Through Lanes & Alleys
Last Saturday I went into town to meet a friend for a walk.
Joseph had expressed interest in my tales of urban explorations in Bangkok off the main roads.
Joseph walking around inside Hualamphong Railway Station.
I met him near the Giant Swing and had a coffee before setting towards the old Thieves Market.
Officially known as Woeng Nakhon Khasem I'd been there countless times in the past looking for old vinyl and CDs, but there's all kinds of stuff to be found, such as these brooms.
As well as solar cell panels, sold on the street, a sign of the times!
A bit further on they were busy with these chairs.
We continued to 22 July Circle (*) where some of the buildings have weird angles...
It really makes me wonder what it looks like inside!
Same idea here, with the Maitrichit Church in the distance on the left.
An attractive, new coffee shop & cafe: 350 Station Bangkok (**).
This mural is in such a bad state that close up I had no idea what it was supposed to be, but from a distance it suddenly became clear!
More classic old architecture.
This was a big surprise for me as this building used to be derelict, but now it was transformed into a boutique hotel: The Mustang Blu. The outside still looks pretty rundown, inside however is a different story! (***) Further along were some other really rundown short-time hotels, nothing hip or boutique about them...
Some wonderful old doors.
Next to the old railway station are some electric boats moored, note the solar panels on their roofs. They operate on Klong Phadung Krung Kasem regularly and end at Talat Devaraj pier. (****)
We had reached Hualamphong Railway Station which is always worth visiting, especially now since it's going to close soon, on 23rd December... Its future is still unclear, originally it was going to be a museum, but recently there have been some stories about knocking it down, which would be an incredible shame!
Still plenty of people inside the main hall.
The front from the inside which at present is closed.
The monks' section.
On the platforms there were lots of people taking photos and selfies.
Passenger and freight trains.
Hopefully these constructions are strong enough to stop a train in case of train drivers falling asleep...
Nowadays I like taking photos of people taking photos!
This group posed several times in front of the special SRT Prestige train.
But finally they had shot enough snaps...
Next to the entrance of the tiny railway museum are these creative benches to be found!
Hualamphong's front view.
Lovely cat guarding the pool of The So Heng Tai Mansion, a nineteenth-century Chinese courtyard house in the historic neighborhood of Talad Noi, nowadays a kind of cafe and diving(!) school. (*****)
Talad Noi has some funky street art, incl. this cat.
Upstairs is a great coffee shop. (******)
Old hat decoration...
Well (ab)used woks!
Clever Talad Noi street art!
By now we'd reached Charoen Krung's Soi 32 which features quite a few murals, here's a more recent one.
At the end of that Soi is Na Racha Riverside Kitchen where we decided to celebrate our 7 km walk with some food and drinks. (*******) Opposite is Icon Siam, a popular backdrop for people taking pics.
Afterwards we walked on to Taksin Station and went separate ways, all in all an afternoon well spent!
Nicely caught by Joseph, standing next to an old piece of junk!
(*) This roundabout was built on 24 January 1918 to commemorate the occasion of Thailand's participation in World War I. The name "22 July" comes from the date Thailand declared war, which corresponds to 22 July 1917.
I did an earlier post on Hualamphong: https://artkoen.wixsite.com/artkoen/single-post/i-hear-the-train-a-comin