"MARKET AND LOCAL LIFESTYLE IN BANGKOK"

 
   The word 'grassroot' is quite popular during this decade when a political party has steadily used it to deliver to its target audiences,  
   the policies of which benifit aims toward majority at the foundation level of economy. We can refer to this word when we make  
   this trip because its main point of interest is to explore the life of Bangkokians at this level. Many markets are within coverage  
   while we walk through communities of different races and religions. Namely these markets are the flowers market stereo and  
   electronic market of the Thai,the clothes and ornament market of the Indian,and the fresh market and street of gold in Chinatown.  
   Our means of transportation is mainly on foot. Lunch and coffee break will be in the real simple food and coffee shop.By this  
   way, we can be really in touch with the local lives.  
     
     
 
       
           
 
       
 
       
           
           
                                 
 

 The flower market in the heart of the old town

 
   We start our walking from the foot of Rama I memorial bridge along the Chaophraya  
   river just before Pakklong market. One of the first market as it is, it has served the local  
   Thais for over 200 years. Now it is both the wholesale and retail market for flowers,  
   vegetables,fruits and spices within the heart of old Bangkok.  
   Various Thai fruits can be seen and tasted seasonally in this market. The flower zone,  
           however, is much more interesting to see. Packs of plain flowers are on sale for vendors          
           to make garlands and sets of bouquets in each community. The royal art and craft are          
   applied on the process.There are also many florists which sell varieties of Thai and  
   international flowers around the world. Flowers for different events can be arranged  
   daily.  
 

 Stereo Market for D.I.Y. and the cloth market nearby the little India zone

 
   At the back of Pakklong Market is Baan Mor, the stereo and electronic street market  
   It is the heaven for stereo lovers,who may buy complete sets of stereo,or its componants  
           and parts for self assembling. A vendor from here is quite successful in business.He          
           spreads his big branch onto a big floor of the closedby department store,'the old Siam          
   plaza' This department store is located on Pahurat road, so called the little India.Most  
   Indians here are Sikh, who migrated to Siam since 1911.They earn their living from  
   various businesses. Some enter financing. One of them is quite sucessful and once was  
   honored the president of the Thai life assurance association.However,their most  
   common business, known  among the Thais is on cloth trading, and tailoring. Due to  
   the fast growth of Bangkok city,many have opened shops away to keep up with the new  
           Bangkok expansion.Yet, ome still maintain their businesses in their home market which          
           is not so far from China town.          
 

 Street market for home appliances and other general products

 
   In between the market of 2 races,located klong thom street market.It is on daily but will  
   be especially busy during weekend.Various products are on sale here.The most common  
   are tools and equipments for the daily use (ie screw,calculator,motor,vcd,dvd and  
   watch).One section in this market is allocated for the 2nd hand products and parts.In  
   the eyes of Foreigners,these products are illegally robbed or stolen and have been splitted  
           in pieces for sale. That makes it called 'the robber market'.Obviously it is the wrong          
           assumption in the absence of the Thai recycle business recognition.          
 

 Varieties of business in Bangkok chinatown

 
   Pohtecktueng private foundation is our 1st visit in Chinatown. Housed in the shrine is  
   the assumed image of a chinese monk who lived in China 1,200 years ago. During his  
   living, he devoted his effort to help people from suffering. His most recognized work is  
   the recovery of the victims who died from the river flood so that the proper funeral  
   ceremony can be arranged. This work has been passed on to this foundation nowaday.  
           During the Tsunami dysaster,this foundation supported the coffins for the dead and the          
           teams to search for the unlucky passaway. From March to April each year, the Chineses          

   believe the underworld will be opened and the spirits can come up to receive offering.  
   By this time, their descendants will visit the ancestors' cemeteries and prepare the  
   offering which includes food and imaginery utensils in paper form to be burnt for the  
   use in their world. The sample of these paper offering can be seen in the small alley next  
   to the foundation.  
   Across the street from the alley is the small food lane of the Chinatown. Being newer  
           established than the old one on the westside of the Chinatown road,it is called the new          
           market. This food lane can best described the eating culture of the Thai-Chinese. Here          
   we can understand the expression ' nothing that has lives that the chinese cannot eat.'  
   Yaowaraj is the local name of the Chinatown road which has been the business area of  
   Bangkok for over 60 years.Nowaday,132 gold businesses is estimated to make their  
   locations along this 1.5 km.road,thus makes its name 'Road of Gold'.The standard of  
   gold being offered for sale here s 23 Karat which is equivalent to 96.5% mixture of gold,  
   and the unit of measurement in Thailand is in Baht which is around 15.15 grams or  
     half onze.The reference price of gold is daily written on the window of each shop.    
     We end our journey in a local famous coffeeshop of Chinatown.Eearsae coffeeshop has    
   set its business here for over 60 years, and has been the center for talk of the town  
   discussion since then. Coffee being offered can be either too strong or too sweet for the  
   western taste, but the grilled bread with different topping are quite remarkable. The  
   memorable painting on the wall reminds us of the Bangkok atmosphere when its  
   business started.  
   Here we sipped our coffee and rested from the long walk we have done today,in the  
     atmosphere which slightly changed from that of 60 years ago.