The canals to the west of the Chao Phraya river in Bangkok show a side of the city that feels a world away from the bustling streets and skyscrapers to the east. The stilted shacks that line the water’s edge are in varying levels of disrepair. Every so often we were surprised by the odd lavish home that just seemed completely out of place.
I suppose in that regard it’s just like the heart of the city, with poverty and wealth occupying the same space more often than not. Irrespective of the state of their home, every local we saw on our trip smiled at us as we rode past in our long-tail boat.
These were the smiles of people who did not benefit in any way from our tourism, who did not want anything in return. I think we could probably all learn something from this endearing quality of the Thai people and smile a little more at the people around us, regardless of whether we know them or not!
Have you visited the canals of Bangkok? What was your impression as you toured the waterways? Do you try to smile at the people around you?! I’d love to hear from you.
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