Observations in Bangkok, or Stardate 13-10-2554

So today I walked around the steaming moloch that is Bangkok a bit, which at times can be rather difficult and strenuous right now, because I happen to be here while Thailand is suffering the worst floods in decades, if not in living memory. Here in Bangkok itself the Chao Phraya river is a churning maelstrom, and my 50m walk around the Hotel corner to a restaurant had to be cancelled, because the walkway was under water.
I note that Thais have free access to their palaces, monuments and temples ( only foreigners get to pay entrance fees), that’s actually a great idea I think. To me, even more interesting than the marvellous buildings of the Grand Palace was going to the Erawan Shrine.
It’s essentially a Hindu shrine in the middle of Bangkok’s CBD, named after the elephant of the god Brahma. Here’s a picture of it :

The way you get around in Bangkok is dependent on where you are and where you want to go, and you might use a boat, taxi, and the Sky Train just for one journey. Traffic in that city is utter madness, for example the marked road crossings only seem to be there to give the tuktuk drivers target practice for running pedestrians over. As far as I can tell anyway!
Another weird thing is how you purchase tickets for the Sky Train. You have to look the fare for your destination up on large boards, then get coins from a ticket office, and then put these coins in ticket machines to get yours. It seems to me that 2 of these 3 steps could probably be omitted with a bit of creative thinking.

Anyway, I’m off to the pool, it’s just too hot in this place for day long excursions!

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