Since my old Bangkok neighbourhood (the lower Sukhumvit area) underwent quite some drastic changes (the two hotels where I used to stay disappeared), I resorted to Lat Krabang, a suburb, with excellent connections to the airport rail link to town. Until recently, I did not see much of the place apart from the hotel and the shops and restaurants nearby. When however one day I stayed at another than my usual hotel I discovered a rather different Lat Krabang.
Back from a bath in the river on the other side of the street
A Thai lady in her sixties sitting in front of her house started to talk to me as I was passing by. She had lived in London for twenty two years and moved back to Lat Krabang twenty years ago. She was missing the English weather, she said. Much has changed here, she added, we used to go by boat to town. Nowadays the rail link is much faster and cheaper.
The next day I watch from a bridge over one of the canals a longtail boat approaching at high speed and then slow down. The guy steering the boat now gets up and examines a green sea of water plants (a plot of around 150 square meters, I'd say) that separates one canal from the next. He then moves the boat back to the middle of the canal, revs up the engine and off he goes at an impressive speed ... and makes it through the plants, accompanied by the sounds of splintering roots, in one go!
About ten minutes later, a seconds boat arrives on the scene. The boatman also examines the sea of water plants and decides not to try it. Too bad, for this time I'm quite certain I'd have the camera ready ...