Photo a Day, Bangkok ‘Hood Edition

A Slice of Rural Village in the Midst of Bangkok

My neighborhood isn’t quite the usual sort of neighborhood one fines foreigners residing in Bangkok. Indeed, it’s not even the sort of neighborhood one typically finds Thais living in Bangkok. My soi, or street is actually nothing more than a concrete walkway on pilings that meanders from the banks of Bankok’s Chao Phraya river to the main street in the area, Charan Sanit Wong (as rendered in Western script).

My building, Marina House, is modern enough, but as you can see, the rest of the houses in this slice of rural village consists of all manner of abodes, from fancy, white-washed houses to dilapidated shacks built from whatever miscellaneous materials their denizens can scavenge. All of these are built suspended over the swamp that rises and falls with the level of the river –Bang Plat isn’t that far upriver from the delta where the river empties into the sea.

Walking through my neighborhood, one would never know that one is only a few miles from the central business district of downtown Bankok, one of Asia’s largest megalopolises. Indeed at night one hears the buzzing and droning of insects and droning, and the amusingly ridiculous mating cry of the tokay gecko.

I haven’t managed to capture one photographically yet — at least not without unacceptable blurring — but there are a pair of big-ass monitor lizards as well lurking about as well; the male is a big old dude who is every bit of three feet long and then some. Sometimes he hangs out by one of the little shops where food is prepared, waiting for scraps to be tossed over the railing.

Anyway, here’s a view of my ‘hood as it appears from the hallway outside the door to my apartment, which is at the back of the building. The front is literally on the river; you walk outside of the front door of the building onto a deck, beyond this is water.

Jeff Chappell's Photo a Day: the Bang Plat, Bangkok edition

If you recall the coconuts from yesterday’s Photo a Day entry, you can see the tree they fell from, there on the left.

Coconuts in the Sun: a Photo a Day

Let Me Go on, Like a Coconut in the Sun

coconuts in the sun: Jeff Chappell's Photo a Day

I spied these coconuts on a neighbor’s porch the other day, and thought to myself, there’s a photograph. I’m not sure if they are drying or just inadvertently left lying around, or what; she wasn’t around to ask and I doubt if my Thai or her English is up to the task, in any event.

I was leaving my pad today, in the early afternoon hazy sunlight and busted out the Nokia N8 to snap this photograph. You see a lot of this sort of thing in my neighborhood in Bang Plat, a community within Bangkok right on the river — it’s a slice of rural Thai community smack in the heart of the urban megalopolis. No doubt it will be featured much in the future in a Photo a Day.

As for this image, other than a little cropping and minor tweaking in Photoshop, as always, here are the coconuts. And that’s our Photo a Day photo today.

Oh, apologies to the Violent Femmes.

Give it enough light, and the N8’s image sensor whups that ass. Here’s a detail from the original photograph, with no size compression. As always, click the images to embiggen.

coconuts in the sun: Jeff Chappell's Photo a Day