A quiet revolution has taken place in Bangkok and one that has reinvented the Thai capital.
I last visited Bangkok in 2016 and since then, possibly because one was featured in The Hangover, rooftop bars are now all the rage. Significant floor spaces that were considered dead spaces have been transformed into chic and sophisticated rooftop bars and restaurants.
Mae Klong Railway Market
70Km from the hotel, the Mae Klong Railway Market is a quite unique. A market selling fresh fruit, veg, fish, clothes, snacks and drinks is alongside a single railway track. Every hour, the stallholders move their produce back and roll up the temporary shelters to allow a train to pass through to and from the Mae Klong railway terminus.
When the train is at the terminus, you can stand on the front and wander through the carriages. Once it's ready to make the return journey, it moves off steadily through the market. The sight is something special and exciting.
Nearby Mae Klong is a floating market which is basically a tourist trap. Narrow boats travel up and down the waterways passing numerous tourist shops along the way.
Boats are hired by the hour and are either long-tail (motorboats) or paddle boats with each their own 'driver'. Every waterway is clogged with boats carrying tourists and others selling fried food, fresh fruit or drinks.
Once you get clear of the small waterways lined first with stalls and then houses, the muddy brown waters broaden out. I've never felt comfortable on boats especially those that are low in the water; even though I can swim, the fear is being tipped into the water.
After suffering interminably, the boat returned to its dock and we went for lunch. My rule of thumb at restaurants in remote places catering, predominantly, to the tourist trade is go for anything fried.
I first went to Thailand in 1992 with a couple of friends. We stayed overnight in a hostel, then hired a car and drove north up to the Myanmar border by the river at Mae Son. The only reason I mention this is because the traffic then was awful and it took more hours to reach Bangkok centre than it had to be in the plane from Hong Kong.
That was nearly thirty years ago and yet in 2018 the traffic is still terrible. Utterly clogged. Even the building of an elevated railway has done little to counter the appalling congestion on the roads.
The pollution on the first day was the worst I'd ever experienced. I like Bangkok. I just don't know why it's so hard to implement anti-traffic and pollution measures. Plastic bags are used for everything too.