Little India

Our stop off in Bangkok en route to Chiang Mai was pretty run-of-the-mill with Sangsom buckets on Khao San road, the obligatory visit to the reclining Buddha at Wat Po and lots of market shopping. Having been to Bangkok a few times and no doubt with more visits ahead of us we were keen to find something a little bit different to do. I really wanted to visit the Forensic Science Museum (think babies and severed limbs in jars) but much to my annoyance it was closed due to a national holiday that nowhere else seemed to be adhering to. Having just been to the Grand Palace but not actually going in due to the 500 baht charge for entry (I don’t think I’ve ever paid this but as I’ve never been there in high season I guess it’s due to that) I was a bit annoyed. We were spending the day going to places and looking at the outside of them but not actually going in. I was getting hungry and my hunger mixed with my pissed-off-ness at the museum being closed and the heat was resulting in my being in the most foul mood. We looked at a map and having previously read about it online we decided to find the place that is known as Little India; Pahurat area in Bangkok. We tried to take the boat to the right pier but even though we got the cheaper non-tourist boat (15 baht rather than 40 baht) it was still crazy full of tourists (who clearly all had the same money saving idea as us) and when we tried to disembark at the right pier it was physically impossible for us to get off, and so we ended up getting off at Chinatown and reluctantly taking a tuk tuk back to Pahurat but for only 50 baht and not having to be crammed in like sardines it was well worth it.

As we got closer we could smell the difference in the air a uuuuuj osd sssss000000000000000000003, see the difference in

Hahaha the kitten likes to jump up on the laptop, apparently she wants to contribute to the blog!

As I was saying… we could smell the difference in the air with the scent of fragrant Indian spices, people’s clothing changed, men wore turbans and everyone’s skin went a shade darker. Our tuk tuk driver pulled to the side of the road and gestured down a narrow lane that disappeared between to shops. “Nee, nee!”… “Here, here!”. We jumped off and turned down the lane, immediately coming across a deep fried crispy samosa seller. We didn’t buy any and I regret that. They looked good but we wrongly assumed that we would be find our way back and would exit the same way we arrived.

The main section of Little India is a criss-crossing maze of lanes between buildings, lined with shops and market stalls. Sari shops, flower shops, endless amounts of fabric shops, shops selling Hindu-Buddhist artifacts, henna for hands, beautiful bindi’s and dark black kohl to line your eyes. It was a sea of bright fiery reds, deep oranges, shocking pink and sunny yellow amid a backdrop of grey, damp, moldy back-of-shop-building walls. After walking around in what was probably a circle we found a little place to eat down a little lane and we chose some dishes to share and had a supply of freshly cooked naan and chapati to mop up the tasty curries with as we ate with our fingers, Indian style. All washed down with a fresh lassi as recommended by the owner. It was really really tasty, and a nice change from Thai food. I do love a good Indian and it’s something that we can’t get down in Hat Yai so we were both very happy and cleared our plates. It was cheap too – street food prices – and all the other Indian restaurants we had seen in Bangkok were pretty expensive. OK, so compared to the price of an Indian meal in the UK it was still cheap but we are used to a meal costing less than a quid, so the inflated Bangkok prices are a bit pricey for us in comparison!

As I said, we didn’t manage to retrace our steps back to the way that we had entered the market-maze and so we weren’t able to have any samosas *sad face*. But we were fat and full and happy so it was OK *happy, full of Indian food faces*.