As I was staying at the Ramada Plaza Menam Riverside in Bangkok, the Asiatique was a short walk away. I spent two nights walking around the place and I quite liked it. This was my second stay at Ramada Plaza but I could not go to The Asiatique on the first visit. On that trip we could come back quite late at night and simply go and crash. The Asiatique is open from 5.00 pm to 12 .00 midnight.
As I was there at Songkran, the water festival was in full flow around Asiatique. But people don’t splash water in the malls so my camera and I was safe inside Asiatique.
For me the prime attraction was the Asiatique Sky, the giant wheel which completely dominates the skyline. The ticket cost is 300 baht which is roughly 600 rupees. I went for a spin and I had the whole cabin to myself.
It was the standard procedure to give the camera to the cabin attendant for a picture. I too happily posed. I was happy to see the night lights of Bangkok from the sky wheel. I was also happy to photograph Songkran Festival from the safety of my car!
If you like to click street pictures you will find Asiatique a happy place. Everyone clicks pictures so no one will take any particular notice if you too took out your camera!
If you are craving for Indian food there are Indian restaurants within The Asiatique. There are regular big fast food chains present as well. When I visited, there was a street food festival going on and I tried that for my dinner on both the nights!
There was a stall devoted entirely to vegetable fries and that was an obvious choice for me. It tasted good as well.
Green Papaya Salad can be another option for vegetarians. I would just tell the vendors not to use anything related to fish in my portion.
And if everything else fails, there is always mango sticky rice! I ate it after the fries. On the second night I ate noodles where I told the lady not to add any fish or meat to it. She was happy to prepare one for me only with vegetables. And then I followed it up with mango sticky rice again!
If you can eat eggs you will have even more choice! A vendor used the discarded egg shells as a decoration for his stall as he would go about making the egg dishes.
The street food stalls were doing brisk business! I was happy to stroll around and click pictures!
The more organized side of Asiatique has a lot of shopping but I didn’t buy anything from there. At the entrance there were some street musicians playing beautifully. At one point I found this curious place where people placed their love locks! I enjoyed myself thoroughly on both the nights I went to Asiatique. I anyway love walking. It was also a lot of fun because I could walk back to my hotel Ramada Plaza from Asiatique!
PS. I was invited on this trip by TAT New Delhi!
While I was going to the Great Rann of Kutch from Mandvi, I asked My Siddiqui (the taxi owner and driver) to stop somewhere on the way for breakfast. A little ahead of Mandvi he stopped at a roadside stall and asked if I would eat something there. I had a small restaurant in my mind but I have no qualms about having a roadside breakfast. It is water that scares me more as I have had almost all waterborne disease in my childhood. And I am in no hurry to repeat the experience. I settled on Dhokla and tea. There were two stalls next to each-other on the road. There was a bench behind the stall where I planted myself. For tea, the person from this stall yelled to another person across the road who was making tea.
While I was waiting, I realized it was a bus stop of sorts. Two young girls came and asked if the Bhuj bus had already left? When the answer was in the affirmative, they settled down on the nearby benches asking for some snacks. Before that there were people who actually managed to catch the 8.00 am Bhuj bus.
The dhokla was surprisingly nice, the chilies contrary to their looks not too hot. Once I finished this lot they asked me if I would like to have some more? I am not a morning person at all, so I said thank you and declined even though the dhoklas were really good.
Then came the tea vendor, with my tea in his kettle. He started filling up the up and I was wondering how tiny it was. I am used to mugs of tea rather than tiny cups. When he filled it to the brim, I reacted thinking it will spill over. Then I remembered that in Gujarat you were supposed to drink from the saucer and not the cup! I carefully sipped the overfull cup without spilling a drop, I needed all of it. It was surprisingly good tea, with less sugar, the way I like it. It was the kind of breakfast that you yearn for on a lazy Sunday when you are sitting at home on a quiet day.
Even before I started reading about anything related to photography I liked to fill my screen with stuff. For me it always makes for a good picture. Both the pictures featuring today are from Haridwar.
We were walking back to our bus after rafting when we crossed many street side stalls. I have always been amazed with the display that the street vendors put. They are a delight to photograph.
And next to the trinkets were these delicious looking popcorn. And with the pile the vendor had it was not at all difficult to fill my entire screen with them!
I am no street photographer, I am really scared of clicking people. But I am not so timid when it comes to clicking the stuff displayed by street vendors on the road. Sometimes when I click a picture they ask me to click one of them as well. I will start with apple and oranges.
I was actually walking with my daughter in Chennai and that means I would not have time to take out the SLR and compose anything. But this arrangement was so tempting that I used my cell phone (a Nokia X7) to click the picture. I am often amazed at the presentation of the goods by the street vendors.
This was also clicked on the same walk, we had actually gone to the local market to buy some dresses (not for me) and while walking I had a great time clicking with my cell phone.
This was a colorful rangoli (also known as kolam) in front of someone’s home and I had to stop and click again. My daughter wanted to mess it all up and play with it but I was able to restrain her without any damage to the rangoli.
This one was clicked just outside Marina Beach in Chennai. It was the first time for my daughter at sea and she had a gala time. We actually ate these cobs as well and they were really good!
Living in India I am no stranger to mangoes. But the way these were presented, I have not seen it before. I also saw some of them smeared with chili but could not take a picture. The last two pictures were taken from my SLR but in very low light.
So even though I can never do street photography in the traditional sense, this is the closest I will ever come to it!