Sunday, October 11, 2009

Bangkok and the Chatuchak Market

Alright! We made it back to Bangkok and had the day to poke around before catching our flight to Phnom Penh.

We decided it was a good day, and probably our only chance, to hit up the infamous Chatuchak Weekend Market. It is supposedly the largest market in the world and it certainly seemed that way. It was loaded with thousands of stalls selling almost anything you can imagine. Fruits and vegetables, army surplus, antiques, souvenirs, clothing, amulets, live animals, dead animals . . . you name it!

Here's the Durian!! King of fruits!! Even in Thailand (the no. 1 exporter of durian) they are quite expensive. They are known for their extremely pungent smell and they have actually been banned from numerous hotels and airlines because of it.

(The 2nd sign is from Singapore Airlines)

We had never tried it before (and this was definitely the place to do it) so we bought some from one of the bustling fruit vendors.

Here's a short video so you can see what the inside looks like.

Here's a shot of the amulet section of the market. A large tent full of hawkers selling 'protective' amulets. Different amulets provide various benefits but most are for the wearers protection. Most Thai people carry one with them everywhere.

Feeling a bit peckish we stopped for a snack. Some delicious coconut ice cream in the shell . . .

There were musicians everywhere playing traditional Thai instruments. Very cool indeed!!

After the market, we went back downtown to the shopping district. We visited the Erawan Shrine. It was built beside the Erawan hotel in the 1950's after a series of mishaps in the construction process. After it was built the construction continued without incident . . .

On a side note - in 2006 the shrine was vandalized by a Thai man who was subsequently killed by the angry bystanders. Don't mess with the shrines!!!

I desperately wanted to see some good Thai rock music so we ended off our night in Bangkok with a trip to the Raintree Pub. It was known for its '70's Thai folk and rock houseband.

We ordered some Sangsom Thai whiskey and lounged the evening away listening to the music.

Here's a little sample . . . (of the band - not the whiskey)

Tomorrow - CAMBODIA!!!

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