20 Jan 2013

An evening at Asiatique

This morning a couple of friends suggested to meet downtown for a coffee and chit-chat; I hadn't seen one of them for quite some time, and I know it's always fun when the 3 of us meet together, so I quickly jumped in and we decided to meet straight after work, early evening. As I wanted to check some filters at one of my favorite camera stores before, we decided to meet at the nearby station, without an specific plan on where to go afterwards. However, as we realized how near we were from the recently opened night market of Asiatique, and neither of us had been there yet, we agreed to give it a try.

The eye, GH3 + Lumix G Vario 12-35mm

The most recognizable spot of the market is, undoubtedly, its ferris wheel, the only one of its kind in Bangkok, as far as I know. It was still a bit early, and the place was quiet; many stalls were still closed and few curious people were walking its lanes: this surely gets much more lively as night closes in and lights wake up, so we just sat in a bench, bought 3 Japanese ice creams, and enjoyed the breezy evening under the big, spinning wheel.

The wheel and the lamp, GH3 + Lumix G Vario 12-35mm

Even though Bangkok is quite hot, my friends and I prefer to sit outdoors rather than suffer the unbelievably cold air conditioner most of the indoor areas have, as a proof of some economic wealth that makes not much sense if you are forced to wear a jacket and a scarf every time yo enter a shopping mall, train or cinema. We just talked for a while, ice creams long gone, watching some passers-by taking pictures here and there, buying some presents, or getting on the wheel.

The black sheep, GH3 + Lumix G Vario 12-35mm

Asiatique Market used to be located near Lumphini Park, in central Bangkok, but real estate speculation  forced all vendors and stalls to move out and so, a few years later, the market has been relocated and finally reopened by Chao Phraya River. The new location is quite interesting: these used to be the old warehouses of the river, but they were long abandoned, so this can be considered as a double rebirth, and it will surely give the area a new commercial appeal. The place has been totally renovated and only the external structure and roof have been preserved, all the interiors completely redone. But one small building from the former era has escaped the fate of modernization, and remains unaltered in one corner, maybe as a remainder of the past, or as a warning for the future.

Remains, GH3 + Lumix G Vario 12-35mm

Sunset was coming, so we walked to the riverside and enjoyed the views of the busy river, with multiple boats coming and going, carrying all sorts of things (people included), and visitors constantly coming to the market for dinner or drinks. The banks of Chao Phraya River are seeing a rapid development, but this area is still quite dormant, and not much invasion of high-rise construction has touched these shores. Yet.

Quiet conversation, GH3 + Olympus M. Zuiko 45mm

Things were getting busier by the minute, the pier were we had to board the boat to go back to the BTS station was getting full of people, and we were also starting to feel hungry, so we decided it was time to return, before the crowd would get even bigger. So we took our farewell pictures, and left the market promising to be back, next time at night.

Pangky & Oat, GH3 + Olympus M. Zuiko 45mm

Pangky & Oat II, GH3 + Olympus M. Zuiko 45mm

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