore the floating market in ThonBuri by enjoying a freshly grilled fish from a small boat vendor on a wobbly small plastic chair or long wooden bench on the floating dock.
May your New Year bring you plenty of adventures and explorations!
Written by Zia Hansen. Photos by Zia Hansen