Face of the Day: Emerald

Kolkata, India

Kolkata, India

Thonburi, Thailand

Wongwian yai,Thonburi, Thailand

Over the Chao Phraya river from central Bangkok is Wongwian yai.

It was the first place I stayed in Southeast Asia. It had no tourists then and no tourist sites. It felt authentic this busy place with rubber and foam traders sending out product on the back of old Vespas. Lots of Chinese-Thai and old men on bicycles.

It has a busy wet market and fruit and vegetable stalls run along one of the main roads. Terrific street food- grilled ‘crying tiger’ (beef) and cold beer on the roadside is a favorite, and teak houses.

The skytrain reaches there now and so the tourists have arrived, the teak houses almost gone, but the Thai never compromise on food.

I like to return and stay at the same hotel. It’s well past it’s best, but the spirit house you can see in this photo is still there after at least twenty years. It’s reassuring and you can pretend the nondescript apartment blocks that dominate now don’t exist.

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