eXtensions - Monday 18 June 2018
Digital and Film Photography Themes Around Mahachai and the Railway (2): The River
By Graham K. Rogers
As well as the railway, to me, Mahachai means two things: food and the river. Inseparable from the origins of the railway, the two are fundamental to the economy of the area and to Thailand itself.
I found distinct themes that the images supported: the journeys, around Mahachai (railway terminal and food), the river and related ideas. The first part with some 20 images looks at journeys and the railway terminal. This second part looks at the market, the food and the important marine links.
Market and foodThe area round the station is a bustling market, with plenty of fresh produce. Much is produced locally, while the sea produce is processed in factories nearby. Both the fishing industry and the factories employ large numbers of people from neighboring Myanmar. The area is often referred to as Little Burma and was one of the locations Daw Aung San Suu Kyi visited in June 2016.
Around holiday time and at weekends it is sometimes hard to walk in the streets there are so many people. With the market there are also restaurants and I always stop at the same noodle place as the food makes the journey worthwhile.
Mahachai market area
River and IndustriesThe river and its nearby connection to the sea are fundamental to the whole economy of the area. Without the deep river, there would be no fishing industry and with no fishing industry, the railway would not have been built. Although it no longer carries goods, many from Bangkok take the one hour trip to shop at the market. The river runs through it: physically and symbolically.
Although the Banlaem side is far less busy than Mahachai (one reason I prefer this side), there are several small processing factories backing on to the river, although some have moved in the last couple of years from sea food to fruit. As the area changes, so new buildings are constructed while some older ones are left to decay.
Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs. After 3 years writing a column in the Life supplement, he is now no longer associated with the Bangkok Post. He can be followed on Twitter (@extensions_th)
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