An afternoon thunderstorm is brewing over Bangkok,
Interestingly, I flew here from Bangalore on an airline that does not exist anymore. To encourage the wealthy Bangaloreans to spend their money in Bangkok, the Chamber of Commerce in Bangkok sponsored a low-cost airline to shuttle passengers between Bangalore and Bangkok. For around USD 100 you’d take a 5 hour red-eye flight, arrive early in the morning rested and relaxed, and they give you a free shopping bag filled with coupons, maps, and sightseeing guides. I’m glad I took advantage of this while I could!
The village of Ratchaburi is located about 100 km or so east of Bangkok.
Here is what it starts to look like when you get close to the village:
Here is a typical street in the village, and when I say street I mean canal, with the houses side-by-side along it:
And another view of a typical Ratchaburi street:
This is the tourist side of the Damnoen Saduak floating market in Thailand. The boats are filled with souvenirs:
And this is the non-tourist side of the Damnoen Saduak floating market in Thailand. The boats are filled with vegetables, groceries, and some of them have little kitchens for cooking fast food:
This is Alec Guiness, in front of the fictional Bridge over the River Kwai, in the 1957 film for which he won the Academy Award for Best Actor:
And this is the real Bridge over the River Kwai, as it looks today:
To accomodate the flocks of tourists, the bridge is built with side platforms, so that the tourists won’t get run over when a train comes:
It’s temptingly easy to enjoy beautiful view . . . but the nearby cemetary and museum is a strong and moving reminder that this bridge had its origin in large scale atrocities carried out in WWII.