For the second straight year, the photography site 500px organized their "Annual Global Photo Walk" in numerous cities around the world on the same day: Saturday, September 6th. After last year's humble but enjoyable photowalk (which you can check out here), this year things became a bit bigger: our itinerary was longer and, in the end, we gathered a group of roughly 30 walkers, tripling last year's number. Since we are in the middle of the monsoon season in Thailand, we set the meeting time at 14:00, because the downpours usually start late in the afternoon. We all met at Bang Wa BTS Station and, from there, we hop on a local mini bus to reach the beginning of our walk, 10 minutes away: Khlong Baan Luang.
|Khlong Baan Luang, GH3 + Lumix G X Vario 35-100mm|
|Restaurant with views, GH3 + Lumix G X Vario 35-100mm|
|Running water, GH3 + Lumix G X Vario 35-100mm|
|GH3 + Lumix G X Vario 35-100mm|
|The puppet I, GH3 + Lumix G X Vario 35-100mm|
|The puppet II, GH3 + Lumix G X Vario 35-100mm|
|The puppet III, GH3 + Lumix G X Vario 35-100mm|
Baan Silapin is a beautiful example of traditional Thai architecture, all built with wood forming a 2-storeyd L shape. The house, about 200 years old, underwent a respectful renovation some years back and now is the center of the community, because it hosts an ancient pagoda in its backyard (which dates from the Ayutthaya period), as well as being a traditional Puppet theater and art gallery all at once. The ground floor accommodates the stage, which sits in the garden, next to the centuries-old pagoda, and every afternoon the Puppets are brought to life by masked artists. In the second floor you will find the gallery, where they show the paintings made by local artists.
|Initiation, GH3 + Lumix G X Vario 35-100mm|
|Cozy seat, GH3 + Lumix G X Vario 35-100mm|
|The audience, GH3 + Lumix G X Vario 35-100mm|
|The calm before the storm I, GH3 + Lumix G X Vario 35-100mm|
|The calm before the storm II, GM1 + Panasonic Leica 15mm|
|Ready, steady..., GM1 + Panasonic Leica 15mm|
Walking further down the canal you will soon reach the second landmark of the neighborhood: Wat Kamphaeng. The old capital of Siam used to be on this side of the river, called Thonburi, so it's no surprise to find, scattered around this vast area, plenty of ancient ruins and temples from that era. Wat Kamphaeng is one of them, and it is preserved in quite a good condition. It's well worth it walking around its grounds, hearing all the little bells tickling, hanging from the high eaves.
Since modern development of Bangkok mainly happened on the other side of the river, Thonburi has remained mostly undeveloped and only recently this has started to change: signs of things to come are already sprouting everywhere, from high-rise condos to the extension of the BTS line coming from downtown Bangkok. Even though the neighborhood still maintains its local, traditional flavor, and you will see plenty of small barber shops and community-focused businesses, you will also spot new concrete structures rising quickly above all roofs, pointing to a changing future that will sooner rather than later be present.
Before long, it started raining, as we all feared, so the group dismantled and the Global Photo Walk came to an end. Last year we also had a few raindrops, but in that occasion it was just at the beginning. Maybe rain is our particular signature, so may many more showers come in the future, and see you all again next year, if not before!
|Wat Kamphaeng I, GM1 + Panasonic Leica 15mm|
|Wat Kamphaeng II, GM1 + Panasonic Leica 15mm|
|Old and new I, GM1 + Panasonic Leica 15mm|
|Old and new II, GM1 + Panasonic Leica 15mm|
|Street market, GH3 + Lumix G X Vario 35-100mm|
|Communion of purpose, GM1 + Panasonic Leica 15mm|
|Colors vs. greys, GM1 + Panasonic Leica 15mm|
|The dump, GM1 + Panasonic Leica 15mm|
|The future coming I, GH3 + Lumix G X Vario 35-100mm|
|The future coming II, GH3 + Lumix G X Vario 35-100mm|