Our ever so slight hangovers disspated rapidly after a couple of industrial strength coffees at a street stall and a greasy brunch, Thai style. Rather than run the gauntlet of Bangkok traffic, we opted in favour of a tuk tuk ride to Chatuchak weekend market, one of the biggest in the worl, apparently, passing the extraordinary vehicle (below) along the way. Bangkok is (or has become) a very civilised wealthy modern city, but retains a remarkably friendly intimate feel for such a big place, and Chatuchak is a microcosm of the city as a whole. The market is indeed a behemoth, but a very civilised one – pitched at Bankok’s well heeled middle classes, it offers an extraordinary volume of customised clothing, niknaks, music and jewellery to hipsters, goths, punks, emos, and any other youth subculture you care to mention. Oddly, and as evidence of the unquenchable effect of Western (i.e American) culture on Thai trends, every single stall has an English name – no Thai translation – remarkable in a country that prides itself on its longstanding independent status. We’re not complaining – without this deciferable signage, we’d still be wandering the endless alleys of the market . Away from the clothes, the market also offers rather sorry looking kittens and puppies, art pieces, and of course street food.
We had no time for the last, as our evening itinerary included took us to the other end of town for a wander round Chinatown. Fellow tourists, ignore anyone who tells you it’s dead on Sunday night; although the wholesellers may be enjoying a day of rest, the streetfood vendors are out in force, and we enjoyed a plethora of (mainly noodle based) dishes on and off Yaowarat street. We taxi’ed back to the Khao San road to self-congratuatingly check out the overpriced burger, falafel and noodle joints, as well as the identical Chang/Singha/Tiger/Leo beer branded vest shops strung along the road. We’re just too old!