Bangkok Day 3 Morning: Yaowarat & Phahurat

After being forced to rub shoulders with much of Bangkok’s tourist population the previous day I decided to change tracks and headed to the multicultural district of Yaowarat and Phahurat (เยาวราชและพาหุรัด) which is home to sizeable Chinese and Indian communities. Filled with narrow alleyways and street markets, what the neighbourhoods lack in grandiose attractions, is made up for with local character aplenty.

Makeshift Mechanic

The district is easily accessible by taking the Chao Phraya Express Boat to Si Phraya Pier (N3) whereupon heading left will bring you straight into a warren of small lanes containing the Sieng Kong Zone – the oldest car spare part market in Bangkok. Many Chinese work in garages here and repair cars on the streets.

Decaying Car

A rusting jeep sits in a corner, propped up on some equally rusty wheel rims.

Engine Cogs

Thousands of oily metal cogs lie piled high in huge heaps waiting to be transplanted.

Small Shrine

A small shrine adorned with neatly arranged flower pendants and small brightly coloured figurines sits in the middle of an alleyway.

Safety & Fortune

Small posters conveying good fortune can be found stuck to the doors of many houses, especially around the time of Chinese New Year.

Noi Market

If you’re lucky you might stumble across Noi Market (ตลาดน้อย) which is so far off the beaten path, you may be hard-pressed to find your way out!

Noi Market Temple

At the heart of the market, a small temple can be found in active use by the local community.

Dragon Matches

I really liked the dragon motif on this matchbox spewing fire from its mouth.

Noi Market Stalls

The market sells all manner of Chinese goods and it was a real pleasure to wander around the sleepy streets soaking in the sights and sounds of how the locals live there. Unlike other areas, people seemed far more laid back and relaxed.

King Canon

Staring down at you from many corners of Bangkok can be found posters and portraits of King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX) who is profoundly revered and apparently fond of photography. Lèse majesté laws allow critics of the royal family to be jailed for extended periods.

Thai Flag Sticket

Along with the Kings image, the flag of Thailand is never far away. I’ve always wondered why red, white, and blue and such popular flag colours.

Blue Vespa

With the city so clearly still in love with its compact modes of transport, it’s no surprise to find an abundance of classic Vespas around each corner.

Green Vespa

Many seem to be especially well maintained for their age and far from being fashion icons they are apparently preferred for being reliable workhorses:

Lazy Cat

This particular feline resident wanted nothing more than to stretch out on the bench in the warm mid-morning sun 🙂

Basket Woman

A woman walks along the street balancing two baskets of produce on her shoulder. I brought some tasty pineapple from one of them.

Undelivered Letters

Bills sit unopened and accumulate in a blue metal doorway.

Evil Cat

Nearby another sleepy cat patiently lies in wait of who knows what.

Wall of Automotive Brands

Another automotive shop has turned its door into a wall of brands – many familiar, some foreign.

Cable Intersections

Tightly knotted and tangled, the telephone wiring in Bangkok is suspended haphazardly between concrete posts, unlike I’ve ever seen before. Being a maintenance technician here must be a nightmare!

Green Transport

We’ll continue the journey into Chinatown in the next post.

David avatar

One response

  1. Margaret avatar

    Really like these photos – lovely to see the non ‘tourist’ bits of a place…


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