Over the Christmas holidays I travelled to Cambodia by way of Bangkok, spending two nights and a day in the capital. Since I’d already seen most of the main sights back in 2012 it was nice not to be under any pressure to do anything specific and steer well clear of the crowds.

Given that an early start was due the next morning in order to catch the train to the border I booked a hostel within walking distance of Hua Lamphong Station which turned out to be in a fascinating district full of metalworking shops and small businesses.

Heavy plates of sheet steel littered every available space.

A precarious makeshift bridge made of stamped steel offcuts.

The colourful backstreets full of small industries reminded me of the Yaowarat and Phahurat districts which I had explored on my last visit.

Tailors, printers, car mechanics, cake makers, hair dressers, green grocers – you name it, this place has it.

While I usually opt for Airbnb these days, I was pleasantly surprised by the Cosy Bangkok Place which was among the best hostels I’ve stayed at.

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