A river runs through it

February 21, 2019   Thursday

Our Bangkok hotel, Loy La Long, is in a 100-year old house built on stilts over the Chao Phraya river, the wide wet highway that cuts through Bangkok. The hotel is tucked away behind a temple and has but six small rooms, each a different colour. Our room is the black room. Yes, black. Not my first choice but it was what was available. This is the second hotel we've stayed at with a black hotel room, the previous being in Lisbon. Can't say I recommend black as a colour scheme but I can live with it for a short while.

The Loy La Long is long on character but short on comforts, pretty much the opposite of Phra Singh Village in Chiang Mai. The building is a dark rambling structure where you are massaged by the sound of waves from the river which is splashing directly underneath the floor, just a meter or so below. In fact you can see water through the cracks between the floor boards. What with the eye-level river traffic and the sound of the waves my first thought on arrival was that we were on a boat. Weird, but you quickly get used to it.

View from our hotel room      
I try to post photos in chronological order and this one is from yesterday, it's the view from our hotel room that I saw upon checking in.
Loy La Long hotel      
The dark building is our hotel which is perched on stilts over the river, and behind it is --- guess what --- a wat (a Buddhist temple), the Wat Patumkonga Rachaworawiharn. You can't have too many wats.
Inside a orange-flag ferry      
We took a ferry four stops up river, to see the giant gold Buddha. The river ferries function like busses, carrying commuters to work and tourists to tourist sites. As you can see this ferry was standing room only.
Passenger minder      
This fellow ropes the ferry to the dock and blows a really shrill whistle an awful lot.
Giant Buddha at Wat Pho      
The giant gold Buddha is 46 meters long and 18 meters high and is surrounded so closely by columns that it's impossible to get a look at the whole thing which is probably the point. It's a popular draw, the room so packed it brought to mind the Sistine chapel, the difference being the Buddha's visitors are all barefoot.
You can't get a complete view of the Buddha. Perhaps this is a koan.
Toes of the Buddha      
I guess that rule about not showing the bottoms of your feet only applies to us non-Buddhas.
Dirty canal      
It's hard to discern in the photo but all the standing water I've seen in Thailand is dirty and full of trash.
Chinatown market      

This indoor food market in Bangkok's Chinatown goes for many blocks.

I'm pretty convinced that most everyone in Thailand spends their day either preparing food, selling food, or eating. Food is everywhere.

Campaign poster      
I've read that an election is coming and there are posters like this everywhere in Thailand. Of course I've no idea what the sign says.
Our hotel is located near the intersection of Chinatown and the place where metal things go to be reused. Here there are block after block of storefronts where men, and it's always men, are tearing apart metal engines/suspensions/transmissions/etc to I assume re-furbish and re-sell. It's noisy, dirty work and it flows out onto the sidewalks.
Relaxing on hotel deck      
It's the end of another day of being a tourist. We relaxed on the hotel's deck and watched the riverboats go by.