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Bangkok by boat

In addition to the Chao Phraya River, which bisects Bangkok before emptying out into the Gulf of Thailand, there are also innumerable canals that further divide the Thai capital into a maze of riverine neighborhoods. One hasn’t fully experienced Bangkok without navigating its waterways.


A couple of the revelers could only stay for the weekend, departing either Sunday evening or at the crack of dawn Monday morning. However, most of the guys stayed an extra day in the city before scattering – some to Thailand’s beaches and the rest, including D, back to work and family.


After a lazy morning, the gang spent the better part of Monday afternoon on a leisurely boat cruise of Bangkok’s backwaters. Many of the boats that ply Bangkok’s waterways are powered by repurposed truck engines. It was difficult to hear over the din of the motor, but that didn’t distract too much from the excursion.


The guide had proposed stopping at various temples, but his suggestion was met with indifference. There are too many temples all over the city to visit them all, and most of the traveling party had already seen the major ones.


Instead, the guide directed the boat driver to an orchid farm, a riverside “museum” of random junk, and a market, which D belatedly recognized as Khlong Lat Mayom. When D had visited it during the weekend, it had been overflowing with people. On Monday, many of the food stalls were empty and the visitors were a fraction of the Sunday crowd in number.


More enjoyable than the tour stops were the sights that awaited around every turn: the monitor lizards that sunned themselves alongside the canals; the fishermen in their small skiffs; the riverside houses with their small shrines; the children feeding colorful cheetos to the koi teeming in the shallow water.

D’s only regret was forgetting to change his camera battery. He had taken out the battery to charge the night before and neglected to insert it back into the camera. This meant taking photos on his BlackBerry and foregoing the shots that were out of his phone’s range. All things considered, the BB held up reasonably well.



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