• Wednesday, October 25, 2006

    Bangkok, Trains, Library...

    Latest on Suwarnabhumi here. Info on walking in Bangkok here.

    After years of being in Bangkok I finally made the effort to visit the Neilson Hays Library today.
    As the father of a three year old with an insatiable appetite for books it seemed a good idea to introduce her to a proper library.

    Founded in 1869 by the Ladies’ Bazaar Association the library is still going strong. It's located on Surawong Road just down from the British Club. It's a beautiful old colonial style building with air-conditioning and an old world feel to it. The staff speak English and are very helpful. Membership is steep, for a library, at 2,800 baht for a year but necessary for the place to operate.

    They have readings and drawing sessions for kids on Saturday mornings and there's a cheap coffee shop on the grounds. Glad I finally made the effort.

    It always amazes me how Surawong Road (parallel with Silom Road) manages to stay in a timewarp whilst all around develops. With the exception of the odd building here and there and alterations and additions to the road infrastructure not a lot has changed since I first walked down the street in 1992. I'm not complaining, I like it. That part of town, like Chinatown, has a great deal of character and a good feel about it.

    Whilst in the area we grabbed a tuk-tuk to Hua Lamphong station and got the regular commuter train back to Bang Sue. There is an underground station at both these locations and the ride between the two will set you back about 50 baht. the cost for the train was 2 baht! From a Thai point of view I can see why there are more people on the train than the underground system. Admittedly the 15.20 train didn't set out till 15.45 and there was no air-con and it lingered in Samsen for an eternity etc etc. But still, that's a huge difference if your daily wage is only a few hundred baht.

    Bangkok, Trains, Library...



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