What is a Klong? Online dictionary describes this as: a canal in Thailand. Oh, but it is so much more!
Especially after a night on Soi 11 (BTS Nana) and one’s aversion to potent smells.
Please, if you are visiting Bangkok, do not Klong on any slight imbalance (ahem!)
We were naive though and off we went to the Klongs on a few hours sleep and a Food Panda order of bagels and coffee to our Condo door. Could we have made a worse decision? ‘We’ being the four of us and if you didn’t read my last blog, here’s a quick update. My amazing sister and her boyfriend came to Bangkok and woefully joined for this little excursion. Lucky them!
Approaching the Klong we crept under tunnel. Oh what a slap in the face! Good morning! Happy Sunday! THAT smell. Oh lord! It’s not even describable. Perhaps a mixture of Thai curry, sewage and.. Not even going there. Just picture this (it will be enough). My sister (Kate) was pretty much crying in the corner, refusing to go under the tunnel. But she was dragged kicking and screaming, whilst stuffing her fingers up her nose for one minute of blockage time in order to get through and not be sick at the side, adding to the good old Klongy colour.
The odd glance to each other after passing through said enough… Time to backtrack. Instead, we continued up the Klong to find somewhere with AC and a nice smell. Jim Thompson house restaurant was the first stop and we were placed at a table with a nice courtyard, fans and a little pond. Beautiful. We have been here before and definitely recommend going to JT house- it’s an interesting experience with lots of history.
Ah! Five minutes of niceness and a breeze. Four smoothies, kah.
What we didn’t realise was that over the other side of the bush we were next to was… The KLONG. Oh, and here comes a Klong boat, chugging along, bringing something with it. THAT smell. Mixed with a waft of heat! Tears streaming down her face, it was too much for Kate. An intervention was necessary:
We sat through five lots of Klong boats before opting to go inside. Why would you do that? Actually, we had a lovely lunch. Civilised, with AC and beer. Again, this is recommended on our BKK to do list.
The Klong boats are a cheap and quick way to get from one place to the next. With the traffic in BKK, it is clear to see why so many locals opt for this mode of transport. Apparently there are days when the smell is worse. We probably went on the worst day! If you can find a day when they don’t smell as bad, definitively go for it. You could even take inspiration from this blog with DIY ways to overcome the smell.
It’s amazing that we managed to get onto a Klong boat after the tears and the tantrums, but we did. A chuggy little cruise up and down the canal with the locals. You do see the poverty of the city here, but this makes you realise just how lucky you are. A reality check, for sure.
At the time we hated this day, but now we can’t stop laughing at it, using the word ‘Klong’ for pretty much everything. Isn’t it a great word?