Hindu and Chinatown in Bangkok
0. We started our trip at Hula Lamphong MRT (metro station) and went directly to the Chinatown.
Right after we left the station, we were “attacked” by Thai, who said he wanted to be our a guideman. It was hard to explain him that we want to explore the area by ourselves, but finally he let us go without his help (in the guide books we read, that it’s typical behaviour of freeloaders who later want to be paid for guiding).
We were a little lost but luckily the day before we bought a local SIM card – we had the Internet and navigation on our smartphone – it really helped us catch up in the area.
1. We walked Wat Traimit temple around.
We didn’t go into it though, because we will be visiting all temples in Bangkok in 2 weeks. We did a few photos and go away.
2. During our walk, we saw beautiful Red Gate of Chinatown.
It was founded in 1999 as a symbol of the reunification of the population living under the rule of the King of Chinatown Thailand. It is one of the symbols of this area.
3. Thien Fah Foundation Hospital, located near the Red Gate.
The hospital was built by Thien Fah Foundation – five Chinese clans, whose task was the treatment of the poor people in Bangkok. The hospital has a beautiful temple / shrine.
4. Yaowarat Road.
The main road of the Chinatown – lots of shops and restaurants.
5. Beautiful little streets of Chinatown.
Very narrow streets where you have to squeeze between other people as on the Turkish stall.
6. Hindu area.
Similar to the Chineatown, however, the products and the sellers are different – mostly Hindu (as you could expect!).
7. Old Siam Plaza.
Hindu and Chinatown for lazy tourists and those who don’t like the sun. We really liked this place. It contains many shops with lots of different products like we saw on the streets but they were in the air-conditioned building.
8. We wanted to came back, so we stopped tuk-tuk.
The driver could not understand where we want to go, even when we showed him this place on the map. For the future, we need to know that it is better for Thai people when we have a map written in Thai because it’s really hard when it’s in English.
After a while we and he knew that we won’t be able to communicate. Tuk-tuk drove off.
Later we stopped a taxi driver who luckily for us spoke English better than any other Thai that we met before. What is interesting, he did not want to turn on the taximeter because he said that we want to go to the are where protest is. He said he take us where we want at a reasonable amount. There were no problems at the exit of the taxi -he took as much as he said.
This taxi driver was very smart man – he knew where in Europe is Poland, that it has a border with Ukraine, where now people are also fighting for freedom. He also heard about Polish football player – Robert Lewandowski. We were really embarrased because few weeks ago, we did not even know with which countries Thailand is bordering and we still do not know any famous people from this country…
Along the way, taxidriver taught us a few words in Thai and talked about what’s going on in these riots in Bangkok. He said that where people gather is safe so we asked him to drive us there so that we could see by ourselves how it looks.
People gather around the bus stop SIAM BTS (above ground subway). There are many guards and law enforcement officials around, however, we – tourists could enter to this area without any problem. Car traffic was stopped in this area, so the taxi driver dropped us off at a nearby bridge.
We saw that Thais were somehow checked (they were told to open backpacks and bags and sometimes show documents). Thai people have very friendly attitude to life and there is no fighting for freedom such as the Majdan in Ukraine. People gather in front of the stage and they are listening to the speach of one of the opposite leaders. You can see the tents around so Thai people probably live there in a makeshift conditions. Unfortunately, some people was killed but nobody really knows who shot because it happens at night and the government did not manage to find the perpetrators.
9. When we walked the the square were the riots are, we went to the mall SIAM – the most European place that we have seen in Bangkok so far.
This mall have many typical ‘western’ shops . You can also find Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum and Siam Ocean World- a great aquarium in here.