Tuesday, September 05, 2006

A couple of pics

Walking around Thailand can be pretty intense. Thais hate to walk (a Thai told me that) so the vehicular traffic is heavy, and the roads are narrow once you get off the main drags which you don't want to walk on either. So, while walking, you spend quite a bit of time looking for the next car that might come very close to you. Thai's are excellent and confident drivers. They have no qualms about allowing their bumper to approach within a couple of inches of your knee. After all, it is a BUMPER.

Exhaust fumes can also be noticable. Maybe more than noticible. The police that have to stand in intersections to direct traffic usually wear masks over their nose to avoid breathing fumes. Still it's really not that bad as polluted cities go. In Mexico city a few years back, my eyes burned and my throat was sore from the pollution. Not so here. You'll notice the fumes from time to time, but it is not at that critical point where you want to go home.

But walking most anywhere has its rewards. You get the feel for the city, the lay of the land and sometimes you see some surprising sights. The picture above was taken along narrow road that we would call an alley in the US. Nothing much to see down that road except a hedge of these flowers. Nice.

Finally for today, the panorama above is the view from our hotel window. The Sofitel Central hotel is located at the northern extent of the city and our room faces East. It may be hard to make out, as I have never found that panoramic photos ever do the subject justice, but look closely and you will see an interesting mix of highrise office and apartment buildings, parks, lowrise condos and one to four story single family homes. There is no zoning in this city. First come, first serve.

Be sure to note the likeness of the king on some of the buildings. The king is well loved here. From the apparent age of the king in these images, you'd never guess that he is 73 years old. He has been on the throne for more than 60 years. They say that there is no place in Thailand that this king has not set foot. And everywhere he goes, he trys to make life better for Thais. A long list of Royal Projects, including hospitals, schools, water wells and diversion canals have earned this king undying loyalty.

Long live King Bhumibol Adulyadej.


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