Daily Archives: February 10, 2005

Car Ferry across the Chao Phraya

In Samut Prakan, if we want to go to the other side of the river we can take the passenger ferry at Paknam Market to Phra Samut Chedi for only 2 baht. There are no bridges across the Chao Phraya river in Samut Prakan Province. So, if we want to go by car, we have to head towards Bangkok and then take the car ferry at the end of Sukaswat Road for 20 baht. To visit Phra Samut Chedi on foot it would only take 10 minutes from the market. But, by car, it would take at least 45 minutes to reach the temple. When I went at the weekend we were stuck in a traffic jam along Sukaswat Road and it took us 90 minutes in total!

One of the reasons for the traffic jam was that there are not so many car ferries running at the moment. The one I usually use to cross the river has been closed because of the construction of the mega bridge. So, there are not so many ferries any more. In the pictures above, you can see the two different kinds of ferries. On the left the passenger ferry and on the right the car ferry. In the background of the left picture you can see about 4 or 5 of the red car ferries.

These are going back and forth at frequent intervals. I am not sure how many accidents occur but it is a little scarey at times. The trip up the ramp to the ferry is bad enough as there is little room for error as you ascend. I always take off my seatbelt at this point just in case! Then, as we make our way across the river, we have to dodge the big container ships heading further up-river to the port at Klong Toey.

On the left is one of the tug boats that help swing the ferries around as they dock. On the right is one of the container ships. This one is carrying wood. You can see the car ferry waiting for it to pass.

I guess once the mega bride is completed, the car ferries will disappear. A shame in a way as it adds character to the area. But, you have to keep up with progress. I will speak of the new mega bridge later and share with you some of the pictures I took of the bridge construction. It is a really amazing project. You should see the artist’s impression of what it will look like. Quite unique.

Gong Si Fa Cai

Happy New Year everybody. I wish everybody the best wishes and hope this year will be great for everyone across the world. I know a lot of things haven’t been in good graces lately but hopefully, from this day, it’ll be a fresh start towards a bright future.

This is Chinatown in London. Very different to our Chinatown in Bangkok.

According to Richard’s pictures, it is what we perform every year to celebrate the chinese new year. In China, it is a very important day as people will get holidays for at least 3 days and will be celebrating the festival for about 7 days. It is a festival to remember ancestors, relations, friends and loved ones. Most people would spend their New year’s eve (Tuesday) eating together. The most important dish that every house must have is dumpling. Just like in western world where you’ll have to cook turkey for Christmas. New year for Chinese families, we have dumplings. It a food dish that symbolises good graces. Also, after dinner, most people would go out and watch/light fireworks in order to kick start this faithful festival. It is also known that nobody should sleep before midnight last night. This is a bad sign as you’re sleeping across the year. You should only sleep when new year has already begun. Very interesting, yeah?

THe past couple of days have been very tiring for me. Most of my classes have begun. Last week, only the lectures started. This week, the tutorial kick started as well. From now on, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I have to start classes from 9am to 7.30pm. It is worse than studying in Thailand. In Thailand, University students usually go to school everyday but sometimes, they have the evening off or the morning off. Here, I don’t have school on Mondays and the rest of the week is packed!

I’m taking 8 subjects this semester when if in Thailand, I would take no more than 7 a semester. Also here, we have a lecture and a tutorial for every subject except for one of my subjects which has 2 tutorials and 2 hours lecture. In Thailand, there are 2 classes each week for every subject. In addition, credits involved in each subjects are less there than here. Maximum credit for a subject in Thailand is 12 but here, I have a subject that’s worth 30 credits! So, I cannot fail this subject. However, in Thailand, everybody goes to summer school. Here, only the people who fail go to summer school. So, I must study hard in order for me to spend my summer holiday back in Thailand (playing golf…hahaha).

Anyway, today is very tiring as well as I just got back from watching England played Holland and both teams didn’t perform well. I was very disappointed. So, I must hit the bed now. Bubbyee…..


Vocabs for Chinese New Year

Chun Tian Kuai Le = happy new year (spring festival)
Xin Nian Kuai Le = happy new year
Gong Hei Fa Choi = happy new year (cantonese)
Sin Ni Huad Cai = happy new year (Fujianese)