The sinking of Bangkok and Bangkok sidewalks

Walking in Bangkok is quite an adventure. Requires lot of experience and training to be able to manage the walk safely.

First, when you’re lucky enough to find some sidewalks, they’re usually very uneven, not that I’m pointing fingers at Bangkok administration here, they sure have a tough job maintaining them for at least two reasons:

– Bangkok keeps sinking, about 3 cm a year. And 3 cm every year is a lot, within 10 years, the ground is one foot below the tiles. And the tiles will have collapsed long before . It actually happened at the back of my house in Bangkok. There is a one foot gap in between the ground and the tiles. And the tiles indeed collapsed. Solution to that, do not fix the tiles with cement so that they follow the sinking ground.

– And here comes the second problem, since you can’t fix the tiles, they’re loose. And if they’re loose, well, anybody can pick them up easily. Have you ever noticed some people on a pick-up truck stealing tiles from the sidewalks during the night in Bangkok? I did. A pity I have no picture.

And if you manage to avoid falling on the sidewalk because of the uneven terrain or the missing tiles, you still need to avoid being run over by a bicycle, or worse, a motorbike.

I think having long legs helps managing the dangers. Although I sure do not recommend wearing high heels on Bangkok sidewalks, it sure requires years of training. Foreign girls, please forget about it. Probably the reason why I see so many foreigners wearing flip-flops. They actually know.

And as said at the beginning, you can only find sidewalks on the main streets of downtown Bangkok, if going to any small sois, actually going to almost any sois, you’re on your own. No more sidewalk, walking is on the road. Or pretty close to it anyway, in the best of cases.

And if pretty dangerous during the day, well, during the night, doing it means you probably just do not have any other choice.

But this is Bangkok, you’ve got a 7-Eleven every few hundred meters, usually with a bench, so you can always rest there and recover before taking the next walking challenge.

The day photos were taken with the Canon 7D and the Canon lens 24-105mm. The night photos were taken with the Canon 450D and the Canon lens 50mm f1.6

One thought on “The sinking of Bangkok and Bangkok sidewalks

  1. Andy

    The worst sidewalk I have encountered in Thailand was on Ko Samui, where a sewage hole was completely open right on the sidewalk, injury would be inevitable if walking without looking down then.

    But even Bangkok isn’t made for walking – no wonder with most Thai avoiding walking and taking car, tuk tuk, cab or motorcycle whenever possible – I enjoy exploring the city by foot. It’s a great way to get a feeling for the real life in the city and see places no tourist ever visits.

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