Saturday, October 19, 2013

Secret Garden of Bangkok

Knowing a local in a foreign city is always a good thing. He speaks the language hence nothing is lost in translation when you are ordering food or bargaining for a cheap deal. Most of all, he knows the city like the back of his hand and would be able to bring you to experience the city's hidden gems. 

I've been to Bangkok numerous times. Talking about the city of Bangkok, some of the things that pop into my mind instantly would be the hustling and bustling of the traffic, throngs of people rushing along the streets and dancing the nights away partying hard. The city is always abuzz with such intoxicating energy and excitement. I love Bangkok for that.

How about a green lung just a 15-minute drive from the city center and a 5-minute boat ride across the Chao Phraya river? 

Yes, this green lung is real. It exists!

the place is called Bangkachao and it's is a peninsular on the Chao Phraya delta, an area gazetted in the 70s by the royal family to preserve the traditional self-sustain of Thai living. There are rustic country homes on stilt and quiet little temples amidst bananas grooves, mangoes farms and coconuts plantations. The mangroves forrest along the edge of the river and lush green forrest and parks are home to various bird species and reptiles. It's truly a secret garden of Bangkok.

Within this green space is a labyrinth of narrow pathways on stilts, making exploring Bangkachao on bicycle a no-brainer. We rented bicycles and roamed around leisurely, enjoying the quiet surrounding. The green foliage dampened the noise and madness of the city completely. The sounds audible were the chirping of the birds, dancing of the trees in the breeze and the squeaking of our bikes. Surrounded by such lush green, Bangkok seemed like thousands of miles away. 

Now I think of Bangkok, I can actually associate lush green serenity with it too. I'd never ever know about Bangka Chao if not for my friend, A who lives in Bangkok. Thank you A for showing me Bangka Chao

Another good thing knowing a local, you get driven around. My friend A has a car!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


Protection seen on the road, whether it is against a deadly disease in Gisenyi, Rwanda or some evil spirits in Bangkok, Thailand. It might be foolish to trick ourselves into believing that we are somehow invincible, but don't you think we must do all the possible best to protect ourselves? And then some.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Photo of the Week

While sorting and archiving my photos over the weekend, I came across this one that I snapped in a cafe during a day trip to Melaka back in last June. The picture totally summed up how I felt for the whole last week, especially during daylight hours! A whole week, days and nights devoted to sieving through volumes reports and capturing tonnes of figures and converting those into a presentation, all due to the incompetency of a colleague in delivering presentation. 

Well, shit happens at work all the time everywhere, isn't it? Be it in Juba or KL or NYC.

Good thing that we get a long weekend here in Juba till Tuesday, for the Eid ul Adha festivity. It's time to play catch-up on shut-eye. 

Sometimes, the universe works in a mysterious way.

Zzz... Zzz...

Friday, October 11, 2013

Overheard #28

"Long days, short weeks."

That's life in Juba.

The weekend is here again! Time to knock back a couple!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Slow Down

Most of the time, we are in such a struggle just to stay afloat, if not drown, in the choppy waves of madness of meetings, powerpoints and spreadsheets, traffics, bills and deadlines. So violently we are sloshed around breathless, a minute reaching out of the water gasping for air, the next minute pulling in by the undertow gulping water. Everything seems to be in such frantic chaos. 

We forget our passions, our purpose and our family. We forget that life is a heck lot larger than this craziness. We forget how to stay still, how to lay quietly, how to take in the view. We forget hope. We forget everything.

Then that would be the beginning of our painful end.

So once in awhile, slow down. Take a minute to feel the sun and smell the grass and hear the wind and taste the air and look into the horizon afar.