Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Ode to BKK: Hidden Beauty

[This entry is recycled from a "photo blog" I posted on Facebook last April, just around the Songkran Festival. Few of my Facebook friends must've read this before but today I'm sharing it on the blog as part of the series on BKK. I think the post captures my mood when I took these photos, showing how, in myriad forms, the city kindles inspiration even in the most unlikely places.]

I walked from the Democracy Monument to my building last Saturday afternoon. The streets were pretty empty. Most people of the city were away for the Buddhist New Year.

I found my self in a neighborhood of shop-houses, which are some of my favorite architectural features of Bangkok particularly in Ratanakosin Island and the adjoining area.

That afternoon, I was lucky to see more than just the rows of shop-houses that were mostly shuttered for the long holiday anyway.

I stumbled into an old building that did not look traditionally Thai to me, I guess constructed at the turn of the century when Bangkok went through a major face lift, including the addition of many Western-style buildings.

I remember being drawn to the building several times before while riding a cab, but not until last Saturday did I see it up close. I’ve always wondered what it was for. Clearly, it is not being used at the moment, perhaps for many years now.

Its beauty is not lost though, especially in its splendid details of floral motifs on the grills and on the reliefs generously adorning its facade, together with cherubs’ faces on its columns. On the second floor, green windows give the structure a streak of color while an ornate arch serves as its crown.

Turning right on Dinso street, I crossed the canal in Saphan Wan Chat where I saw this arched bridge spanning the fetid, muddy water. A tree is on one side of the canal, its red flowers seemingly put afire by the setting sun.

The juxtaposition of the graceful curve of bridge and the radiance of the tree, both reflected on the putrid waterway, is entrancing, an image that one often finds in the most unlikely corners of Bangkok if you keep your eyes open.


Was Once said...

You're a budding sentimentalist...
thanks for more hidden beauty.

Anonymous said...

What beautiful flame trees!

kawadjan said...

Was Once: Oh, Filipinos are all-out "sentimentalists".

Anonymous: I know, right?


Blog Widget by LinkWithin