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Muang Thong Thani’s Revenge

After a perilous journey above parts of Nonthaburi and Pakkret, the Pink Line elevated train managed to deliver me at Muang Thong Thani Station without losing any parts along the way, something which can’t always be guaranteed (*).

As usual, I didn’t worry about these potential hazards since life is already weird enough.

At the station, I met my friend Leo who was (im)patiently waiting for me to tell him where to go. Our objective for the day was to check out a so-called kite festival in a godforsaken place with the same name as the station. Despite that the actual suburb was still a good 5 km away which already gave us an indication of how messed up things were here.

We found our way out from the station and ended up on the ground, not a pleasant experience to say the least. This seemed a good enough reason as any to hit a coffee shop asap. Occasionally the Gods do smile at us (**) and pretty soon we found ourselves in a strange place called Social Coffee. 

Membership of the Communist/Socialist Party wasn’t required for ordering two Americanos, but the overall experience seemed off, despite the caffeine shots being well-appreciated. While slurping the black liquid we decided on the best way to go to the blasted festival. As we’re hardcore it left us only one choice: on foot! Despite strong objections from most of our Thai friends and acquaintances (‘slow, sweaty, smelly!’) this way one gets a really good ‘feel’ of a place. 

We’d reached the bottom of our cups, time to hit the road again which we did straight away. The idea was to walk along Liap Khlong Prapa Road until it was necessary to take a left into the heart of this accursed suburb. The alternative of walking under/along the expressway didn’t appeal to us at all! Even so, this canal road wasn’t exactly a delight either, its footpath resembling a battlefield at times, and traffic moving along slowly while belching clouds of poison gas. Neither of us smokes, but by living in Bangkok you automatically have the equivalent of 2 packs a day…

As khlong views were restricted due to a concrete wall we had to admit that this walk wasn’t exactly going to be a highlight of our trip. Consequently, as soon as we had the opportunity we left this poor excuse of a road and turned left in the hope of better views…

Even street art here looked more like sinister incantations...

Fat chance of course as now we walked through a maze of massive concrete monstrosities, but at least on the ground level there were some signs of life as some people were visible strutting their stuff. Even so, several times we looked up, expecting to jump aside as bodies might be crashing down at any time… To understand why this place just oozed despair and frustration out of its concrete pores we have to go back in time, to the early nineties in fact. In those days the Thai economy was booming and someone high up had the bright idea to build a satellite ’Golden City’ north of Pakkret, just as they did in Hong Kong. A few years later the economic bubble burst (***) and construction went belly up, although a huge sports complex was finalized and actually used as the venue for the 1998 Asian Games. But due to the financial crisis, most luxury projects stayed empty and Muang Thong Thani had the reputation of a ghost town. Slowly however the economic tide turned and by now most (enormous) apartment blocks are occupied, but the overall impression is that the place remains ugly as sin…

Some of the shops here were odd to say to say the least, fancy going to a barber who’s probably blind drunk? Here in Muang Thong Thani you have that unique opportunity…

We continued our walk of the damned through the endless maze of soul-sucking roads until we reached another building which I first mistook for Darth Vader’s spaceship of Doom, but which turned out to be the end station of the elevated train, another project which might take a few more years. Crossing roads here was suicidal but through sheer luck and bravery we managed finally to reach the Impact Lakeside, we even could see some kites further high up!

More interesting were the lakeside restaurants which advertised various ice cold brews on sale… However, we resisted this appeal to our baser instincts firmly and made our way to what looked like a large parking lot which now had become a platform for launching huge kites (in all shapes and sizes) into the sky. Noticeable was the total absence of safety measures and we were looking forward to seeing innocent(?) kids being abducted by giant kites…

Unfortunately, the wind was rather pathetic which made it hard work for any of the bigger kites to take off. We wandered around a bit the various stalls selling kites and food more and came to the conclusion that it really was just another market with some kites added as decoration. Still, even for cynical old bastards like us, it was good to see kids enjoying themselves with non-digital toys for a change! 

We decided that after our soul-crushing walk through this desolate area, we truly deserved a serious beverage, preferably with some alcohol content. A little later we stumbled on a Japanese beer stall, again the Gods were on our side! The beer staff had thoughtfully even set up a small sitting area with 2 easy chairs and a low table, exactly what we needed. Two cans and glasses with ice were ordered and these hit the right spot! While sipping the heavenly ale we discussed how to proceed…

As we could observe the kites while sitting and drinking there was really no need to continue wandering around. Once that important decision was made we ordered another round, although the only thing missing now was a snack. Being at a Thai market this could be easily rectified so I reluctantly got out of my comfy seat and strolled over to a french fries stand. Although the sales lady was friendly enough, she didn’t give the impression of being particularly healthy, perhaps the result of eating too much of her own products? Despite this negative endorsement I came back with a pack full of cheesy fries which were well received by Leo who had continued drinking all the while. 

Empowered by dubious snacks and copious amounts of beer we started to relax and even began to like the place which again shows how powerless we mortals are against true evil! Instead of observing (& twisting our necks in the process!) kites we started focussing on the crowd who at times also gave us curious glances… We never understood the reason why people had to parade their tiny dogs in prams or (worse!) in front-loading backpacks, just utterly ridiculous. Somehow we managed to behave ourselves and didn’t burst out laughing every time we saw one of those. 

Photo: beer staff

By now the beer staff were getting more and more service-minded and quickly served us with more cans. A little later the leader of the beer gang came over to us and offered us two bottles and glasses in appreciation of our impromptu brand-consciousness. He even took photos of us, very friendly, although in hindsight we doubted the promotional value of having 2 old Farang geezers sitting behind a wall of empty beer cans!

Photo: Leo

Enough was enough, even for us, it really was time to leave and to our surprise we quickly scored a taxi that dropped us off at BTS station. After a short train ride we separated ways as Leo lives in the center of town and I have been surviving on the outskirts for many years. 

Once alone I went in full auto-pilot mode, got off at the correct station, and jumped into a taxi with a friendly driver who drove me straight home, mission accomplished!


The next morning I paid the price and spent the remainder of the day in recovery mode :-(

The only thing I managed to do was check my photos, all of them looked ‘diseased’ as if a kind of digital mold had grown over them.., Muang Thong Thani’s revenge was wicked indeed!



(**) Usually They puke all over us, the bastards…

(***) The Tom Yam financial crisis of 1997…

8 Comments


The beer turned out to be a fine decision, then, KK. Your pics are a bit moldy.

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art58koen
art58koen
May 31
Replying to

Moldy for sure Ray!

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I thoroughly enjoyed this romp! The descriptive wording created a sense of suspense and "tongue in cheek" adventure which put a big smile on my face. :-) Great to see you guys enjoying yourselves and the kites were fun, too!

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art58koen
art58koen
May 25
Replying to

Thank you Steve, glad you liked it 😀

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art58koen
art58koen
May 25
Replying to

Thank you Pieter.

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art58koen
art58koen
May 25
Replying to

Thank you 🙏

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