Date: 28th November 2010
I began today with a taxi ride to Phahurat Raod.
Drove towards Silom first
A lot of financial firms have offices in Silom
DTAC is Thailand’s second largest mobile service provider
Drove through China Town again
Got down at Chakphet road
Reached Pahurat road
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
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.
Kept wondering how much more I had to walk to find it…
…but there it was (finally!)
The ‘desis’ were in sight :)
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. All non-Sikhs have to cover their heads with a scarf, which they provide by the stairs in the main hall.
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.
The Sikhs were being their charitable self today with a blood donation camp
The 6-storey gurdwara is one of the largest outside India
The first floor is a Langar hall, where visitors and devotees had sat down for the free meals
The floor above it looked like it was hall used for weddings and other events
Above that was the main prayer hall
This kid was waiting for his chance to ‘photobomb’ this shot
The fourth floor is a school
The fifth floor was a hall with rooms…
… with priests (I assume?)
Not sure what this signifies or what they preach
That looked like a more accessible entry
I had reached the top
So naturally, I went back down
The sexes are segregated in order to maintain ‘concentration’ it seems
Assuming the prayers were over, I went down
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.
Stepped out to a world where samosas and spring rolls are sold side-by-side
Now to get back out…
I walked through the Pahurat textile market
I finally came out through here
Rajamangala University of Technology was across the road
Here’s a map to give you a better idea:
(Image source: Google Maps)
I moved on
I was on the hunt for Sampeng Market next
The traffic scene here is *quite* different from the Sukhumvit side
After a bit of asking around, I was directed to Sampeng Market.
This wasn’t the main entrance or anything. Just one of many lanes in.
Sampeng market is known to be an integral part of China Town
The lanes eventually all meet at one main straight path…
…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.
Today being a Sunday, it was very crowded!
Thus, very stuffy… and quite suffocating at times
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).
I finally got out and I had the option to move to the next section
Instead, I wasn’t confident I’d find anything more worth buying and therefore, decided to end my Sampeng trek
If you want to get a good starting point at Sampeng market, this is the road to get to first
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.
Took a taxi to the nearest BTS station
Victory Monument, as seen from inside the train
“Thai Prince” Nichkhun was selling something (one of the many products he shills for in Thailand)
Yup, back to Chatuchak market
That’s what it looks like from up above
Walked past the park again
I plunged in
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.
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.
There are more such ’boutique’ stores
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.
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!
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.
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!)
The clock tower is also where you can find porters in case you buy more than you can carry
It was lunch time and I reached the phase where one wonders if they are walking around in circles
Tried this on the way out
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
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. 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.
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.
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
Tags: Bangkok, chatuchak weekend market, gurdwara, Gurdwara Siri Guru Singh Sabha, jatuchak, jj market, little india, punjabis, sampeng market, sikhs, temple, thailand