Within ten minutes of landing in Bangkok, our ride from the airport had quickly established herself as our tour guide for the few days we were there – whether we wanted her to be or not.
Insisting we were up and out, bright eyed and bushy tailed by 6:30am, she had organised a jam-packed 13 hours of Bangkok fun, we didn’t have choice… she wasn’t a force to be reckoned with. Excitedly (far too much for my liking at 6.30am) she told us that, before we set off for the famous floating markets, we were going to a ‘train market’, the appeal being, “it’s the only one in the WHOLE world”.
I soon discovered why…
To get to this enigma we had the joy of wandering through one of the local food markets… definitely not the place to take someone for their first insight into Bangkok life*. I can honestly say it was one of the most disturbing places I’ve ever been; you could barely see the food for the flies covering them, the sewage on the floor was 3 inches deep, live crabs were tied up and a cat fish was left on the side – still alive; dying slowly before my eyes. I was afraid with every step I took for what I might see… at one point I stopped, stuck between what felt like the devil and the deep blue sea; desperate not to carry on through in case I saw a live animal strung up, but not wanting to walk back the way I came – being a vegetarian doesn’t bode well in these sitations.
Finally we reached the ‘train market’, and I realised that it’s the only one in the world because it’s the most daft (and fucking dangerous) idea I’ve ever heard of.
Basically, market stalls run either side of train tracks… oh no, not abandoned train tracks, but a real in-use railway. As the shopper, you walk down the centre, right on the train route through… when you see it hurtling towards you, you throw yourself out of the way… if you’re not quick enough, you die.
I can’t actually do this justice because I’m still so bewildered that a place like this even exists. But here are the photos so you can see what an absolutely fucking mental shopping experience this is…
*A completely different view to the colour and beauty I saw in the Buddist temples and the floating markets – which are fabulous and I would suggest everyone should go. Immediately.