Before we could see proper Bangkok, we could also see uneven underdevelopment and development around Dusit area. I read about Dusit too while doing some research and planning the trip, but I don't know how to return to the area after I reached Bangkok Hualampong station.
In simple word, pembangunan tak sekata at suburban area... Houses like setinggan along the railway and the roof of people's houses even scrapped the train's window, lol! The train stopped at few minor stations too and there are people selling food like fruits, coffee, and kueh coming in and out the train. Out of the window, I saw people sleeping, having meals, and sitting on newspaper spread over the floor along the rail way side. I saw a monk having his meal on a newspaper under trees too, funny... ahaha.
It reaches Hualampong Station in Bangkok around 12:00 mid day. I just proceed to the information counter and getting the map for the city because I was totally clueless. It is my first time there anyway. And I have to pay 50 bhat for the map. Then I just said to the lady at the counter, "fiuhhhhh, thamrai pud thai nyuung maaaq neee ur." (I can't really speak proper Thai, so difficult!). She just chuckled at my face.
A canal not far from Hualampong Station.
The couple from Mauritius had approached a travel agent at the station, but I avoided them because I am on tight budget and, alone... I think for a moment and begin to realize that I need to perform Dzuhr prayer so I went up at the left side of the information counter. They have a musalla up there for Muslim and there I met few Muslims waiting for Dzuhr. I didn't notice that there is an automatic clock showing the prayer times. So I asked an uncle in Malay but he thought that I am a Thai so I just talk to him in Thai.
I felt quite weird because we are from neighboring states, where they perhaps come from Pattani, Yalor (Yala), Naro, or Senggoro (Songkhla) who supposedly to talk in Tani Malay. I regret I didn't take the picture at the musalla, it looks classic with Jawi Malay written in Thai sounding Malay with alphabet ha at a vowels. Then we performed Dzuhr prayer jama' with 'Asr because everyone are in travel. Jama' is a simplified prayer where we combine two prayer times into one. There is a specific topic about this.
Streets sign, and I was actually at China Town area while snapping this.
After the prayer, I began to walk out of the station and thinking on the next step. What should I do in a city I had never been before and it is a foreign city. I have no slightest idea about the city. Should I also change my SIM card by buying a new pack for Thai number? But I am not sure how many days I would be there and my budget is quite limited. It would be different if I work or live there. I just bought some water from a convenient store which costs me around 10 bhat. They also have grilled pork in the convenient store. Never thought that it would be sold... openly but that is Thailand, haha.
Wat Traimitr, Yaowarat. Non Thai have to pay entrance fee to enter the temple maintenance but it is free for locals.
Then I walked and looking around Hualampong Station. I could see Yaowarat which is their China Town. I saw Wat Traimitr and walked in because I didn't know what to do. Then I walked out after noticing that they demanded non-Thai to pay the entrance fee when looking around the temple complex. I didn't intend to look around the temple complex or any places yet since I didn't have any accommodation. The first thing that I should do is to get some rice because I was so hungry and I ate just scarcely after buying those expansive loaves of bread in Padang Besar.
Wat Traimitr temple complex from a chinese hardware shop.
Then I made up my mind to return to Hualampong station but I don't want to take the bus because I don't know the roads or areas in Bangkok yet. It would be dangerous if we don't know where we are about to bound and not all of the people are well-versed with the city because we are also like that here, ha ha ha. I decided to take Metro Rail Transit Authority and I choose to go to Silom after I checked my notebook and that is the only area that I had read about before which fit the destination stated at the computer. Silom is the area where red shirts protesting for Mr. Thaksin Shinawatra to be returned to Prime Minister's seat.
On my way to MRT station.
They have security check where people have to go through scanner and also checking the bag and I am giving full cooperation to this because I know that it is for people's benefit. It is a bit fussy but I think that is good to ensure the security and tourists would feel safe. But the guard refused to check my bag as I approached him trying to open up my own bag for him to check.
The guards who checked my bag or people in the underground train station are quite friendly and they treated me nicely. So, please don't worry if our brothers and sisters wanted to visit the city. I paid 30 bhat for Silom road in the machine and it gave me a coin to be touched at the gate.
to be continued...