Chinatown where we are staying is a bustling area of Bangkok and it is interesting to walk down to a pier on the river and get a local ferry up or down the riverj passing an enormous variety of stalls and shops along the way.

The tuk tuks are a good alternative and if there are too many fumes an air conditioned taxi is better.

We visited the local flower market where you can get 50roses for 100 baht – about $3.50. This market operates 24hours a day.

This led into the vegetable market with wonderful aromas of garlic/onions/corriander and ginger.

 The vegetable market was very well organised into the various items which were wrapped in plastic or found in large cane baskets ready to be delivered. Everything  was very fresh.

We then walked a few blocks to the “fabric market” which sells everything to do with fabric as well as the fabric.  It is a real labyrinth of alleys and stalls and we kept in a straight line for about 2kms and then decided to call it a day.  Unfortunately I was looking for some lovely Thai silk but the fabrics there were mainly synthetic and not to a Western taste.

The dogs we have seen here in Bangkok are all robust and well looked after even very spoilt as opposed to those in Bali.  This fellow had the fan trained on him.

We went to Jim Thompson’s house which is in the heart of Sukumvit down an alley and right on a canal. A beautiful house, well restored and many lovely artifacts in the Thai style house.He was an American who brought the silk trade to Bangkok when it was just a cottage industry and he lived here for many years until he disappeared in the Cameroon Highlands, Malaysia whilst on holidays in the 60’s.

The hotel here really are trying hard to please their customers with a free mini bar every day with cans of coke/pepsi/crisps and biscuits. They can’t do enough to make our stay comfortable and assist in getting anything we need.

There is a great contract between day time and night time.  When we go for our power walk in the mornings there is not too much open and a few food stalls selling all sorts of juice and local breakfasts but at night there are a million neon signs and lights and every street corner in Chinatown is transformed into outdoor food stalls. By the morning everything is cleared away and the footpaths are clear again.

We had dinner in a lovely old Thai house right on the river called “Na Aroom” which served vegetarian food and seafood.  It was down an alleyway and the taxi driver didn’t know where it was so just dropped us somewhere in the alley.  After a few enquiries and walking backwards and forwards due to some interesting directions by various people we found the place.   We had delicious mushrooms with green peppercorns and a three eggplant curry which was delicious.

We took an hour long long boat trip down through the suburban “klongs” where some children were swimming in the river – very brown and with lots of flotsam and jetsom floating around. 

The boatman’s wife was mending clothes and had a sleep while we looked around and when her mobile phone rang the boatman slowed down so that she could hear. 

When she finished he would rev the engine up again.

We walked back from the pier and went into “river city” which is located amongst all the upmarket hiltons and sheraton hotels.  It is a pristine shopping centre full of Thai artifacts but very few shoppers.    Interesting but extremely expensive.  From there we walked back to our hotel and happened upon wreckers alley where people were reconditioning every car part imaginable – lots of grease and elbow grease.