“…At least, I think that’s where I live…
I had one of the Thai teachers at school call my landlady (“The Boss”) to translate my address into English and this was what she came up with.
Since moving into The Aqua Room off of Boromrachachonnanee Road, I haven’t had much time to walk around my neighborhood. Lucky for me, it’s a holiday weekend (the Queen’s Birthday/Mother’s Day) so I got the chance to do just that.”
– Michelle Vogel, the moon or a hot air balloon
Located on the opposite side of the river from Rattanakosin Island where the Grand Palace, Khao San Road, and most of the locales associated with historic Bangkok are located is Thonburi. After the fall of Ayutthaya, the second capital of Thailand and center of SE Asian civilization for 400 years after the fall of the Khmer Empire, the Thais moved their capital to Thonburi. Less than 20 years later, it was moved across the river to Rattanakosin, an artificial island created by carving a canal around a bank in the Chao Praya River. To this day, Rattanakosin remains the center of Thailand royalty
Little remains in Thonburi today to remember its few years as capital of Siam 300 years ago. Canals still criss-cross the area hidden in between the residential skyscrapers. A few temples dot the raised highways heading east toward Nakhon Pathom. In the center of the area stands a Central Plaza, a branch of one of the biggest mall chains in Thailand.
It’s an urban neighborhood; a part of the real Bangkok, which is something I wasn’t getting living in the suburbs where I was. After a while out there, it just made sense to move here, the neighborhood called Pinklao. It’s accessible to all parts of the city, directly on the bus line to Khao San and to a BTS Skytrain stop. It’s got much more dining options than where I has been living, which most night consisted of getting variation of the same 10 dishes at 2 or 3 food stands nearby.
Though it may not have the random elephants wandering through town like my last location did, Pinklao has much more character to it once you wander away from the main road and the Central Plaza Mall. My friend and coworker, Michelle, did a fantastic job in summing this up in pictures.