Unique Sights in Bangkok: Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

Inspired by the title of the utterly hilarious 80’s flick, Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, I’ve decided to devote this post to some of the more unusual sights in the city. 😛

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

These landmarks are not necessarily on everyone’s radar, but they definitely should be. 😀

First up, we’ll start with trains.

Trains: Hua Lamphong Train Station 

Over the weekend, the Hua Lamphong train station in Bangkok celebrated its 100th anniversary.

Italian Neo-Renaissance architecture

My co-worker and I stopped by to check out the event held for the occasion, which included traditional Thai dance performances, handicraft stalls, and a chance to view their vintage steam trains.

adorable boy playing with model train; women in traditional Thai dress (white lace tops with vibrant JonGrabaen capri length silk pants)
woman selling Thai desserts (banana leaf wrapped sticky rice with black beans and coconut milk); man selling handicrafts made from coconut leaves
20th century steam engine train
1935 Hitachi motor

We even walked onto the new VIP train, thinking it was allowed, since we saw other people on it. 😕

27815637542_931df956d7_zTurns out that was actually the Prime Minister of Thailand and we were quickly told to get off. Whoops! 😮

VIPs with the Prime Minister of Thailand

Hua Lamphong is currently still in operation, with diesel trains arriving each day from all over the country. In fact, over the past decade, this station has served as the point of arrival for rural workers, who have come to Bangkok seeking employment. They even have a government-run employment office in the station, and apparently a barber shop as well. I guess you’ve gotta make a good first impression. 😉
27815637632_fe98605aa6_zNow we didn’t get any hair cuts during our visit, but since the station is so close to Chinatown, my friend was able to get her eyebrows done. 😛
27815637502_807a8c869d_zThe technique involves using thread to gently remove the hairs, and chalk to increase visibility.27304988634_998280beff_zCost: $3 USD
Next up, let’s move on to planes.

This weekend my friend and I also did some urban exploring at Bangkok’s airplane graveyard, an utterly creepy junkyard filled with old, abandoned airplanes.

Planes: Airplane Graveyard

27916865065_c67f2d69b4_bEssentially, these are decommissioned jets, including a Boeing 747 left to rot in an empty junkyard on the outskirts of town.27916865035_225c4af085_zThe airplanes have been stripped down to the shell, covered in graffiti and weeds, becoming one with the urban landscape surrounding them. 27917401255_d4f6a8a4d4_z
27917531555_9d67c80904_zThe graveyard is unique considering the obscure location, very disconnected from the international airport, surrounded by high rise condos and a school. 27304483644_eb4e475b52_z
27917532015_e6be396237_zAnyway, after meandering the overgrown grounds, we decided to go in for a closer look.

stripped cock pit

27917401175_5d90cc8a3a_zBy far the highlight was stepping onto the abandoned Boeing 747. 27304483764_9f85911e07_z27917532755_a645183feb_zIt was incredibly creepy walking around the aircraft, almost like we had walked on after a plane crash. 😮DSC_3106We were even able to take a ladder up to the second level.27917532345_19d5820c9c_zOxygen masks seen eerily hanging from their overhead bins. 😮27917533295_33aec8b57c_zI think it may be too late for that. 😛

“Place the mask upon yourself before helping others.” 😛
//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js “Make sure mask is fit securely and head towards your nearest exit.” 😛

I actually found out about this place after reading an article on CNN about how some people live in these abandoned planes.27315583813_7372b28655_zIt makes a lot of sense considering the shelter and security they provide. As such, these “residents” of the airplane graveyard do charge a 6 USD entrance fee, but considering their lifestyle (the woman wore a tattered sarong and only had one tooth), I felt like at least the money was going to people in need.
27305254464_dd5e71aaec_zLastly, let’s talk about automobiles.

Automobiles: Vintage Night Market 

Now Bangkok is notorious for their night markets, and this has to be one of the coolest yet.27465753316_33b8e40aa5_bRod Fai Market combines food, shopping and music, all with a vintage twist.27465753356_812b70ebc8_bNot only do they have vintage bikes on display, they’ve converted the cars into trendy restaurants and bars. 27465753256_c62968debc_b27400891932_3825715614_bThey had a lot of traditional Thai foods for sale, but also these bizarre eats: deep-fried century eggs. 😮
27465753416_a0e350155a_bI’m usually a fan of bizarre eats, and these are a known delicacy, but there is controversy as to whether their preservation methods are toxic (occasionally using harmful copper sulphate), so I decided to pass this time around. :/

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed learning about these unusual sights and they inspired you to do a little exploring of your own.

Still to come, I hope to update you on changes to our teaching methodology at school. As well, I have two big trips planned for July: a week-long adventure in Chiang Mai province and a weekend getaway to Sukhothai. Until then. Have a great week everyone! 😀

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