Monks chant at Wat Chana Songkhram, near Khao San Road.
It’s my last day in Bangkok and I’m not ready to leave Thailand. If I had another two weeks, I would have opted to stop at Ko Phi Phi and then cut north to trek through Chiang Mai, but my time is up. In my preparation to leave, I get the feeling that I’ll be back soon enough – there’s too much that I love about this place to not come back.
A couple memories stand out above the others.The utter serenity of the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, right after a mid-afternoon rain shower. The polite, genuine smiles of school children and street vendors. The new friends from the Khao San, and Diow. The breeze through the open window on the train to Surat Thani. The feeling of freedom at the Full Moon Party. The dangerous scooter maneuvers. The flavors of the food. The upbeat greeting from Thai women “Sawadee kaaaaa”.
One of my favorite ways to remember a place when I’m traveling is to record audio. Then, thousands of miles away from the point of capture, to sit with headphones on and let my mind recreate in the rest. So, to end this series, I though that I’d share that experience with you. Below you’ll find pictures and their accompanying ambient sounds, with a brief description for context. If you have headphones, please use them to get the full experience.
For those that have been, I hope it brings back the same good memories. For those that have yet to go, I hope the open road is calling your name…
Visitors drop 1-satang coins in 108 bronze bowls that represent the 108 auspicious characteristics of the Buddha. Doing so brings good fortune and helps the monks maintain the wat.
A gong is hit at Wat Pho. Nearby, two young monks check for mobile phone service.
A Secondary School band performs in the courtyard of the school. Typical noisy Bangkok traffic passes in the background.
Chimes at the Temple of the Emerald Buddha blow in the wind.
A riverboat operator signals to the driver with a whistle, indicating when to reverse and when to stop the boat on approach to the riverside docks.
A tuk tuk rumbles through the streets of Bangkok.
The lounge car on the train to Surat Thani enjoys an impromptu DJ performance. Techno blares over the rhythm of the train tracks.
The train to Surat Thani pulls out of a station at midnight.
The night of the full moon party, competing soundtracks of electronic music are observed from a hillside bar.