Bangkok River Taxi    

River taxis
Needing to go to Siam Square from Bangalampu but not wanting to deal with traffic, we decided to find the river taxi which whisks riders from Bangalampu to the center and from the look of it, a ways beyond. LP had the stop listed at the wrong fort. We asked several people “Taxi Nam? (utlizing my newly learned Thai word) but they shook their heads and said there wasn't one. We tried the other fort, Maha Kan, and found the river taxi terminal. The taxi was a wooden long boat. Sheets of plastic were suspended from each side and passengers could pull them up using handles attached to ropes. I thought they were sunshades but as the boat started cruising down the canal, I realized they were splash guards.

River taxi ticket seller

Splash guards
The canal, which leads through the newest, most modern part of Bangkok, demonstrates the strange layers of old and new in the city. Beyond the canal, I could see tall shiny office skyscrapers, hotels and condos. The canal itself ran by old wooden houses with clothing hanging outside or people sitting eating. In places, trees shaded the canal sending jungle like tendrils of flowers into the canal. In some parts the old buildings had been cleared away and replaced with newer condos but mostly there was the strange contrast of old near the canal and new rising beyond, oblivious to this hidden pocket of old.

Old buildings
We got off the boat and within a minute were passing by shiny glamorous shopping malls and American chains.

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