Tag Archives: river

Views of and from the Chao Praya River

Waiting for the boat with the other farang. In the distance, Wat Arun.

Wat Arun means Temple of the Dawn. The entire spire is covered in ceramic tile that had been used as ballast and left behind.

We didn't make it to Wat Arun during our first stay, nor did we ride a longboat. Next time!

Another temple on the banks of the Chao Praya. Who can keep track?

Tim in a long-sleeve shirt on a very hot, polluted day!

Rich people stay here.

Chinese tourists on the Express boat. Most of the ferries do not have an open deck like this, so this view is relatively uncommon.

Longboats in the Bangkok haze.

These barge trains are always moving trash, dirt, sand and other things up and down the Chao Praya.

Believe it or not, people do swim in this water. These kids will survive the apocalypse.

One can only imagine what is sharing the waters with them. Garbage? Absolutely. Corpses? Maybe. Mercury? In all likelihood.

What do you think would happen if you drank this water? These kids do it. I saw them.

Standard size ferry boat.

The engines on these longboats are crazy. Half steam punk, half blade runner.

Hot, impatient, farang.

The buildings that line the Chao Praya are incredibly varied. From ramshackle stilt houses to ultra modern hotels to abandoned warehouses.

Showers? Rooms? Toilet stalls? Restaurants?

Patchwork architecture.

I am happy that gentrification has not pushed the local population from the Chao Praya.

These are the folks that work on those barge trains. It seems a romantic life somehow. We saw them sitting under a canopy sharing a pot of coffee and smoking while all of Bangkok passed before them.

Another longboat. Honestly, these guys are everywhere.

The Express Boat. Much larger, twice as expensive, includes tour guide.

Another view to Wat Arun.


day 22 ~ seattle, wa to portland, or ~ amtrak history, rainy downtown, fishmongers, fancy uniforms

www.theendlessroadtrip.com ~ day 23 of my year long daily video project finds us in the pacific northwest. we woke in (more…)

four corners ~ bluff, ut to chama, nm ~ october 2, 2011

www.theendlessroadtrip.com ~ day two of my year-long daily video journal. from bluff, ut to chama, nm via athen, farmington, aztec, (more…)

the muddy rio grande ~ albuequerque, nm ~ june 14, 2011

taken from one of albuquerque’s many bike paths, this one traversing the rio grande alongside I-40. the sandia mountains can be seen in the distance.

the san miguel river ~ dolores canyon, co ~ may 30, 2011

we stopped to take a look at the ruins of the hanging flume on the drive from telluride to grand junction on co-141. dolores canyon, the afternoon sunlight, and the river silken with melt water put on quite a show for us!

visiting the hot springs ~ pagosa springs, co ~ may 26, 2011

on the way to telluride, co for the memorial day weekend, we stopped off and spent a couple of nights at pagosa springs, co. it’s a picturesque little town in southern colorado and home to one of the biggest and best hot springs facilities around. rumor has it that even oprah and gail have stopped in for a visit.

riverfront park ~ spokane, wa ~ october 18, 2010


in early august of 2009, we rolled into spokane, wa from missoula, mt. it was not the best of times. montana had shown us a wonderful time — from the big dipper to the testicle festival, from tubing the clark fork river to reeling at the berkeley pit — but in retrospect, it is clear that this was the beginning of a difficult time. my magic phone, the fabulous object that i named excalibur, had stopped working, placing us in a sort of communication limbo. work had trickled to a stop, and the financial standing of the endless road trip began to seem questionable. what had been a full on “ride-like-the-wind” vibe was taking on a more somber, serious tone. chalk it up to money woes, broken toys, or the beginnings of the natural shift that comes at the end of a long and productive summer, our arrival in spokane was accompanied by a small gray cloud directly over my increasingly worried head.

as a result, my initial experience of spokane was rather abstracted. instead of being able to focus on the marvels of riverfront park and the turquoise chaos of the spokane river, i was stressing out about how much money we didn’t have and how i would be able to conduct my business without excalibur. i remember a bag of freshly made miniature donuts that managed to snap me out of this rather depressing headspace for a few minutes, but for the most part, i was tense and nervous, as if bracing for a sudden, unexpected blow.

sacramento roll at sushi.com

my second visit to spokane took place under markedly different circumstances. i returned on a business trip, which means that although this second visit might have been equally abstracted, it was a much lighter abstraction. as a result, i was able to wander happily through all of the landmarks that i remembered — the world’s fair pavilion, the old clock tower, the pedestrian bridge over the spokane river — without the constant nag of worry and doubt. the air was brisk and edged with humidity. a band of hacky-sackers laughed in the distance, their single-speed road bikes strewn thoughtlessly on the emerald green grass. a family sat at the edge of a pond feeding/being attacked by flocks of birds. color bled at the edges of tree crowns. my stomach was full of sushi and miso soup. i was tired from a long week of travel and work, and i missed tim and mazy somethin awful, but i felt happy and content. spokane is a very cool little city.

what became apparent was that the only real difference between my two visits to spokane was what i chose to pay attention to. the first time around i was inhabiting the interior world of worry and doubt, scratching worst-case scenarios into the walls of my mind. the second time, i paid attention to the reality that surrounded me. the shell of my own solipsism had been broken. the funny thing is that both of these worlds — insidious worry and the remarkable present — are always present; parallel planes that exist in the same space but in different dimensions. one gives solace and one gives dis-ease. luckily, whether we realize it or not, we always have the agency to decide where our attention — that most valuable of resources — will be paid.

what probably appears below is a blank screen with a funny logo off to the side of it. click on the pane and hopefully, what will appear is a 360-degree snapshot of spokane’s riverfront park. click and drag on the window to scroll up, down, left and right. and if you want to zoom in to check out the hacky-sackers or the girl wearing pajamas and slippers, click the + button in the lower left corner. i’m pretty pleased with this little chunk of technology and i hope you enjoy it as much as i do.

music in the video: da me cinco, by blip blip bleep, courtesy of iodapromonet.
Alarm Clock, Snooze Bar, Get Up - EPBlip Blip Bleep
“Da Me Cinco” (mp3)
from “Alarm Clock, Snooze Bar, Get Up – EP”
(Undercover Culture Music)

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