Bangkok’s real name, in Thai, is Krung Thep which, roughly translated means City of Angles. “Bangkok” translates as “village of wild plums”.
07.05 After spending a few days cooped up in the hotel in Bangkok, Thailand, following the death of Milly, it was decided that we should go out and go visiting while we were here.
We left the hotel at 9am and travelled first on the Sky Train
view from one of the sky train stations
(a sort of above-ground metro) to its terminus, Saphan Taksin, on the Chao Praya river. From there we took a river taxi up to Memorial Bridge.
The river is much frequented by all sorts of traffic, from the shuttle boats taking tourists between various luxury hotels and some of the tourist sites, to longtail boats transporting Thais up and down the river to minute boats towing massive 4-section barges.
We disembarked at Memorial bridge and headed for the largest fruit and vegetable market in Bangkok.
This is a labyrinth of narrow walkways between stalls where produce is transported by porters wheeling huge baskets.
The prink fruit are dragon fruit. They have white flesh inside dotted with tiny black seeds and are good to eat. The spiky brown fruit in front of the limes are tamarinds. As raw fruit they are quite disgusting but once cooked and pulped and incorporated into food they are fine. These are durian fruit and it is forbidden to carry them in aircraft or take them into hotel rooms because of their smell once cut open.
We saw fruit and vegetables we have never seen before as well as mobile food vendors who trundle their stalls along the lanes.
From there we walked towards the 24hour wholesale cut-flower market. Here we found stalls selling the night-smelling jasmine used for making garlands of the buds which are then sold at shrines throughout the city or on stalls along the street.
Bunches and bunches of roses were wrapped up in damp newspaper to preserve their freshness.
We saw bunches of tightly furled lotus buds wrapped in lotus leaves
and bunches of lotus flowers with their outer petals folded back resembling origami decorations.
On another stall mounds of orchid flowers were piled up.
There were florists both traditional
and non-traditional, the latter made their flowers out of polystyrene wrapping
These decorations are made from dried, dyed flower heads and are used in the shrines.
We paused to inspect the contents of this food stall and another vendor, outside in the street, pointed at the lady behind and the stall and then at me, grinned and said “same, same”. Personally I couldn’t see what was so funny …..