THAILAND : The Shopping Never Waivered – in the Land of Smiles !


The Shopping Never Waivered – in the Land of Smiles.

We’d descended the stairs from the Skytrain at Mo Chit station, in the rising April heat,  just 3 hours after landing in the Thai capital Bangkok.  At 8.30am, we made our way from the busy street frontage into the bustling Chatuchak Weekend Market., spread over 35 acres of land in the north of the city. Luckily, we only made a modest incursion into the 15,000 stalls and a couple of it’s 27 diverse sections.  We made it ahead of the 200,000 visitors who throng there daily.

Shopping in Asia can be so cheap.

Shopping in Asia can be so cheap.

From the moment we arrived, until we left some 2 hours later against the flow, my sister Janet, eyes popping at the sheer variety of elephant patterned trousers at 100 baht, the shopping began in earnest. Unable to believe just how cheap everything was compared with the UK, she vacuumed up all before her. This one, for our sister June; those for the grand-children.  The shopping was to continue apace until safely through check-in for the TG 916 at Savarnabhumi  Airport 19 days later, determined  to resist at all costs the glittering array of designer goodies, they made their way to the departure gate and home.

Spoilt for choice

Spoilt for choice

Still not believing that she was in an Asian bargain basement, some days later Janet was joined by my wife Runge, after we’d crossed the Cha Prya river from Wat Arun, stopping at an Aladdin’s cave neither of them could ignore.  The polite lady owner must have thought that all her Christmases had come at once, as they scooped up small coloured fabric elephants, key-rings and other souvenirs, negotiating favourable price reductions and loading up their ‘porters’  – Richard and Tony. ‘

Wanting to visit the weekend market had meant a quick turn round on arrival at the Eastin Grand Hotel, after checking in.  We decided to pack a great deal into the first day and having arrived at a busy hotel before most guests had checked out, we piled on  to the adjacent Skytrain.  Not surprisingly we arrived back at the hotel after a couple of hours and still had a little time before the rooms were ready. The comfortable sofas in the foyer were not wasted !

After a 6,000 mile flight and early morning shopping out '[ three wise monkeys ' collapsed in a heap for a snooze.

After a 6,000 mile flight and early morning shopping our ‘ three wise monkeys ‘ collapsed in a heap for a snooze.

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Thai New Year celebrations include throwing water at passers-by at the hottest part of the year in April


Songkjran celebrations - these children score a direct hit on a passing cyclist

Songkran celebrations – these children score a direct hit on a passing cyclist

YET TO COME – A Glimpse

Richard and Janet’s first taste of Thailand had been hot ( 41c – feels like 50 ); strong spices, chillies and Rambutan – no problems there; swaying along atop an elephant by the River Kwai; scrambling up the steps from the railway from hell, at Hintok’s Hellfire Pass.  None of this phased either of them. Being  honorary members of a Thai family, attending a magical Thai wedding.  This heady mix of experiences had been a fabulous introduction, leaving them wanting more – soon !

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Feeling the heat ? a young elephant at Tawachee Elephant Camp, Kanchanaburi Province takes a rest

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Janet taking a trunk call !

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An early morning journey over the route of the infamous Thailand to Burma railway.

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Richards meets a durian.

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Nongki Temple Isan

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A DAY TO REMEMBER – Art & Gift’s formal wedding group, Rayong, Thailand, 21 April 2018

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Richard and Janet at Wat Arun – The Temple of Dawn – Bangkok, Thailand.

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Wat Arun, Bangkok, Thailand, A visitor poses in front of a highly decorated statue.

Words & Pictures : Tony Knight photography & MEDIA

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GOLDEN WEDDING CELEBRATIONS – Janet & Richard Smith – in their golden year of celebrations !

Celebration Cake

Celebration Cake showing Richard and Janet on their wedding day on Saturday 9th March 1968, after the ceremony at St Paul’s Church, Winchester

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They’re making eyes at me !

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Oh Grandma ! What Big Eyes You’ve Got !

Pictures to celebrate a lifetime together over 50 years !  It’s a year of celebrations.  Later in the year Janet and Richard will fly to Thailand to celebrate the marriage of her brother’s nephew and back to the UK to attend the wedding of their nephew’s wedding.180310 web 9507 JR 50 copyThese pictures were taken at a family dinner at The White Horse, Netley Marsh, Southampton to celebrate their Golden Wedding attended by three generations of the family.   180310 web 9531 JR 50 copy180310 web 9509 JR 50 copy180310 web 9525 JR 50 copy


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Janet Smith : Portrait Tony Knight photography & MEDIA

Janet Smith

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An opportunity to learn a smattering of Thai language.

Preparing for Art &Gift’s wedding in Thailand, Janet with her bespoke Thai costume, made in Thailand especially for the occasion and flown to Winchester. A perfect fit !180313 202 JANET SMITH THAI


Photographs : Tony Knight photography & MEDIA

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