[52] Bangkok (1) – Taking off with dry feet

There were many reasons to come back to Bangkok, but as it goes while travelling, plans and reasons change, which is what I think when standing frozen on the street between two military guys. Shit happens, or not?

One of the main reasons I wanted to come back to Thailand, and moreover to Bangkok, is because of the Bangkok Climate Talks which were held lately, in the run up to the COP24. Hence, spending the time in Bangkok while the real Climate Conference of the Parties was held in Katowice, Poland, seemed to me the most appropriate location. Moreover, since Katowice itself is a coal-fired city, so let’s save my lungs for the polluted air of Bangkok rather than the one of Polish coal plants.

This climate conference is crucial for the planet and for humanity, since the planet might survive climate change, and after a while recover of it, humans might not, but more about that in the next posts.

bangkok - cycling on King's day

Dry Feet

Another reason to come here is because of climate change is hitting Bangkok heavily as many other South East Asian coastal cities. There is, for instance, the stronger monsoon, which is apparently affecting the south at the moment of writing more than it should do; the rising sea level and the urban heath island effect.

Nonetheless, the city as well took its precautions by about a year ago constructing a huge water reservoir under the Chulalongkorn Centenary Park in order to keep the feet dry when heavy rain floods the city.

Bangkok - image of the king and bike parked

Freezing Feet

But the reason why I’m freezing now – even though it is over 30 degrees for sure – has indirectly to do with this kind of resilience strategies as well. However, I’m not too sure if this is about resilience, and even if it is an environmental related strategy. Feel free to have your own opinion on it, I just share you mine.

Today is a special day to honour the King of Thailand, which is a highly respected and honoured man in the country. But the way how he is celebrated today is very special to me; have a look at my thoughts.

Rather than creating a huge parade of fancy cars, he freed up some of the main roads in Bangkok in order to create a huge pedestrian and cyclists only zone. Between 3pm and 7pm registered cyclists could join the cycling parade, which was accompanied by – take a guess – electric cars (at least most of them). Further on, the statues and decoration around the road where bikes and flowers.

I’m not sure if he is making a statement, or if it should be read as one, but I would love to.  So, being frozen on the road, nobody is allowed to move, when the parade passes, especially during the first part, I might like this kind of honouring, cyclists, electric cars, and a bunch of silence. Welcome in Thailand.

Bangkok - traffic free streets kings' day

 

 

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