I'm here 20km west of Bangkok for the pro-democracy protests. They've sealed off Thanon Utthayan, a long wide highway with a canal running down the middle, set up stages in the middle, and the protest is in the west most 2km of road.
It's a great location, with a gigantic park just across the 3310 highway, and since I'm here for 2 days, I get time to explore this park, well at least parts of it!
At the center of the park stands a giant standing Buddha statue, with intricate topiary, large green area, lakes, picnic areas, and temples all around.
You can rent bicycles from the office on most days, but not today, the red protests mean the park is setup for the protests, with overspill areas if the road becomes too full, and the roads inside are full of cars and trucks parked for visitors that came from far.
I've parked along the east side of Thanon Uttayan and walk the full 2km length of the protest to get to the park. I'm going to be doing a lot of walking today, I can see.
Saturday, I'm exploring the Buddha statue and inner circle. This area is badly connected, the lakes cut off a lot of this section from the rest of the park, and so it's best to explore this as a separate section. I visit the Salas around the edge of the Buddha statue, some for shade, and some have culture, with statues of famous Kings.
At the day drags on, and the sun goes down, I find a restaurant on the 3310 street opposite the park and eat some grilled salted fish, to recharge myself from all the walking, ready to rejoin the protest group. I'll come back to the park tomorrow and explore more.
Sunday, I buy some BBQ chicken, rice and papaya salad from the street stalls outside, and take plenty of the free protest water bottles, to head off into the park for a picnic. Aiming to go around the Buddha statue to the quiet areas behind, I avoid the mistake of heading straight for the Buddha statue.
A picnic table with a sink to wash your hands around the north of the inner loop lets me enjoy my lunch with shade from a tree. But today is hot, and I seek out a shaved ice desert to cool me down. The seller has a traditional ice shaver, a large block of ice turned against a blade to shave off the ice for my desert.
I keep going and find a temple with large stone tablets with Buddhist prayers writ in gold lettering. Is this a temple or an aviary? Birds fly around everywhere inside and bird song fill the halls. Outside the lakes are filled with fish, and fish food is sold if you want to feed them.
I've made a computer wallpaper for today for your desktop (link).
Lucky for me bike riders can ferry me around the park, so I go explore some of the other areas, the bamboo garden and outside of the lakes. This place is too big to really walk.
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