Silom, and Patpong
Silom Road makes up part of Bangkok's commercial district and is one of the busiest roads in the city and jammed up for much of the day. On Friday night, traffic levels were perhaps just a 1/3 or 1/4 of what you would expect. And it wasn't just the roads that were quiet. What is normally a drudge, fighting your way along the footpath, in between vendors selling junk and those pesky touts offering adult DVDs, what is usually amongst the most congested pedestrian walkways was quiet.
Not unexpected, by the time I made it to Patpong it was very quiet indeed, which is really saying something for Patpong hasn't been busy in years.
Patpong was so quiet in fact that there were many holes in the market where vendors hadn't set up for the night. Was their absence due to less visitors or because the vendors have been so inconvenienced by the floods that getting to work from some far flung district of the city that is sitting under water has become just too difficult?
Some of the protective barriers outside Patpong bars were so small that it looked as if they were almost for show! The Patpong area has flooded before and archived photos available online show water lapping up at the entrances to bars with girls with 70s haircuts standing in the doorway laughing. I imagine the reaction wouldn't be much different today.
This sort of ugly flood protection barrier seems to be de rigueur in venues and such has popped up all over town. Legendary Patpong bar / restaurant Madrid, which some old-timers claim has some of the best (and certainly most reasonably priced) pizzas in all of Thailand has joined the club with protective brickwork outside the main door.
The water may or may not be coming but there seems to be little concern with bar staff having a whale of a time. Usually the threat of a camera anywhere near the entranceway to bars gets Patpong bar staff all upset but no-one seemed bothered by the camera pointed in their direction.
It's just another day in paradise and life on the streets of Bangkok, in this case Silom Road, just around the corner from Patpong, goes on. While the threats of flood waters just a few kilometers away inundating their places of work and homes loom, Bangkokians, in typical fashion, don't seem to be giving it much thought at all! If you had never visited the city before, you wouldn't know!
At Patpong and in the Silom area it was quiet, but other than that really seemed to be business as usual…