Describing a trip
It is fun telling people about things you really know and with Google Street View you can actually show them what you are talking about. Follow along as I take my trip to work.
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It is fun telling people about things you really know and with Google Street View you can actually show them what you are talking about. (I recently posted an introduction to Google Street View Thailand and you might want to check that out before continuing: http://bit.ly/GSGa3c)
As an example, let’s take a very ordinary subject like my daily trip to work from near the end of Soi Ekamai to the Bangkok Post offices near the Khlong Toei market. It used to be quite long and frustrating, but from my taxi drivers, I’ve learned to take a few shortcuts. All the photos below, were taken off my computer screen as I travelled from my home to the Bangkok Post building using Google Street view.
Note: The Google Street View team must have gone out on a Sunday or a holiday because there is far less traffic than you would normally see on a workday.
My trip to work
Let’s start from outside my home on Soi Ekamai (Sukhumvit Soi 63). Normally, taxi drivers would turn left here towards Sukhumvit, but that takes us into heavy traffic, so I tell my driver to turn right.
We’ll only stay on Ekamai for about 100 metres before turning onto to Soi 21 for a short trip to Thong Lor (Sukhumvit Soi 55).
We could also turn on to Thong Lor going the normal way down Ekamai, but there is a traffic light there and it can be a very long wait indeed. Soi 21 (Soi Chaem Chan), shown above, is much quicker.
Soi 21 ends about a kilometre down the road and we then make a left turn onto Thong Lor.
The nice thing about Thong Lor is that there are no stoplights. Traffic is slowed by vehicles coming from side roads, but there is seldom a long wait. Thong Lor Soi 10, seen below (left side), is probably the worst spot as there are always a lot of cars turning on to the soi to get to Ekamai. Once you get beyond the soi, traffic is usually quite quick all the way to Sukhumvit where Thong Lor ends.
OK. We’ve reached Sukhumvit (below). Which way do we go now? Some “clever” taxi drivers want to turn right and then enter one of the many smaller sois to get to the Khong Toei market area. 15 minutes later after many turns through countless sois, they reach the Khlong Toei market which means waiting at least five more minutes for two stoplights to turn green. No thank you. Let’s turn left instead.
A big reason I take Thong Lor is that you can turn left on a red light. At Ekamai you are forced to take a right turn and, given the lengthy line of traffic, that can often mean a long, long, long wait.
We stay on Sukhumvit for less than a kilometre. Once we turn make our turn, we immediately move to the right-hand lane since we want to make a right turn onto Sukhumvit Soi 40 (above).
On Soi 40, it is a straight drive to Rama IV. Normally, the traffic won’t be this light, but you can still make good time – much better than twisting and turning through back Sukhumvit sois.
OK, we’ve reached Rama IV road. Straight ahead is Bangkok University and the Khlong Toei market is several kilometres to the right. If you have ever travelled on Rama IV, you will know that it can be quite congested. Let’s avoid that by going straight.
As soon as we cross Rama IV, we turn onto that small soi to the right – at the motorcycle taxi queue. You can also go straight, but this road is in better condition and there is less traffic.
We continue down the soi for about a kilometre and follow it as it turns to the left.
Now (above) we have reached a small soi known to the locals as “Thang Roi Fai Gaow” since, many years back, it was the site of a railway going to Samut Prakan. It is narrow, in rather poor condition, but unlike the parallel Rama IV, it has no stoplights. We’ll now turn right on to the soi.
We’ll stay on this small road for about three kilometres. We should be able to move along quite steadily although vehicles parked on both sides can narrow the road to a single lane in places, so we might have to wait for vehicles coming from the other direction.
Now we have just about reached the end of the road. To the left is one of Bangkok’s most popular inexpensive restaurants, “Raan Moo Thawt”, “Fried Pork” shop. There is always a line outside. To the right is the back entrance of Tesco Lotus Rama IV. Soon, we are going to turn left onto Kasem Rat Road.
We are now on Kasem Rat road about one kilometre from where we turned. We are getting ready to turn right onto Sunthorn Kosa road.
If we continued straight on Sunthorn Kosa, we would reach the 5-way Na Ranong intersection. We could then take a left on Soi Na Ranong and then go straight to the Bangkok Post building near the end of the soi. However, Sunthorn Kosa is often congested especially at the intersection. We are going to instead turn left onto Soi Tha Rua 2.
The soi is a short one, less than a kilometre. Next we turn right onto what appears to be a nameless, but very busy road.
The road is usually full of container trucks. This, after all, is a port area. Straight ahead, you can see the tollway bridge. We will shortly make a left turn, under the bridge onto Soi Na Ranong. We’ve almost reached our destination.
We’re now a little farther down the road and you can clearly see the bridge. You can also see the Loxley building, the main landmark on Soi Na Ranong.
We’ve just turned left onto Soi Na Ranong and the Bangkok Post building is only about one kilometre straight ahead.
There it is with its big “Post Today” sign on top.
“Turn right where the guard is standing,” I tell the taxi driver.
We made it. Total time from start to finish is normally 20-25 minutes.
ordinary – not unusual or different in any way ธรรมดา, ปกติ
frustrating – making you feel annoyed and impatient because you are prevented from achieving something or you can’t do anything about something
shortcut – a quicker or shorter way of getting to a place ทางลัด
normally – usually; in normal circumstances โดยปกติ, ตามปกติ
congested – too blocked or crowded and causing difficulties แน่นขนัด
spot – the particular place where someone or something is ที่, สถานที่
countless – very many; too many to be counted มากเหลือคณานับ
given – because of a particular fact
immediately – happening right after something else with no delay; right away ทันที
avoid – to try to prevent something from happening หลีกเลี่ยง
motorcycle taxi queue – a place where a group of motorcycle taxi drivers wait for customers
condition – the physical state of a person, animal, thing or place สภาพ
locals – people who live in a particular place ชาวบ้าน
narrow – not wide; having a small distance from one side to the other, especially in comparison with the length แคบ
parallel – when the distance between two lines, roads, etc. is the same all along their length ขนาน
steadily – gradually and in an even and regular way อย่างแน่วแน่
popular – a situation in which someone or something is liked by many people เป็นที่นิยม, เป็นที่ชื่นชอบ
inexpensive – not expensive มีราคาถูก
intersection – a place where roads, lines, etc., join or cross each other สี่แยก
port – an area of water where ships stop, including the buildings around it ท่าเรือ
destination – the place where someone or something is going จุดหมายปลายทาง
landmark – a building or place that is easily recognised, especially one which you can use to judge where you are สถานที่ที่เป็นจุดสังเกต
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