Thailand 2010: Gurdwara Siri Guru Singh Sabha, Sampeng Market, JJ market (again)

Date:  28th November 2010

I began today with a taxi ride to Phahurat Raod.

House Lumpini building Silom Bangkok Thailand

Drove towards Silom first

Silom buildings Bangkok Thailand

Silom HSBC building Bangkok Thailand

A lot of financial firms have offices in Silom

DTAC telecom headquarters Bangkok Thailand

DTAC is Thailand’s second largest mobile service provider

Wat temple Silom Bangkok

China town daytime Bangkok Thailand

Drove through China Town again

Thanon Chakphet road Bangkok slums

Got down at Chakphet road

Chakphet street food stalls Bangkok

Fried fruit street hawker Bangkok Thailand

Batter-fried fruit

Phahurat market Chinese sweet shop Bangkok

Thanon Phahurat road Bangkok Thailand

Reached Pahurat road

Thanon Pahurat road shops Bangkok Thailand

Gurudwara Sikh point sign Pahurat road Bangkok

I could see a sign stating Gurudwara Sikh, but all it pointed to was a wall of shops on the side of the road I was on

Old Siam plaza Bangkok Thailand

Pahurat market shops Bangkok

I still waded through Pahurat market

Figuring the gurdwara was behind the shops, I found a gap and walked into an alley. There, an old Thai man saw me and just raised his arm to point to where I needed to go. I guessed I wasn’t the first Indian he may have come across in search of the elusive gurdwara.

Pahurat Bangkok alley way to gurdwara

Kept wondering how much more I had to walk to find it…

Bangkok gurdwara Indian temple Thailand

…but there it was (finally!)

Way to gurdwara Bangkok alley

The ‘desis’ were in sight :)

Shops near gurdwara Bangkok ThailandMarket near gurdwara Little India Bangkok

Gurdwara Sir Guru Singh Sabha Bangkok Thailand

Gurdwara Siri Guru Singh Sabha

You can read about the history of the gurdwara at their official site, but apparently Sikhs have been in Thailand since the early 1900s. Gurdwara entrance sikhs Bangkok ThailandAll non-Sikhs have to cover their heads with a scarf, which they provide by the stairs in the main hall.

Gurdwara scarfs Bangkok Thailand

Pick one

You also have to take off your shoes if you want to go upstairs. They have a big shoe rack in the main hall and you get a token.

Gurdwara main hall Sikhs blood donation Bangkok

The Sikhs were being their charitable self today with a blood donation camp

Gurdwara main hall fans Bangkok

The 6-storey gurdwara is one of the largest outside India

Gurdwara Langar hall Bangkok Thailand

The first floor is a Langar hall, where visitors and devotees had sat down for the free meals

Gurdwara wedding hall Bangkok sikhs

The floor above it looked like it was hall used for weddings and other events

Gurdwara prayer hall Bangkok Thailand

Above that was the main prayer hall

Gurdwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha prayer hall Bangkok

Gurdwara prayer hall Bangkok Sikh kid photobomb

This kid was waiting for his chance to ‘photobomb’ this shot

Gurdwara Sikh classrooms Bangkok Thailand

The fourth floor is a school

Gurdwara old Sikh lady Bangkok Thailand

The fifth floor was a hall with rooms…

Gurdwara Bahi Dharam Singh Bangkok Thailand

… with priests (I assume?)

Gurdwara Sikh guru rooms Bangkok Thailand

Not sure what this signifies or what they preach

Gurdwara window Bangkok ThailandChinaworld building Pahurat Bangkok

Gurdwara entry Pahurat road Bangkok

That looked like a more accessible entry

Gurdwara top floor Bangkok Thailand

I had reached the top

Gurdwara prayer hall carpet Bangkok Thailand

So naturally, I went back down

Gurdwara Guru Granth Sahib prayer Bangkok ThailandGurdwara Punjabis prayer hall Bangkok ThailandGurdwara Punjabi men praying Bangkok Thailand

Gurdwara Punjabi women praying Bangkok Thailand

The sexes are segregated in order to maintain ‘concentration’ it seems

Gurdwara Punjabis praying Guru Granth sahib Bangkok Thailand Gurdwara sikh women praying Bangkok ThailandGurdwara Sikh men praying Bangkok Thailand

Gurdwara prayer hall Bangkok Thailand

Assuming the prayers were over, I went down

Gurdwara Indian food hall Bangkok

Decided to eat

As much as I love Thai cuisine, after nearly two weeks, eating simple dal curry, sabzi (vegetables) and chapathis felt soooo good.

Feeling full, I went all the way back down, collected my shoes and left the gurdwara.

Pahurat market outside gurdwara Bangkok

Stepped out to a world where samosas and spring rolls are sold side-by-side

Pahurat textile market clothes Bangkok Thailand

Now to get back out…

Pahurat textile market prices Bangkok Thailand

I walked through the Pahurat textile market

Pahurat textile market Bangkok Thailand

I finally came out through here

Rajamangala University of Technology Rattanakosin Poh Chang campus

Rajamangala University of Technology was across the road

Here’s a map to give you a better idea:

Gurdwara Pahurat map Bangkok

(Image source: Google Maps)

Nightingale Olympic Company building Pahurat Bangkok

I moved on

Nightingale Olympic Company building Bangkok

Triphet road traffic crowds Bangkok

I was on the hunt for Sampeng Market next

Triphet road junction traffic Bangkok

The traffic scene here is *quite* different from the Sukhumvit side

After a bit of asking around, I was directed to Sampeng Market.

Sampeng market entry lane Bangkok

This wasn’t the main entrance or anything. Just one of many lanes in.

Sampeng Chinese market Bangkok Thailand

Sampeng market is known to be an integral part of China Town

Chinese idol worship Sampeng alley Bangkok

Sampeng Chinese market bags Bangkok

The lanes eventually all meet at one main straight path…

Sampeng market clothes CDs Bangkok Thailand

…which extends a long way

Sampeng market is a massive space with stores selling, well, just about everything: clothes, Chinese medicines, other Chinese specialties, toys, households items, pirated CDs and anything else China mass produces.

Sampeng market Sunday Thais Bangkok

Today being a Sunday, it was very crowded!

Sampeng textile market crowded Bangkok Thailand

Thus, very stuffy… and quite suffocating at times

Sampeng Chinese market accessories toys Bangkok

Sampeng market crowds traders Bangkok Thailand

It’s through one narrow lane visitors, traders and porters all the pass through

Sampeng isn’t for everyone. It’s quite congested inside (or I assume it’s like this every weekend) and it can get very hot. Also, I didn’t find much of the merchandise to my liking, so unless you want loads of stationary for your kids, cheap, then Sampeng is the place… if you feel it’s worth the effort. I only stopped to buy one of those inflatable travel pillows/neck rests (cost ฿50).

Sampeng market open road Bangkok Thailand

I finally got out and I had the option to move to the next section

Sampeng market Chinatown Bangkok Thailand

Instead, I wasn’t confident I’d find anything more worth buying and therefore, decided to end my Sampeng trek

Ratchawong road Bangkok Thailand

If you want to get a good starting point at Sampeng market, this is the road to get to first

Chinatown Bangkok morning Thailand

The main China Town area was just a few steps away

I still felt like ‘buying something,’ so decided to head back to my favourite ‘market’ in Thailand.

Silom way to Sathon Bangkok

Took a taxi to the nearest BTS station

Victory Monument from BTS Bangkok Thailand

Victory Monument, as seen from inside the train

Victory Monument Bangkok Thailand

Nichkhun Thai ad BTS skytrain commercial

“Thai Prince” Nichkhun was selling something (one of the many products he shills for in Thailand)

Chatuchak market roof Clock Tower Bangkok

Yup, back to Chatuchak market

Chatuchak market from above Bangkok Thailand

That’s what it looks like from up above

Chatuchak Park stage Bangkok

Walked past the park again

Chatuchak weekend market gate us Bangkok Thailand

I plunged in

Chatuchak market rock band t-shirts Bangkok Thailand

I was eying some more good t-shirts, among other things

Though most clothes shops sell more or less the same merchandise, there are a few (relatively speaking) independent studios selling something creative that sets them apart from the rest.

Paracetamol Studio t-shirts Chatuchak market Bangkok Thailand

This was one such shop

Called Paracetamol Studio, the guy in the photo above says he does all the drawings and art himself, and then prints them on t-shirts and bags. I really liked his art and ended up buying three t-shirts at ฿300 each. He wouldn’t allow for bargaining but if you bought more, the price per t-shirt comes down.

Ladies fashion boutique stores Jatujak market Bangkok Thailand

There are more such ’boutique’ stores

JJ market art studios paintings home furnishings Bangkok Thailand

You also have studios selling paintings and other works of art too

I just can’t recommend Jatujak market enough! There’s a reason why I like coming here. The variety of things you find is simply amazing. A lot of it is inexpensive and the rest, still rather affordable.

Jatujak Sunday market Bangkok Thailand

But do get here early in the morning if you plan to cover as much of this place as possible

Because despite coming here for a third time, I still can’t tell you how much of Chatuchak Weekend Market I have covered!

Chatuchak weekend market map Bangkok Thailand

If you asked me where Paracetamol Studio is located on this map, I couldn’t possibly tell you

So if you wish to return to a store you once shopped from, take my advice, note down the store number.

Chatuchak market Clock Tower Bangkok

This clock tower is one of the most important landmarks at Jatuchak. Important, because it stands high above the shops and can be used a point of reference in case you get lost (which will happen!)

Chatuchak market clock tower porters Bangkok Thailand

The clock tower is also where you can find porters in case you buy more than you can carry

Chatuchak weekend market cheap t-shirts clothes Bangkok Thailand

Jatujak weekend market shops Bangkok

It was lunch time and I reached the phase where one wonders if they are walking around in circles

Beeberry Mangosteen juice Chatuchak Bangkok

Tried this on the way out

Chatuchak market tattooed Thai famous crocodile skin Bangkok

This guy is a bit of a celebrity here at JJ market

Just as I was rushing out, I stopped by a store that sells genuine rock band t-shirts, many of which are seconds, but in very good condition and well washed. I finally managed to score a Def Leppard (my favourite band) Hysteria t-shirt and got it bargained down to ฿300 with the excuse it was my last night in Thailand. I was quite happy :)

Siam Paragon Krispy Kreme line doughnuts Bangkok

Back at Siam Paragon, there was still a big line for Krispy Kreme

I called up my friend Sawmteii as we had agreed to meet for lunch, but she was still busy with family.

Siam BTS interchange station Bangkok Thailand

Siam BTS interchange. One train plys the Siam line, the other, the Silom line

I therefore headed back to my room, freshened up and got my ticket printed for tonight’s Jay Park fan meet at Siam Paragon.

I have already written about the Jay Park fan meet in another post, which you can read here.

After the fan meet, I went to a supermarket to pick up snacks and other items to pack in now itself as I was leaving Thailand tomorrow.

2pm Nichkhun prawn crackers chips Thailand

Bought some prawn chips, and this one had Nichkhun and his fellow 2PM members on the packet

As I was packing and trashing unwanted covers, I ended up having a right laugh reading the instructions on the Chinese travel pillow I had bought from Sampeng earlier in the day.

Chinese travel pillow Sampeng Bangkok

:D

My Thai Airways flight was at night, so I still had tomorrow morning to do something. Which means, there’s one more post before I conclude this trip! :)

Final post in this series:

Thailand 2010: Damnoen Saduak Floating Market tour, Cobra show… and leaving Bangkok

Previous posts in this series:

Thailand 2010: Back to Bangkok — Chinatown, Patpong, Platinum Mall and Chatuchak Market

Thailand 2010: Pattaya — Beach road, Viewpoint, Jomtien Beach, Walking Street

Thailand 2010: Golden Triangle in Mae Sai; Chiang Rai’s White Temple (Wat Rong Khun)

Thailand 2010: Heading to Chiang Rai by bus, Wat Jedyod and Golden Clock Tower

Thailand 2010: Last day of Loi Krathong; Sunday Grand Parade (Day 4, Part 2)

Thailand 2010: Chiang Mai Zoo (Day 4, Part 1)

Thailand 2010: Chiang Mai Loi Krathong celebrations; first Grand Parade

Thailand 2010: Chiang Mai cooking class; Loi Krathong celebrations in Mae Jo, Sansai

Thailand 2010: First day in Chiang Mai for Loi Krathong; driving up Doi Suthep

Thailand 2010: Arriving in Bangkok and preparing for Loi Krathong in Chiang Mai

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1 comment

  1. The Indian guy fromTexas

    This is an interesting and commendable pictorial diary. My only regret. Here is a fellow Indian who seems to know next to nothing about the Sikh Religon and judging from his own comments has obviously no knowledge or even a clue about other Indian religions. I am a proud son of the Sikhs, but that never prevented me from reading and understanding Tulsi Dass’s ” RAM CHARIT MANAS”. At the age of 75 and after 4 decades in the USA, I can still recite, from memory, many stanzas of Ramayana (in old Hindi) and the Bhagwad Gita in Sanskrit. Recommend you visit the Sis Ganj Gurudwara on your next visit to Delhi for half a day- preferably on a Sunday and collect some informative books about the Sikhs. The Sikhs are as much a part of your heritage as it is mine. Best wishes.

    [Reply]

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