Evening Walk to the Shrines

I’ve been ill all week which has caused me to neglect the blog a bit.  But I have been fairly active despite the illness as I often felt better outside than cooped-up in my apartment.  Thus I have a number of update articles to write, this being the first.

I got out of the house rather late Sunday afternoon and set off using a shortcut I’d found via Google Earth — a back way through meandering sois, crossing Bang Yai Canal, and emerging onto Thepkassatri Road between Ford Motor showrooms.  This will bring me into the heart of Old Town much quicker than via Suthat and Montri Roads.  I cut through Wat Puttamongkon and headed down Yaoworat Road towards Nam Pu Circle.  Along the way I came across a beautiful but abandoned colonial-style house behind the shophouses of Yaowarat.  It’s accessible through a sort of tunnel, the previous owners’ private driveway, and guarded by several extremely loud dogs.  Luckily, the fiercest of these was chained so I ventured close enough for several photos.

Arriving on Ranong Road I first checked-out the fresh market which stretches behind the buildings towards Krabi Road and bought several pieces of satay to much on while I walked.  There was an empty stage across from the new multiple-level market complex (which looks like a car park) and a banner advertising Tuesday and Wednesday’s Por Tor celebration.  I felt my best chances of viewing the famed red turtles offered to the “hungry ghosts” (Chinese ancestors) would be to make my way to one of the Chinese temples at the end of Soi Phuthorn (which intersects with Ranong Road).  Along the way I got sidetracked by some chanting occurring within Wat Khachonrangsan.  There were several groups of large burning candles outside the main hall and a number of people inside worshiping.  I tried to take a few photos of a large Buddha image through the open doors.

By the time I arrived at Pud Jow Shrine and it’s neighbor — Jui Tui Shrine — nothing much was going on.  There were a few devotees dressed in white chanting in a room containing several statutes of Chinese deities but otherwise the shrines were empty.  I decided I would try again either Tuesday or Wednesday and then headed off in search of dinner.  There were several potential restaurants along the way, particularly The Natural, but not really conducive to dining alone.

In the end, I ate once again at The Cook on Phang Nga Road.  Already experiencing the wonderful penne I felt now was the time to try a hamburger.  I wasn’t certain if it came with fries (turns out that it does) so I ordered an egg salad as an appetizer.  This was large enough to constitute a meal in itself; I was quite surprised because of the low price.  I’d ordered an egg cheeseburger and it arrived rather quickly and looked glorious.  Before I arrived in Thailand, I’d never thought of having a fried egg on a burger but it’s a common topping here.  Most restaurants will put an egg on that has obviously been sitting around for ages.  Not so The Cook.  This egg was fried up fresh and the juice of the yoke ran all over the plate once I halved the burger, providing nice liquid to contract the dryness of a slightly overdone burger.  It was quite messy but very delicious; the bun held up to the onslaught of juices and didn’t disintegrate until the very end.  The fries were nothing to write home about.

The next time I visit The Cook I plan to tackle one of their pizzas.  I’ve heard raves about such flavors as tom yam gung and durian pizza; I’m anxious to try the banana pizza, perhaps adding a bit of ham and pineapple…

Returning home via the “back way” definitely shaves some time off of the walk and I discovered yet another mini-mart around the corner from my apartment — not as well-stocked as a 7-Eleven but will serve as an alternate source for sodas when the nearer supermarket is closed in the evenings and Sundays.

Although I didn’t see much in the shrines pertaining to the Por Tor Festival, I was happy to get out and about following nearly a week of feeling sick.  My illness stretched into the following week as well but despite this I was fairly active Monday morning and Wednesday night as future posts will explain…

Daily Writing Totals:
This Article – 740 words
Total Today — 740 words

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